Book talk and signing with Carl Schramm, University Professor and author of “Burn the Business Plan” on April 4

The Syracuse University Libraries, the Blackstone LaunchPad, and the School of Information Studies are hosting an author’s talk and book signing with Carl Schramm, author of Burn the Business Plan, University Professor at Syracuse University, and former president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The event will be Wednesday, April 4, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library. A networking reception follows at 4 p.m. in the Blackstone LaunchPad. The event is open to the community.

Published in early 2018 by Simon & Schuster, Schramm’s book turns conventional wisdom on its head. He dispels the “myth of the software kid genius,” noting that the average entrepreneur is 39 years old and has worked in corporate America for at least a decade. He discusses the perils of creating a business plan for an entrepreneurial venture, noting that Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google launched without one. Based on stories of successful entrepreneurs in a variety of fields, he suggests that knowledge, passion, determination, and a willingness to experiment and innovate are vastly more important than financial skill. Along the way, he also offers great practical tips, such as how to “Build Your Company as Your Life.”

The book has received positive acclaim, and was named to Inc. Magazine’s “Need to Read” list for 2018.  It received five-star reviews on Amazon, and praise from Publishers Weekly, Google Books, and Goodreads, as well as from many successful founders and entrepreneurs.

“New businesses are about great ideas, not great plans. Schramm tells it as it really happens,” says Mitch Lowe, co-founder of Netflix and CEO of MoviePass.

“While encouraging aspirants toward launch, the book is mercifully free of Silicon Valley fairy tales,” writes Leigh Buchanan, editor-at-large of Inc. Magazine. “Schramm is interested in real people starting real companies. Readers will find most of his cases gratifyingly unfamiliar and generally relatable. Burn is a solid roundup of the current best thinking on startups, guiding new entrepreneurs in both introspection and execution.”

Once dubbed the “evangelist of entrepreneurship” by The Economist, Schramm was appointed Syracuse University Professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) in 2012 after serving for nearly a decade as president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s premier organization dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship and understanding the role innovation and new firm formation play in economic growth. A $2 billion endowment, Kauffman is the world’s largest philanthropy dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship.

At Syracuse, Schramm has taught courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, and the decline and future of U.S. cities. His research work focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth. He has advised major corporations as well as city, state, and national governments around the world on accelerating innovation, expanding entrepreneurial activity and achieving economic growth.

One of the co-founders of Global Entrepreneurship Week, now observed in 170 countries, he is recognized internationally as a leading authority on innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. His academic career began at Johns Hopkins, where he founded the nation’s first research center on healthcare finance. He has founded or co-founded five companies, including HCIA and Greenspring Advisors, a merchant bank. Schramm also has served in major corporate roles including EVP of Fortis (now Assurant) and CEO of Fortis Healthcare. He has advised major corporations including Ford, Johnson & Johnson, and Apple. He chaired the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century Economy Advisory Committee during the Bush Administration and was a member of President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

He has authored, coauthored, or edited several books including Better Capitalism; Good Capitalism/Bad Capitalism; Inside Real Innovation; The Entrepreneurial Imperative, and Controlling Healthcare Costs.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available. If you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Linda Dickerson Hartsock at launchpad@syr.edu.

Graduate Research Roundtable #2: Data Tools & Publishing Support

Join ASEE & SU Libraries for the second event in the Research Roundtable series on Thursday, March 22 from 6 -7:30 p.m. at the Inn Complete. SU librarians will discuss tools to help collect and process research data, along with tips for selecting appropriate journals to publish in. Geared towards graduate students who are in the middle to end of their programs.

Food & one free drink ticket provided! Registration is limited to 30 participants, register today: http://bit.ly/2FDQUma

Graduate Research Roundtable #3: Career Resources & Funding Opportunities

Join ECS-GSO, SU Libraries, and Graduate Career Services for the third and final event in the Research Roundtable series on Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 6–7:30 p.m. in 331 Link Hall.

SU librarians and associate director of Graduate Student Services, Dan Olson-Bang, will discuss a variety of career resources, including industry and company profiles, funding tools, and more to help you launch your career. Free food and one free drink ticket provided!

Registration is limited to 30 participants, register today: http://bit.ly/2tMPuV7

SparkCharge raises capital and joins Techstars

SparkCharge has officially “launched” from the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University to acceleration stage with Techstars in Boston.  The startup has achieved a significant milestone, growing from a college student’s idea, to an award-winning company that has won several awards and raised institutional funding, and is now part of an accelerator program internationally known for rapidly scaling great companies. The latest investment round closed in February and the clean tech hardware startup expects to raise another round later this year.

Joshua Aviv, founder and CEO of SparkCharge, developed a portable, ultrafast charging unit for electric vehicles that fits in the trunk of a car and charges at level 3 speed, giving users one mile every 60 seconds.

Winning a spot in the Techstars Boston startup accelerator gives a competitive boost for the growing company. In the last 10 years, more than 1,000 Techstars portfolio companies have collectively raised over $4.4 billion in total funding, and are now valued at $11.4 billion.  Fewer than 1% of all companies that apply to a Techstars program are accepted into the worldwide network that inspires, educates and connects entrepreneurs, accelerating innovation and startup activity.

Aviv, a graduate of Syracuse University, conceived his idea as an undergraduate student, working with the campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“The Techstars accelerator program builds on the solid startup foundation we received through Syracuse University’s amazing innovation ecosystem,” says Aviv. “Having a well-connected and collaborative support network at SU helped us move from idea to venture, and positioned us to now scale to the next stage. We intend to stay engaged with SU as we grow.”

