Book Talk with Mehrzad Boroujerdi rescheduled to September 19th

Mehrzad Borougerdi

Mehrzad Boroujerdi Portrait

Circulation of Political Elite in Post-revolutionary Iran: An Empirical Investigation

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM in 341 Eggers Hall


A Book Talk with Mehrzad Boroujerdi: Based on a recently completed fourteen-year research project, which has generated the largest database on political elite anywhere in the Middle East, Dr. Mehrzad Boroujerdi will share some of his findings about Iran’s truculent clerics and their lay allies. He will discuss the age, gender and educational profile, revolutionary pedigree and incumbency rate of elected and appointed elite to ascertain the question of generational change in Iran after the 1979 Revolution.Contact Havva Karakas-Keles for accessibility requests or for more information at

Sponsoring Departments: Middle Eastern Studies Program, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Syracuse University Press

View on Maxwell site.

Book talk and signing with Dave Knox, author of ‘Predicting the Turn’ on September 18

Dave Knox - Predicting the TurnDave Knox, Grand Prix Winner of the WPP Atticus Award for his book, Predicting The Turn: The High Stakes Game of Business Between Startups and Blue Chips will share his insights at a book talk and signing on Tuesday, September 18 from 10-11 a.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (room 114) at Bird Library.

Knox will discuss the new high-stakes game between disruptive startups and Blue Chip companies, teaching readers how to foresee the future, especially in an era of accelerated change.

While visiting the University, Knox will also speak with entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises classes and visit the campus entrepreneurship club.

Knox is considered an expert at disruption and innovation, and his book has been hailed as the rulebook on how to compete with a new breed of competitors playing the game by an entirely different set of rules.

“The Fortune 500 was first published in 1955, and since that time, 89 percent of the list has completely turned over,” Knox says. “When the S&P 500 was launched in 1958, the average company remained in the index for roughly 61 years. Today, an S&P 500 company is being replaced about once every two weeks.”

He makes the point that the game is not just for the tech giants and unicorns of the Silicon Valley. “Start in your own backyards. Innovation is happening in every pocket of the world, in cities and states and in countries across the globe, and you can’t just think that innovation is just a Silicon Valley thing. It’s happening everywhere.”

As a brand marketer, venture investor and startup advisor, Knox provides insight into the changing relationship between startups and Fortune 500 companies. He is considered a global thought leader in digital transformation, marketing innovation and how to meet inevitable disruption head-on–particularly if big companies develop startup-thinking skills.

“Incumbents have an opportunity to disrupt the disruptors. By taking inspiration from a startup or innovative competitor, big companies can use their scale, brand, and financial resources to launch a new effort,” he writes, but only if “the leaders of yesterday learn the rules of an entirely new game of business.”

A veteran of Procter & Gamble, managing director of WPP Ventures, CMO of Rockfish, cofounder of The Brandery venture accelerator, startup advisor, blogger and author, he frequently publishes in AdWeek, Forbes, iMedia, AdAge and Entrepreneur.

“Today, the largest companies in the world are finding themselves in the middle of a high stakes game of business between startup companies and the Fortune 500 where the bet is the very future of these big companies,” Knox says. “I wrote the book to drive a conversation around the changing relationship between startups and Fortune 500 companies, and to unlock an entirely new way for smaller companies to compete on a level playing field.”

The event, co-sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, is free of charge and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, or if you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact at least one week prior to the event date.

LaunchPad expansion ribbon cutting on September 6 to feature Techstars entrepreneurs

Blackstone – Techstars The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University will host a ribbon cutting event at noon on September 6 on the first floor of Bird Library to celebrate its expansion, as well as an expanded partnership between the Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars.

The LaunchPad doubled in size over summer 2018 to accommodate the growth of the popular program that provides faculty, staff, students, and alumni with a welcoming innovation hub to connect participants with Syracuse’s rich innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The expanded LaunchPad occupies a visible space on the first floor of the Learning Commons and connects to the original glass cube that opened in April 2016 that features communal space and cozy “nooks” with couches, meeting tables, and smaller, private workspaces.

Now offering new co-working space for up to 35 more entrepreneurs, the LaunchPad has the capacity to host technical workshops, guest speakers, and networking events. This summer it hosted 47 high school students from nine countries for a summer boot camp in entrepreneurship. It also hosted visiting students from five universities in the United Arab Emirates, and visiting Fulbright Scholars from around the world. This fall it will host a “Call for Code” hackathon on September 14-15, and a NSF iCorps regional course on September 28, 29, and October 12.

A new feature of the expanded space is the “Bird Nest,” a meeting room with video and audio conferencing capacity. The space will enable student ventures to have a more private setting to work with subject matter experts and investors who are in remote locations and help LaunchPad staff to stay connected and serve Syracuse University alumni who have “launched” from the program.

In addition, a new workstation will allow the program to bring in resource providers on a regular basis for “Launch Hours” to work with students on topics related to patent landscaping, industry and market research, business incorporation, accounting and finance, getting investment ready, and creating social impact.

Josh Aviv and AJ DamianoJoining Dean of the Libraries, David Seaman in cutting the ribbon will be the first three Syracuse University student entrepreneurs accepted into the prestigious Techstars program—Josh Aviv ’14, G’17, founder of SparkCharge, and Angelo (AJ) Damiano ’18 and Michael Paris ’20, co-founders of PowerSpike.

