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banner2008 Introduction to Green EntrepreneurshipSUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

If Einstein had it right – and we think he did, then this summer is your chance to take a college course and learn how to improve your world.

2008 groupIntroduction to Green Entrepreneurship is a three-credit course taught by Gary Lim, an experienced entrepreneur and the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship Professor at ESF, along with an outstanding team of instructors and speakers.

Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship reflects ESF's long standing commitment to sustainability and the commitment we share with business, education, public and nonprofit organizations to engage you in learning experiences that help you improve your world. This course also reflects Central New York's leadership in renewable energy research and education.

It has been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it! YOU can begin this Summer.

This program is made possible through the ESF in the High School program, with support from a NYS Department of Labor grant under the leadership of CNY Works, with a gift from Jesse and Betsy Fink, and in collaboration with Onondaga Community College.

ERE 296 - Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship
Summer 2008

Course Description:

This 3-credit course introduced the challenges and goals of creating a start-up venture in environmental science or technology.  Participants gained the ability to recognize trends in the marketplace and where commercial opportunities can be created.  Additional topic areas included the life cycle of a company, analysis of potential of sustainable ventures, critical success factors, and key start-up issues unique to science and technology firms.

Students met and presented "live" in front of a panel of community leaders. The program also included multimedia clips, videos, discussions, research, and creative team work.


Professor Gary Lim, along with other distinguished guest speakers


Monday, July 28 - Friday, August 1, 2008

Class Schedule:

8:00 am - 4:30 pm each day
Special Guest Speakers - Wednesday, 4:30 - 7:00 pm (dinner provided)

Course Agenda:





  • Introductions
  • Overview of Entrepreneurship
  • Overview: 10 Phases of a Start-Up
  • Phase 1: Idea Generation
  • Phase 2: Validation and Due Diligence
  • Instructional Tour of ESF’s Renewable Energy Research and Demonstration Projects, Mr. Mike Kelleher, Director of Renewable Energy Systems, SUNY-ESF
  • Potential Areas for Green Entrepreneurship


  • Phase 3: Strategy and Planning
  • Biomass Research and Development, Dr. Tim Volk, Research Associate, SUNY-ESF
  • Potential Areas for Green Entrepreneurship, continued
  • Phase 4: Company Formation
  • Silicon Valley-style “networking”
  • Team formation; project selection
  • Lab: Early research on market demand, Mr. Karl Klein, Associate Professor, Onondaga Community College


  • Phase 3: Strategy and Planning, continued
  • Elevator Pitches and Communications
  • Phase 5: Seed Capital
  • Energy Return on Investment (EROI), Dr. Rick Beal, Associate Director of Educational Outreach, SUNY-ESF
  • Phase 6: Proof of Concept
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Issues
  • Lab: Research and analysis on project
  • Special Session: Ms. Holly Rosenthal and Mr. Dan Nicholson


  • Phase 7: Venture Capital
  • Presentation skills
  • Phase 8: Product Launch
  • Lab: Complete research; draft PowerPoint presentations


  • Phase 9: Follow-on Funding
  • Phase 10: Exit Strategies
  • Lab: Finish PowerPoint presentations and rehearse
  • Project presentations
  • Feedback and discussion with panel of invited guests
  • Course evaluation

Instructor Profiles

Gary LimGary Lim

Gary Lim is Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at the State University of New York (SUNY), College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse, New York. Formerly he was the inaugural director of the entrepreneurship program at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. Gary is the founder and president of Aurarius LLC, a company he started in Silicon Valley and relocated to Upstate New York. His career prior to Aurarius has spanned many years of creating revenue growth in Silicon Valley companies. A former senior executive and product-line director at Hewlett-Packard, ROLM, Xerox, and Novell, Gary has also held positions at several start-up and early-stage companies. He earned a B.S.E. in electrical engineering and computer science cum laude from Princeton University, and a Masters degree in organizational management from University of Phoenix.

BealRick Beal

Dr. Richard Beal has been working in ESF Outreach since 2001 and is currently the Associate Director of Educational Outreach and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology. Rick Teaches The Global Environment (EFB 120) in the fall and spring Semesters and acts as the Primary Mentor for High School Teachers who also teach Global Environment through the ESF in the High School program. Rick is currently Co-PI on a three-year $1.6 million NSF grant that brings college research into Central and Western New York high schools and middle schools through the ESF Science Corps. Rick has been active in several outreach projects during his time at ESF. He participated in committees that developed both the new Urban Ecology Minor as well as the Urban Ecology course. He has worked on developing a distance version of EFB 120 (Global Environment) and has taken part in recruitment efforts that focus on urban and minority students. Rick is a board member for Project Watershed and is a member of the Onondaga Lake Partnership Outreach Committee. In addition, he holds a steering committee post for the Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair and is the Director at Large of Environmental Science for the Science Teachers Association of New York. Rick received a BS degree in biochemistry from the University of Buffalo in 1991 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the same institution in 1997. He was a Peace Corps teacher in Eritrea (East Africa) from 1997 to 1998 and has over ten 10 years of experience in coaching soccer.

