Professor Schorer is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in the start-up acquisition and development of small and mid-sized companies. He focuses on businesses with unique ideas or technologies that are in need of guidance during their initial growth phases. Cliff has been involved with companies in the high tech arena, his last position being CEO of GeoVideo Networks, a Lucent Technologies Venture. Prior to that his career included businesses in the real estate, office-supply and health care industries. During the early 1990's he spent a considerable amount of time in Russia using his entrepreneurial approach to assist in the privatization process During his extensive professional career, Schorer has lectured in numerous business and academic forums both in the United States and abroad. He has developed financial management software programs for business education through his publishing company Bized.
Question: Do you have any uplifting entrepreneur stories?
Clifford Schorer: My favorite really is a nonprofit. I had a young woman come to me I guess it's three years ago and she came in my office and sat down, taking my entrepreneurship courses, and she said, "In New York City Public Schools there are 300 schools that are elementary that do not have playgrounds for children and I'm going to fix that." And I just sat there and kind of nodded and said, "That's interesting. How are you going to do that?" And she said, "I don't know but I'm going to do it." And she spent a year studying it, going around, taking pictures, building her case that this was something that really children should have. Three years later that young lady has raised over $10 million. She's already completed 20 playgrounds in New York City, has 20 some more in the pipeline under construction, so I look at somebody like that and she has the skill to do anything she wants but I just am overwhelmed with the fact that she can go out there and do it just with that spirit, and I celebrate her every time I see her. We also have a company that we launched called The Recycle Bank which is a company that's done just phenomenally well and it came out of our program and I work very closely with that student, Ron Gonen, and it's built in to something very special. They are rewarding people for recycling and it's a rewards program and having a dramatic effect in the cities that they're entering and I see a lot of growth for that. So you asked me if I get — where the great satisfaction comes. We just have endless numbers of these wonderful young people and I get up every day just celebrating what they do.
Recorded on: 5/13/08