Drexel Entrepreneurs Draw Notice

Three promising entrepreneurs with ties to Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business recently made Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40-under-40” list, which honors “proven performers in their respective industries and communities.”

Two of the honorees, Jamila Payne and Nitin Khanna, run their businesses out of an incubator at the Laurence A. Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship in Technology, part of LeBow College. The third honoree, Seth Eaker, is a 2004 graduate of LeBow’s One-Year MBA program who submitted the winning entry in the Baiada Center’s 2004 Business Plan Competition and formerly ran a business in the incubator.

“Working with talented entrepreneurs like Jamila, Nitin and Seth on a regular basis gives me great pleasure,” said Baiada Center Executive Director Mark Loschiavo. “A priority for us at the Center is to increase the likelihood that the best minds from Drexel stay in Philadelphia to successfully develop and grow their companies. Seeing each of them receive this prestigious award provides affirmation that our collective efforts are making a difference in the business community.”

The Baiada Center was recently ranked among the top 10 in the nation for entrepreneurship emphasis programs by the research firm EntrePoint in its Annual Collegiate Programs Rankings. The survey, released February 28, 2006, was formerly published in Entrepreneur magazine.

“We’re very proud of Jamila, Nitin and Seth,” said LeBow College Dean George Tsetsekos. “They exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit we seek to cultivate. Business changes so fast today that it is important to be able to recognize new opportunities and think like an entrepreneur whether you are working for a start-up or a Fortune 500 company.”

Khanna graduated from Drexel with a computer science degree and co-founded OMPay, LLC, with James Kohler, another Drexel graduate. OmPay provides the prepaid cards that can be used to pay for parking at all Philadelphia meters. Parking garages and taxicabs will start accepting the cards this year, and OmPay is in talks to get them accepted for transportation by SEPTA, Khanna said.

Eaker is a founder of Black Marble Consulting, LLC, and Oceanus Life Management, LLC. Black Marble helps clients with strategic documents. Less than a year from its founding it has helped raise $4 million in venture capital for its customers. Oceanus offers personal-finance consulting.

Payne founded Milla by Mail, which caters to busy people by providing convenient ways to shop, including on the Web. Milla by Mail has been written about in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal and InStyle.

More information on the Baiada Center is available at www.lebow.drexel.edu/baiada.