Following the ribbon cutting, Aviv, Damiano, and Paris will host a “Meet the Techstars” event to inspire new students who are interested in exploring innovation and entrepreneurship.  They will share their perspectives from the “dorm room to the boardroom,” collectively raising more than $1.5 million in equity investment, and their experiences into Techstars, a prestigious, highly-competitive program that reviews 1,000 applications for each 10 accepted into the accelerator cohort. Aviv and Damiano will be flying in from Boston and Atlanta for the event, where they have been part of Techstars accelerators in those cities. Paris is a student in the VPA program.

Executive Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad, Linda Dickerson Hartsock will also announce a new Blackstone LaunchPad-Techstars opportunity that will be open to Syracuse University students this fall.

The event is free of charge and open to all. To help plan for pizza party refreshments, please email if you plan to attend.

Blackstone LaunchPad announces 2018-2019 business plan competitions

bright ideaBuilding on last year’s successful track record when Syracuse University teams captured a first-place honor and won a total of five awards in the 2018 New York State Business Plan Competition, the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University has announced a number of business plan competitions for the 2018-2019 academic year. Open to the Syracuse University community across all disciplines, the competitions include:

  • Orange Tank: Applications due late August; competition October 19, 2018. Open to Whitman alumni entrepreneurs and undergraduate majors from the Whitman School of Management.
  • ‘Cuse Tank: Applications due October 1, 2018; competition October 26, 2018. Open to Syracuse University undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines, who are working on developing new products, services or technologies.
  • Student Startup Madness: Applications open in September and run through early December 2018; semi-finalists announced in mid-January. Open to college student teams with digital media startups (in concept, in development or in operation).
  • Impact Prize: Applications due October 29, 2018; competition November 15, 2018. Open to Syracuse University students and SUNY ESF students taking entrepreneurship courses at SU.
  • Panasci Business Plan Competition: Applications due January 2019; competition April 12-13, 2019. Open to graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Rice Business Plan Competition: Applications due February 2019; competition April 2019. Open to primarily graduate students.
  • ACC InVenture Prize: Applications due February 1, 2019; competition February 22, 2019. Open to undergraduate students or recent graduates of ACC universities within one year of graduation from their undergraduate program.
  • Hult Prize Regionals: Competition December 6, 2018; regional teams announced January 2019. Open to undergraduate students.
  • Compete CNY: Applications due March 2019; competition March 29, 2019. Open to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Raymond von Dran iPrize: Applications due March 2019; competition March 29, 2019. Open to graduate and undergraduate students.
  • HBW Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award: Applications due March 2019; competition March 29, 2019. Open to undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse competing in the iPrize.
  • New York Business Plan Competition: CNY teams submitted after Compete CNY qualifier Competition in Albany, typically the last weekend in April. Open to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • EO GSEA (Global Student Entrepreneur Awards): Applications due September 30, 2018; regionals in Buffalo, November 8, 2018. Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are business owners, founders or controlling shareholders, either ‘for-profit’ or social enterprise.

Over the past two years, Syracuse University students and alumni have won nearly $750,000 in business plan competitions, providing critical early stage seed funding to help them work on customer discovery, prototypes, business incorporation and patents, as well as other product and business development needs on the road from concept to commercialization.

The LaunchPad team, mentors, and professional service providers are available to help develop investment-ready business models, create more competitive pitches, and coach teams on the art of successful pitching.  Whitman and iSchool faculty, along with Falcone Center staff, are also available to help prep teams and provide feedback.

To learn more about the competitions, get details on the schedule, or schedule coaching sessions, visit or email

Issues in Digital Scholarship Forum lecture and panel discussion with Jill Rothstein

Jill RothsteinAs a part of the Syracuse University Libraries’ ongoing Issues in Digital Scholarship Forum series, Jill Rothstein, Chief Librarian at New York Public Library’s Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library, will be on campus in September for a lecture and panel discussion on accessibility and inclusion in today’s libraries.

A public lecture entitled, “Seeing the Whole Community: Serving Patrons with Print Disabilities Ages 0–100” will take place on Thursday, September 20 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at Bird Library (Room 114). Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided.

A panel discussion on “Serving Patrons with Print Disabilities” will take place on Friday, September 21 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Bird Library, Room 004. The panel will be moderated by Kate Deibel (Syracuse University Libraries), and participants will include Jill Rothstein (New York Public Library), Nicole Westerdahl (Syracuse University Libraries Special Collections Research Center), and John A. Mangicaro, (Syracuse University MakerSpace).

Jill Rothstein has been chief librarian of the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library for three years, co-led the committee for serving children with special needs, and co-led inclusion and advocacy training for New York Public Library. She has presented at the National Library Service conference, Metro Libraries conference, and Harvard’s World Heritage Strategy Forum. Prior to this role, she sang and did silly dances for toddlers as a children’s librarian and then did not sing as much as a neighborhood branch manager.

The Issues in Digital Scholarship Forum seeks to explore how scholars in different fields engage digital technologies as the subject matter of their research, in their research methods, their collaborative work, and the systems through which their research is disseminated and preserved. It also explores the ways in which the libraries, the university, and our technology infrastructure can support these modes of scholarship and sustain their future.

The events are sponsored by the Syracuse University Libraries, the Library and Information Science (LIS) Program at the Syracuse University iSchool, Syracuse University Humanities Center, and the Disability Cultural Center.

For more information, or if you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Patrick Williams at

Click the link below to view Jill’s presentation slides.