Cloudy with late night rain. Lows overnight in the mid 40s.
A steady rain in the morning. Showers continuing in the afternoon. High 49F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch.
Partly cloudy skies with gusty winds. High 49F. Winds NNW at 20 to 30 mph.
A mainly sunny sky. High 57F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Partly cloudy. High near 65F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Jay McCarroll (left) and Carson Kressley talk fashion, collaboration and PhilaU at Discover Fashion Day.
Some 170 prospective fashion students, parents and guests packed the Kanbar Campus Center Performance Space on Oct. 29 to participate in a conversation with Emmy Award-winning fashion celebrity Carson Kressley and “Project Runway” veteran Jay McCarroll.
Kressley, who serves on the University’s Board of Trustees, talked about the large number of career opportunities within the fashion industry. “There are so many jobs that radiate out of the fashion industry,” said Kressley, including those in textile design, fashion design, merchandising, retail, marketing and fashion journalism.
All of these positions, he said, require skills that are foundational to PhilaU’s collaborative Nexus Learning approach to higher education. “When you are in the real world working with 18 other people, you have to be a team player,” he told the future fashion students.
McCarroll, a PhilaU fashion design alumnus and current fashion design faculty member, echoed the importance of collaborative learning in obtaining a job after graduation. “It’s so exciting for me as a fashion professor to see the fashion design students working with the textile design students,” he said. “That’s Nexus Learning, and it’s working.”
“There are so many opportunities here to take advantage of,” said McCarroll, who won the first season of the fashion design reality show “Project Runway.” Because of this, many PhilaU alumni have gone on to successful careers at major fashion companies, he said, including such local powerhouses as Urban Outfitters and Lilly Pulitzer.
The day’s events, including campus tours and classroom visits, as well as the talk by McCarroll and Kressley, provided prospective students with an in-depth look at PhilaU’s fashion programs and the successful careers on which graduates embark.
“The overwhelming number of students who registered to participate in the Discover Fashion Day underscores the highly effective way in which we are preparing students at Philadelphia University to enter the field of fashion,” said Christine Greb, dean of enrollment management.
Francesco Vetrano, a Lehigh Carbon Community College student interested in transferring to PhilaU’s fashion design program, was impressed by McCarroll’s comments and said, “It seems like a really great thing to attend a school where I would be able to work closely with textile designers.”
Vetrano, who would like to design his own fashion line in the future, said he decided to apply to PhilaU after learning of the University’s 94 percent job placement rate for graduates.
Elizabeth Scott, a West Chester East High School senior who has applied for admission to the fashion merchandising and management program, said the many industry engagement and internship opportunities PhilaU offers are essential to helping her achieve her goals. “I’m most excited about getting that real-world experience,” she said. “I would like to be a buyer for a local company like QVC, and I like that there are so many employment opportunities near where I live.”
Later in the day, visiting students attended sessions on fashion design and fashion merchandising and management, depending on their interest.
Alumna Emily Wooten ’13, an assistant buyer in QVC’s handbag division, spoke to prospective students in the Lawrence N. Field DEC Center Forum. “When you come to PhilaU, you’re not just coming to college, you’re here to prepare for a career,” said Wooten, a fashion merchandising and management major who interned twice at QVC while at PhilaU. “This has been the most exciting year of my life,” she said.
In the Hayward Hall fashion studios, Sheila Connelly, fashion design program director, talked about the many opportunities available to PhilaU students through industry partnerships, which can lead to internships and careers with major fashion firms and retailers such as Target. She also told the prospective students, “There are scholarship opportunities at every level.”
PhilaU’s fashion programs are ranked in the top 50 internationally by Fashionista. Graduates go on to careers at top companies, such as Nannette Lepore, Tommy Hilfiger and Vogue Magazine.
The annual student-produced Fashion Show showcases the best of each year’s creative student designs, attracting an audience of some 2,000 students and their families, faculty members, designers and fashion and apparel industry professionals.
