The 2022 RCIE Resiliency Award Goes to...
The Rowan Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship invited Steve Smith to host this month’s RCIE Spotlight Speaker Series. Steve attended Rowan University, then Glassboro State College, in the late 80's and later relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana. After working in the bar industry for 20 years, he co-opened his first bar, Turtle Bay Food & Spirits, in 2009 and then opened his second, Turtle Bay on Bourbon, in 2012.

Steve discussed his time in the bar industry. While business is presently booming, Steve admitted that was not always the case and that many mistakes were made along the way. He recalled the moment he came to the hard realization that Turtle Bay on Bourbon was struggling with business, customer satisfaction, and brand identity and ultimately failing.

Steve and his partner quickly realized that their best chance at success would force them to “pull back the doors and open the books” for bar expert Jon Taffer on the television show, Bar Rescue.

Steve found Jon’s tough love style of teaching and harsh criticism extremely challenging but eye-opening. "You have no choice but to look yourself in the mirror and realize that your 4 square walls are squarely on your shoulders,” he said. "It was a crazy experience, but a good experience."
With Jon’s help and Steve’s determination to succeed, Turtle Bay on Bourbon was rebranded and relaunched as Spirits on Bourbon, which continues to thrive today with a unique identity, high profits, and a loyal customer and fan base. Steve admitted that he didn’t always think of himself as an entrepreneur. “It didn’t come naturally to me at the beginning,” he said. “I had to work hard at building an entrepreneurial mindset.”

The Rowan Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is proud to announce Steve Smith as the inaugural recipient of the Rowan Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Resiliency Award. This honor recognizes entrepreneurs who have demonstrated perseverance, leadership and growth and have shown the ability to adapt or pivot when faced with obstacles. Congratulations, Steve!
RCIE has various events and entrepreneurial engagement opportunities this semester! Be sure to check out StartupTree for the full line up of RCIE events, competitions, applications, and scholarships at Rowan. Click an event image below to RSVP on StartupTree.
Let's Chat!
Want to discuss upcoming competitions, seed funding and scholarship opportunities, get pitch feedback, mentorship possibilities, or how the RCIE can help advance your business idea, startup, or entrepreneurial goals? Click here to schedule a meeting.
Rowan Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program
The Rowan Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program (REAP) seeks to help those in Camden and Gloucester counties facing economic or other hardships to start and grow businesses of their own.

Click HERE to learn more and to apply. Applications are being accepted through August 1st.
Startup Opportunity Fund
The Startup Opportunity Fund seeks to help first generation and/or underrepresented aspiring entrepreneurs get ther business started. The fund competitively awards non-equity startup seed funding ranging from $500-$2,500 to support the launch and growth of new ventures.

Click HERE to learn more and to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in April 2022.
Apply to the 2022 Think Like an Entrepreneur Summer Academy
Applications for the 6th Annual Think Like an Entrepreneur Summer Academy are now being accepted. The Academy is an eight-day, non-residential, educational experience for rising high school juniors and seniors. It will be held in person on Rowan University’s campus in Glassboro, NJ, and runs Monday through Thursday, June 20-23 and June 27-30, 2022, from 9AM-2:30PM.

Click HERE for more details and to apply. Applications are due by 11:59pm on May 29th, but apply by May 22nd for priority consideration.
Senior Capstone Class Visits Kramer Beverage
Students from the Senior Entrepreneurship Capstone class visited Kramer Beverage and had the opportunity to interview owner, Bob Kramer, who has kept the business in his family for four generations.
New Rowan Fund Supports First-Gen, Underrepresented Aspiring Entrepreneurs
The School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship launched the Startup Opportunity Fund, an initiative that will give grants of up to $2,500 for entrepreneurs from underserved communities. Find out more and apply here.
Alison Lusardi Hosts Coffee with an Entrepreneur
Alison Lusardi, Rowan alum and owner of Chloe's Cream Puffs in Pitman, NJ, spoke with students about her experience as an entrepreneur and small business owner. "It's a journey that's tough but well worth it in the end," she said. Thank you for joining us, Alison!
Entrepreneurship Major Christian Giannola Featured on Rowan Blog
Rowan Blog interviewed Christian Giannola (Entrepreneurship '22) about his company, Showtime Sneaker Boutique, and his experience owning and operating two successful store-front locations as a full-time student. Read the full story here.
NJ Business Beat Interviews Dean Lehrman
RCB Dean Sue Lehrman was interviewed on NJ Business Beat where she discussed how the new School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship gives students more opportunity and flexibility to learn about entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset. Watch here.
UIF Attends Silicon Valley Meetup in Stanford, CA
Rowan’s 2022 UIF cohort traveled to Silicon Valley where they attended classes and workshops focused on design thinking, leadership, running innovation spaces, sustainability, creating change and more. They also attended site visits to Microsoft and Google.
Chris Schaber Hosts Coffee with an Entrepreneur
Chris Schaber, President and CEO if Soligenix, hosted Coffee with an Entrepreneur this month where he described his experience navigating the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Thanks Chris!
Marvel VP Speaks on Creative Careers During a Time of Disruption
Sarah Truly Beers spoke with over 70 students about her journey to Vice President of Franchise Creative & Marketing at Marvel Studios. She discussed her various roles held over the 15+ years she has been at Marvel, shared insights on how to be successful and creative, and spoke on the importance of encouraging entrepreneurial thinking in the workplace.
Students Get Inside Look at Demountable Concepts
Students visited Demountable Concepts Inc., located in Glassboro, NJ, where they toured the facility, learned about day-to-day operations, met with the team, and learned how Demountable implements the entrepreneurial mindset throughout their development and production phases. Watch here.
NJ Business Beat Interviews Assistant Dean Maden
RCB Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Studies, Jennifer Maden, was featured on NJ Business Beat to discuss the cannabis industry and how Rowan is educating and preparing its students to succeed in the business. Watch here.
Rowan alum featured on “Live Without A Net”
The “Live Without A Net” podcast recently featured Anthony Magaraci (Entrepreneurship '06), founder and CEO of Trinity Packaging Supply. His success has granted him many awards and honors, including being one of the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America for its seventh year and one of the best places to work in America three times.
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The RCIE team is here to support you!

The RCIE team is on campus and available to all Rowan students, faculty, and staff! Feel free to schedule a meeting to discuss upcoming competitions, your ideas, receive pitch feedback, and more.

Please contact Jessica Vattima if you are interested in mentorship opportunities, such as becoming a "Startup Guru", or if you have interest in hosting a webinar, virtual workshop, site visit, or speaking event.
Rowan's entrepreneurship team wants to remind you to keep ideating, making, and doing, especially during times of uncertainty and change.
Pictured: L-R first row: Dr. Michael Dominik, Professor Katie Loesch, RCIE Grad Assistant Brandon Graham, Professor Gregory Payton; L-R second row: Professor Susan Meyer, Dr. Eric Liguori, Dr. Cheryl Bodnar, Studio 231 Supervisor Andrew Bunoza; L-R third row: Dr. Susana Santos, Dr. Lee Zane, RCIE Assistant Director Jessica Vattima, the Rowan Prof

For more information of any of Rowan's student entrepreneurship programs or to learn how you can support entrepreneurship at Rowan, please contact Jess (Wolk) Vattima at
Rowan Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Business Hall 209
201 Mullica Hill Road | Glassboro, NJ 08028