OwlSpark | Rice University Startup Accelerator | OwlSpark Leadership Team
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Author: OwlSpark Leadership Team

In the 1980s, the most popular method of marketing and advertising was door-to-door sales, lugging around product samples, brochures and other marketing materials. During a time when eCommerce was just beginning to take off, Jay Steinfeld tossed aside the brochures and product samples, and digitized his marketing strategy. In 1996, he launched NoBrainerBlinds.com (now Blinds.com), an online store for window...

We beat the Monday blues with a little help from Kaz Karwowski (RCEL). He helped us kick off Week 8 with another Leadership Lunch, teaching us how to motivate one another. Founders discussed their experiences with motivation and lessons learned from past failures. Pumped, we rounded out the afternoon with Pitch Practice #2. Founders received feedback from Keith Kreuer (RedHouse...

OcuCheck is working to halt preventable vision loss. Working with corporate wellness programs, OcuCheck performs on-site eye screenings to check for early signs of sight-threatening eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy....

This summer, Kaz Karwowski has taught multiple sessions on leadership, with a focus on team-building, decision-making, negotiation, management, communication, motivation and ethics. While some leaders are born, others like Kaz are bred. Kaz’s own leadership style has evolved from interactions with those leaders he worked with during his 21 years of service in the United States Army....

Most founders have always known they have the “entrepreneurial DNA.” For others, there is a defining moment, one where the possibility of entrepreneurship is dropped into their lap. Emma Fauss, however, has both. Though her parents each started their own businesses, they never talked about the idea of entrepreneurship....

ShowCoach connects young baseball players with coaches nationwide. By sending videos to coaches they know, or coaches they’ve chosen based on reviews and background information, young players can connect with these private instructors and receive feedback on their game....

Negotiations, negotiations, negotiations. During Monday’s Leadership Lunch, Kaz Karwowski (RCEL), divided founders into groups, with each group acting as a party in a negotiation. All parties were charged with settling a deal between an energy company and county government, setting into action their negotiation skills and price optimization strategies....

When you hear the name Arovia, you likely aren’t thinking of the Spontaneous Pop Up Display (SPUD). Founders Alex Wesley, Rocky Wu and George Zhu are creating SPUD, the only 20+ inch electronic display that collapses roughly to the size of a handful of tater tots. Backed with an eight-hour battery life, SPUD is a high-resolution 1080p display that connects...

In the Houston startup community, Deborah Mansfield is known for her ability to connect and enable people. In fact, you can find her on Twitter under the handle @dotconnector. “If you feed your network, the people are very generous,” she says. In her roles of Director of Life Sciences Acceleration at Houston Technology Center (HTC) and Associate Director of the Gulf...

Week six went by in a flash of lightning (literally, what is up with this weather?). On Monday, founders scaled Mount Everest, though some needed rescuing from the mountain. Kaz Karwowski, Executive Director at Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) led teams in a team decision-making simulation exercise. Founders balanced individual goals with those of the group in attempt to...

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