“SparkCharge is joining a vibrant group of entrepreneurs,” said Clement Cazalot, managing director for the Techstars Boston Accelerator. “Our Boston program has helped launch and fund 144 startups, with north of $750 million in total funding. Josh is now part of the most connected and successful entrepreneurial network in the world, as well as Boston’s very active angel network and VC industry that is focusing more on earlier stage tech innovation, enabling access to funds at all stages of development.”

“Each year we select the most promising companies to join our three-month mentorship-driven accelerator,” said David Cohen, founder and CEO of Techstars. “SparkCharge will now be part of the Techstars community for life, with access to over 1,500,000 founders, investors, mentors, and industry leaders. Leveraging the combined power of Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars resources and connections, SparkCharge and other high-growth startups are surrounded and supported by a team of experts who can help them quickly start and scale.”

“We’re in Techstars to learn, grow, and network,” Aviv says. “We’re excited to bring this product to market, and working with this network will help us get to commercialize our technology faster and better.”

Through Techstars, Aviv and his team of four engineers are getting hands-on help and mentorship from experts in multiple fields, while working out of spaces such as Mass Robotics. A first-time CEO, Aviv says access to an international pool of knowledgeable and experienced mentors is already advancing SparkCharge to a new level.  “We want to keep a presence in Boston. We’ve fallen in love with the city,” Aviv says. “The startup ecosystem here is awesome.”

However, Aviv says the startup is not leaving its home in Syracuse. Personal connections and the manufacturing industry in Syracuse has strong pulls on the startup. “Our roots are in Syracuse and we want to tap into the manufacturing and industrial base there,” Aviv says. He expects to keep his research, engineering, testing and manufacturing based in the region, while focusing sales and finance operations in the Boston area where there is cluster of supportive investors. He particularly values his research collaboration with the SyracuseCoE, which is home base for his engineering team, research fellows and interns. His goal is to create regional impact. “To me, entrepreneurship means having a great social impact on every layer of our society. As entrepreneurs, we have the ability to create change in our communities faster and on a deeper level than many other people.”

In the meantime, SparkCharge is signing up electric vehicle owners to participate in testing their beta product. Answering questions and collecting feedback from users with various electric car models, the engineers are refining the product leading up to a manufacturing run later this year.

Supporting this growth is an investment by PJC, a Boston-based venture capital firm that focuses on consumer and enterprise technology investments. PJC takes an active approach to investing, striving to build collaborative relationships with portfolio company management. They have constructed the firm and their team around the strategy of building market-leading companies with innovative founders and serial entrepreneurs. The firm and its partners have backed market-leading companies across multiple industries such as Nest Labs, Yandex, Expensify and GetWellNetwork.

“We are excited to partner with Josh and the entire SparkCharge team,” said Mike Cunningham, a Principal at PJC. “They have the drive, conviction and vision necessary to solve the problems faced in this rapidly expanding market. We look forward to working with the SparkCharge team and Techstars to help bring their idea to the electric vehicle community.”

“Josh and SparkCharge is a perfect example of the transformational impact that Blackstone envisions Techstars will have on our LaunchPad program,” said Alisha Slye, global director of Blackstone LaunchPad.  “Their content, mentorship and network will provide expanded access for more LaunchPad ventures to grow and scale. Blackstone applauds Syracuse University’s leadership and commitment to entrepreneurship in our growing global LaunchPad network which we will now be able to scale to over one million student with Techstars support.”

SparkCharge’s success follows 2017 accomplishments that included:  Blackstone LaunchPad/Techstars Demo Day, First Place; FuzeHub Commercialization Competition, First Place; Innovation Fund Award, SyracuseCoE; New York State Business Plan Competition, Grand Prize; New York State Business Plan Competition, Clean Tech Winner; Raymond Von Dran iPrize, First Place Winner Clean Tech; and Panasci Business Plan Competition 2017, Winner of Product Innovation Prize and Sustainability Award.

Aviv’s plans for 2018 include final design and testing of the beta unit, manufacturing and unit sales.  SparkCharge is currently taking beta test orders: spcev.com/forms/betatest/

Read more about SparkCharge here and at spcev.com. Contact: Josh Aviv, sparkcharge@spcev.com

Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Techstars announced this week at SXSW EDU that they are teaming up to supercharge Blackstone LaunchPad, the preeminent campus-based entrepreneurship program.  Read details here.

Digitalia Hispanica

To complement its growing print and digital collections, the Libraries have added Digitalia Hispanica, a global academic database of e-books and e-journals in Spanish, with access to thousands of sources from publishers such as Anthropos, Biblioteca Nueva, Calambur, El Ruedo Iberico. New publishers are being added each year. The comprehensive Spanish language collection contains a wide range of titles related to science, social science, history, philosophy, political science, art, literature, and linguistics.

Digitalia Hispanica includes journal coverage for titles such as Cuadernos de Estudios Gallegos, Hispanica, and Revista de Literatura.

The collection is searchable in Spanish or English. The texts can be read, downloaded,or listened to in Spanish or translated to English. The site is similar to Summon, offering many search options and filtering by the subject.

For further reading:

GOBI(R) Library Solutions from EBSCO Partners with Digitalia Hispanica to Provide Spanish E-Book Content through GOBI(R).” PRWeb Newswire 2 Feb. 2017. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 9 Mar. 2018

Ann Skiold, Librarian for Fine Arts, Spanish and Italian Language and Literature.