For more information on fashion design, click here.
For more information on fashion merchandising and management, click here.
PhilaU sustainable design faculty member Gabriel Mandujano, founder and CEO of eco-friendly Wash Cycle Laundry, won the top prize of $25,000 at the Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day pitch event in New York Oct. 28, the Philadelphia Business Journal and Philadelphia Inquirer reported Oct. 29. Mandujano was representing PhilaU’s Blackstone LaunchPad at the national event.
(From left to right) Mike Banks, Wash Cycle Laundry comptroller, Zoe McKinley, PhilaU LaunchPad director, and Gabriel Mandujano, Wash Cycle Laundry founder and CEO, show Mandujano’s first-place prize.
Sustainable design faculty member Gabriel Mandujano, founder and CEO of the eco-friendly firm Wash Cycle Laundry, won the first-place prize of $25,000 at the Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day pitch competition in New York on Oct. 28.
“We are extremely honored to have been chosen for this prize and excited about the platform the Blackstone LaunchPad provides as we expand from a local to a national company,” Mandujano said.
Mandujano, representing PhilaU’s Blackstone LaunchPad, was one of 20 LaunchPad entrepreneurs nationwide selected to pitch their businesses to a panel of Blackstone Charitable Foundation executives during the day’s first round of pitching.
After advancing to the final round of seven, Mandujano delivered his presentation to judges including Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman, CEO and co-founder.
Mandujano, who teaches a course on sustainable organizations in PhilaU’s graduate program in sustainable design, said he believes he won the judges over with his firm’s commitment to both its business and social values.
“The judges saw a really viable national, scalable business model and saw our social and environment impact,” he said. “The combination of the two was really powerful for them.”
Over the past weeks, Mandujano has been utilizing PhilaU’s LaunchPad coaching resources to prepare for his pitch. Zoe McKinley, PhilaU LaunchPad director, who was at the Demo Day event, worked with Mandujano to refine his pitch and clarify his fundraising strategy.
Wash Cycle Laundry, based in Philadelphia, is an environmentally and socially conscious service that uses bicycle pick-up and delivery as a carbon-free means of transportation and high-efficiency washers and dryers to reduce water and energy use by about 30 percent. Since its start in 2010, the company has expanded to Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas.
Blackstone LaunchPad is a co-curricular, experiential, campus program designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path and provide coaching, venture creation and other support. PhilaU’s Blackstone LaunchPad is supported by a grant from Blackstone Charitable Foundation with regional partners Temple University and the University City Science Center.
To learn more about the Demo Day pitch competition, click here.
Read more in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
PhilaU head men’s basketball Coach Herb Magee, who is on target to reach 1,000 career wins in January, was featured in the October issue of Philly Man and Jersey Man magazines. Magee, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2011, will start the season with 985 wins.
Gabriel Mandujano began Wash Cycle Laundry in 2010.
Philadelphia University sustainable design faculty member Gabriel Mandujano will represent PhilaU’s Blackstone LaunchPad as one of just 20 finalists nationwide selected to pitch their businesses at the first Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day on Oct. 28 in New York.
Mandujano, founder and CEO of the eco-friendly firm Wash Cycle Laundry, will have 10 minutes to convince a panel of Blackstone leaders that his venture is deserving of some of the $50,000 in prize money from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
Judges at the event will include Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman, CEO and co-founder, and other Blackstone executives, who will assess the ventures’ products, business models and scalability potential. The top three presenters will get a share of the business development funding.
“Entrepreneurship is central to Blackstone’s culture, and is the single most effective way to spur economic growth and job creation,” Schwarzman said. “The new and innovative companies participating in the Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day have the potential to impact their local economies, and we look forward to seeing them do so.”
