Howard Bell, Founder of Otha Ventures LLC, has dedicated his entire professional career to ensuring that future leaders are prepared academically and ethically for the tasks of tomorrow. At Otha Ventures, Howard helps students increase their capacity to succeed.
Before founding Otha Ventures, Howard served as the first Executive Director and President of TechTown, the Wayne State University Research and Technology Park in Detroit. In addition to his duties at TechTown, Howard was an adjunct instructor for the MBA program at the Wayne State University Business School, where he developed a curriculum that applied the principles of entrepreneurship to the $800M research portfolio of the university. The course quickly became the most popular in the business school as students applied their theoretical work to real, unpredictable problems, culminating in a presentation to a panel of multi-million dollar investors.
Howard also served as Director of Finance at Becker Group, a multinational manufacturer; a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers; and an intellectual property attorney at Kenyon & Kenyon.
Howard’s life story is an inspiration to many youth. He connects with students by telling them his own life story. Howard was the youngest of six children in a family on public assistance headed by a single mother who had not finished high school. His public school system was ranked next to last academically in New Jersey. Despite many challenges, Howard found ways to make the right choices, achieve his academic pursuits, and excel at sports.
Presentation Topics for Students in Grade 6 - 12 Include:
- School – Your Agenda for Success
What is the real purpose of being in school? What is your goal and how do you plan to achieve it? In this presentation, students are asked to track their goals to their actions and asked to honestly assess if their actions are the right ones to navigate their school years successfully. Students leave the presentation with an action plan that will ensure their successful transition to the next level of life.
Character is defined by many ideals and principles but will ultimately be judged by each student’s decisions and actions. This presentation discusses the pressures on students through the lens of the urban environment and its challenges. A lively discussion always breaks out as students confront the meaning of a "smart" choice.
- Entrepreneurship – Create Your Own Business
The major employer in the U.S. is the small business owner. But the basic principles of running a business are often left for the entrepreneur to experience on the job. This presentation jumps right into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, challenging students to understand how each business in their own neighborhood works (dry cleaners, corner stores, supermarkets). Using core principles taught at business schools, students are asked to work together to understand and analyze a neighborhood business during this presentation. Each student leaves equipped with a new set of terms used by entrepreneurs around the globe.
- The Forty Year Contract
The proliferation of communication devices has created a constant view of millionaire lifestyles in sports and entertainment. These lifestyles are often falsely portrayed and nearly always impossible to achieve. This presentation challenges students to understand the real truths about careers in these industries. More importantly, it highlights the enormous gains achieved by many 40-year contractors (engineering, medicine, IT, etc.) who have outpaced most professionals in the glamour industries. Students will understand the requirements to gain access to these career choices and take away some easy to use next steps in life achievement.
- The Student Athlete Agenda
High school principals often say that unfocused student athletes have a profoundly negative effect on the academic environment of the entire school. This negative phenomenon occurs because the student athlete is often extroverted, energetic, extremely visible at major school events (games and rallies), and popular. This presentation provides guidance and focus to student athletes by helping them understand the academic requirements and realities awaiting them at collegiate sports programs around the country.
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