Michael KelleherMichael Kelleher

Mike recently joined the College of Environmental Science and Forestry as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems.In that position he is focused on expanding the use of sustainable technologies and energy efficiency to reduce the College’s carbon footprint. Prior to joining ESF Mike served as an executive with National Grid and Niagara Mohawk. He has extensive hands-on senior management experience in market assessment, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, and transaction structuring. Mike and his team built and maintained strong relationships with commercial, industrial, and municipal customers for National Grid. In addition, he developed effective economic development and pricing programs to attract and retain customers. He has also held a variety of financial and resource planning positions with Niagara Mohawk. Mike earned an MS in Agricultural Economics, and a BS in Agricultural Engineering Technology from Cornell University.

Karl KleinKarl Klein

Professor Karl Klein teaches in the Computer Studies Department at Onondaga Community College. He has been there since 2002. Alongwith his teaching responsibilities at OCC, he has worked in the Teaching Center helping his colleagues integrate educational technology into classes, both Face2Face and Online. He serves on the OCC Sustainability Task Force and also works on the Sustainability Curriculum Subcommittee. He lives in Solon NY with his wife Beth and beagle-mix hound dog Mayday. In his spare time he monitors his 4 Kw PV solar array and goes around turning off unnecessary lights. He is also honing his gardening and food preservation skills.

Dan NicholsonDan Nicholson

Dan Nicholson is a Graduate student in the Bioprocess Engineering program, returning to ESF (where he got his B.S. in Chemistry) after a number of years working in Hawaii and Florida.  He has started and managed several small “green” businesses including a natural bath and body product manufacturing company (Island Body Naturals) and a biodiesel manufacturing company (Beach Biofuel Cooperative).  

RosenthalHolly Rosenthal

Holly Rosenthal is Director of Corporate Relations for Syracuse University, where she works to create multi-faceted partnerships with national and global corporations. in environmental and energy technology and business and sustainability practices, including technology development for the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SCoE).  Prior to joining Syracuse University, Ms Rosenthal spent nearly 30 years in design, development and construction business, specializing in indoor environmental quality and energy conservation. She served as President of Rosenthal Chadwick, Inc. and Rosenthal Companies and began her career with multi-disciplinary consulting firms including Ft. Worth based Carter & Burgess.  As a founding and charter member, she served on the board of the New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center (NYIEQ) and the SCoE. Ms. Rosenthal was honored by New York State, as a Woman of Achievement in Business and was also a Girls, Inc. Spirit of American Women, and 40 Under 40 honoree.  She has served on a variety of local and national boards, including the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and the American Subcontractors Association, and is currently Treasurer of the Onondaga County Water Authority. She has presented extensively on business and technology topics and is a regular lecturer for the Carrier National Sales Training Program.  Ms. Rosenthal holds a B.S. from SUNY ESF and is completing a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is a Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, a Licensed Landscape Architect, and a licensed Heating and Air Conditioning Contractor and has been trained in Building Performance Analysis.

Tim VolkTim Volk

Dr. Timothy Volk has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of forestry, agroforestry and short-rotation woody crops in the Northeastern United States and West Africa. He holds degrees from the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario) in Natural Resources Management, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in Forest Science and a Ph.D. from SUNY-ESF (Syracuse, NY) in Forest and Natural Resources Management. He is currently a research associate at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). In that capacity he is responsible for a series of research projects focused on the development of willow biomass cropping systems as a feedstock for bioproducts and bioenergy. He also conducts research on living snowfences and streambank stabilization, phytoremediation of brownfields and contaminated sites, regional biomass resource supplies, tools to assess the sustainability of bioenergy systems, and harvesting systems for short rotation woody crops.

Presentation Panelists

SealyLenore Sealy

Lenore is the Central Director of CNY Works and the Executive Director of the Onondaga Workforce Investment Board.


Debbie Sydow

Dr. Debbie L. Sydow, the 7th president of Onondaga Community College, has served as a community college educator and administrator for 20 years.  Throughout her career, she has worked in support of high quality educational programs and comprehensive support services for students seeking college transfer, job training, continuing education, or basic skills education. In her various administrative and faculty roles, she has actively worked with all college stakeholders to ensure curricular quality and program alignment with community need...(full bio)


Cornelius Murphy, Jr.

Dr. Neil Murphy is the president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Prior to being president of SUNY-ESF, Neil held various positions at O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc. starting out as a Laboratory Technician in June 1970, and working his way up to President in 1993 and Chairman of the Board in 1998...(full bio)