To prepare for his pitch, Mandujano has been utilizing PhilaU’s LaunchPad coaching resources to hone his presentation skills and messages. Through the University City Science Center, the Blackstone LaunchPad Regional Partner, Mandujano had a private coaching session with “pitch doctor” Steve Bowman, a start-up consultant, and was able to rehearse his pitch in front of an audience of investors and others in the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Zoe McKinley, PhilaU LaunchPad director, has been working with Mandujano to refine his pitch and clarify his fundraising strategy. “He already has a functioning company, but he is at a stage where he needs to raise additional outside capital,” she said.
Wash Cycle Laundry, based in Philadelphia, is an environmentally and socially conscious service that uses bicycle pick-up and delivery as a carbon-free means of transportation and high-efficiency washers and dryers to reduce water and energy use by about 30 percent. The firm also gives back to the community by hiring employees through Philadelphia Works and Gearing Up, two local nonprofits that help the unemployed find work.
Wash Cycle Laundry staff members Jake Clark (left) and Elliot Rosario deliver laundry using bike trailers in Philadelphia.
Since its start in 2010, the company has expanded to Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas, and now employs some 45 people at its three locations. “We’ve shown with our first two expansions that we can quickly and cheaply launch into new markets,” said Mandujano, the only LaunchPad finalist from the Northeast. “Now we’re eager to start expanding as quickly as we can.”
At PhilaU, Mandujano teaches a course on sustainable organizations in the master’s program in sustainable design. He said many of his students are eager to transform their ideas into sustainable companies.
“Before, if you wanted to make money you went to a business, and if you wanted to do good you went to a nonprofit, and those were your only choices,” Mandujano said. “Now, there are ways that organizations of all types can get involved in sustainable work. We take a look at those organizations and how they’ve done that.”
PhilaU’s Blackstone LaunchPad is funded by a grant by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and offers support for pursuing business start-ups. The $3 million grant established a partnership between Philadelphia University, Temple University and the University City Science Center to provide students with the skills, knowledge and guidance to transform new ideas into successful business ventures.
Blackstone LaunchPad is a co-curricular, experiential, campus program designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path and develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets through individualized coaching, idea and venture creation support. Modeled after a program at University of Miami and further developed and expanded by Blackstone Charitable Foundation, the program is currently available to more than 350,000 students at 15 colleges and universities nationwide. Since its establishment at Philadelphia University in February 2014, some 35 ventures have been advised, including Wash Cycle.
To learn more about Wash Cycle Laundry, visit washcyclelaundry.com. Learn more about the PhilaU Blackstone LaunchPad here.
President Spinelli comments on approaches to teaching entrepreneurship, including PhilaU’s interdisciplinary Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, in an Oct. 26 Philadelphia Inquirer story.
Sustainable design faculty member Gabriel Mandujano was selected to pitch his eco-friendly firm Wash Cycle Laundry at Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day on Oct. 28, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported Oct. 24. At stake is $50,000 in business development funds. Mandujano, who utilized the coaching services of PhilaU’s Blackstone LaunchPad to prepare for his pitch, is seeking capital to help fund the expansion of his business.
Jay McCarroll, PhilaU fashion design alumnus and faculty member, was featured on E! Entertainment’s True Hollywood Story on Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. The show, an update on where several reality stars are today, will re-air tomorrow, Oct. 25, at 12 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. McCarroll was the winner of the first season of “Project Runway,” the fashion design reality show.
PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. shared his insights on entrepreneurship and lessons learned from co-founding Jiffy Lube as a featured speaker last week at the University City Science Center Smart Talk.
President Spinelli discusses co-founding Jiffy Lube at a University City Science Center talk. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Although a lot has changed since he helped start Jiffy Lube shortly after graduating from college, Spinelli told the group, “Opportunity recognition and market demand still underpin the entrepreneurial process.”
At the same time, he said the opportunity is greater today for start-ups, driven by such factors as technology, ubiquitous access to data and information, huge opportunities for efficiency and reduced barriers to cross-national trade.
