Owls mentor, lead during Philadelphia Startup Weekend
Several Temple Owls participated in the recent Techstars’ Philadelphia Startup Weekend, where dozens of entrepreneurs joined forces to put together business ideas.
Nearly 100 entrepreneurs joined forces in November for Techstars’ Philadelphia Startup Weekend, where teams of innovators spent 54 hours coming up with business ideas.
Among those participating in the intense weekend-long event were several Temple graduates, as well as professors from the Fox School of Business.
Fox School of Business Assistant Professor Ellen Weber, executive director of Fox’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, served as one of three judges on the panel during Startup Weekend.
Weber, who teaches courses in entrepreneurship and has directed the institute since September 2014, said it’s exciting to see Temple’s involvement in the field continuing to grow.
“It means students who are interested in startups have a better chance of getting jobs with startups,” Weber said. “It means people who are thinking about doing a startup get an opportunity to find resources to help them be successful doing that. It helps the Temple brand tremendously in the entrepreneurial community.”
For Solomon, seeing Hindin, a former student of his, participate in Startup Weekend marked a special moment as an instructor.
“It’s always cool when people you work with or teach are in the position to pay it forward,” Solomon said.
Solomon said events like Philadelphia Startup Weekend provide invaluable learning experiences for students and alumni.
“It’s a good thing for budding entrepreneurs to get involved with these kinds of activities,” Solomon said. “You might not walk away with a successful company, but you’re going to walk away learning something.”
Yasmine Mustafa, FOX ’06, took advantage of that opportunity. Mustafa led a team called Pharos during Startup Weekend to pitch an idea inspired by her childhood in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War: a resource platform for volunteers and organizers in areas of conflict to obtain real-time information. The alumna is the founder and CEO of ROAR for Good, a company that develops wearable self-defense jewelry for women. Pharos won the honor of audience favorite in the competition.
“It’s tremendous real-world experience,” Weber said. “They’re working alongside people with great tech skills, with great ideation skills, who are entrepreneurs. And the students get to be an integral part of the startup experience.”