Spinelli, who is a board member of the Science Center, spoke to an engaged audience Oct. 17 at the Smart Talk event, a series of talks designed to give start-ups and growing companies a look at best practices and business strategies from industry leaders.
Of his experience at Jiffy Lube, the leader in the quick lube industry, Spinelli said he “learned as much from failure as from success.” At its start in 1979, when changing oil was “an old, grimy business,” he said the founders had to answer the question “what are we bringing to the table?”
What Jiffy Lube brought to the table was a fast, convenient and inexpensive option to change oil. In fact, while the system was more complicated than it appears on the surface, he said the only thing proprietary about the venture was its name. To help grow the market and revenues, Spinelli said the firm worked to convince customers to change their oil every 3,000 miles, rather than the then-industry standard of 7,500 miles.
“We said, `that’s too long, dirty oil is bad,’” Spinelli recalled. That raised the average oil change per car to 3.2 times per year, up from 2.8 times per year, and as a result, he said, “We just got a bigger market.”
But starting out was not easy and Spinelli acknowledged there were sleepless nights worrying about whether Jiffy Lube would be successful. He said commitment and dedication to one’s business is imperative. “For me,” he said, “changing oil was the most important thing in the world.”
Spinelli also advised those attending to aim big when it comes to starting an enterprise. Small business owners think they can control risk, he said, but that is a false assumption. “At the end of the day,” he said, “you’ll probably risk everything and probably be exhausted, so why not go big?”
After starting up Jiffy Lube, Spinelli earned his MBA and Ph.D. and embarked on an academic career. He became president of PhilaU in 2007; previously he was vice provost and chair of the entrepreneurship division at Babson College.
Philadelphia University encourages innovation and entrepreneurship throughout its academic programs, with support from the Entrepreneurship Center. Philadelphia University also partners with University City Science Center and Temple University to support student entrepreneurs through the Philadelphia area Blackstone LaunchPad, funded with a grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
Sustainable design graduate Morgan Berman will compete for start-up funding for her app, MilkCrate, at this week’s influential Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia.
Sustainable Design graduate Morgan Berman ’14 is one of just five entrepreneurs nationwide who will vie for $400,000 in start-up funding and advertising at this week’s influential Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia.
Berman will have just five minutes on Tuesday to pitch her sustainable business-locating app, MilkCrate, to a panel of some of the world’s most influential funders, including AOL founder Steve Case, Forbes Media CEO Mike Perlis and Atom Factory founder Troy Carte. The business leaders will then have three more minutes to ask her questions.
“I’m thrilled to be able to share our story and hope it inspires the crowd,” said Berman, noting she is excited “with a healthy dose of nerves” at the opportunity to present her pitch. “The exposure will help us propel forward, and we can’t wait.”
Berman was selected as one of just five start-ups nationwide, selected from 117 applicants, to compete in the “Shark Tank”-like contest—a quick-pitch opportunity similar to that of the popular ABC television show. She will be competing for a $150,000 equity investment from Case, Carter and Forbes Media, as well as $250,000 in free advertising and services from Forbes.
“I have no doubt that Morgan will shine in the competition, where her innate intelligence, enthusiasm and innovative ideas will be on display,” said Rob Fleming, associate professor of architecture and director of the M.S. in Sustainable Design program.
Berman, who was a graduate assistant to Fleming, started MilkCrate for her master’s thesis project in sustainable design. She received additional guidance and resources from the Blackstone LaunchPad at Philadelphia University.
“We are proud that Morgan was able to further develop her foundation in sustainability, access entrepreneurial support and find the specialized classes she needed to jumpstart her career at PhilaU,” Fleming added.
Hosting the Forbes Under 30 Summit is a coup for Philadelphia, which was selected because of its growing population of young adults—the so-called Millennial generation—and expanding start-up and entrepreneurial culture.
MilkCrate, an app allowing users to access companies’ sustainability ratings, is now available for download on Apple and Android mobile devices.
For more information and to download the app, visit milkcratephilly.com.