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USC Marshall Cocktail Reception
Thu, May 4, 2017, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PDT
The USC Marshall School of Business along with
Lisa & Dan Kassel, BA'83, MBA/MRED'90
cordially invite you to a cocktail reception featuring:
James Bottom, BA'04/MBA'14
Director Blackstone LaunchPad
Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Marshall School of Business
Special guest: Kevin Kassel, BS'17
A Senior at USC with a double major in Business Administration and Environmental Studies
Thursday, May 4, 2017
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Hosted by: Lisa and Dan Kassel, Marshall Parents
5705 Seashore Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Kindly RSVP by: April 25, 2017
Attire: Business Casual
Questions? email: email@example.com
James Bottom is known as The “Pete Carroll” of Start-Ups, and oversees the Startup Ecoystem at USC through his role as Director of USC’s Blackstone LaunchPad at Marshall. A successful entrepreneur himself, James uses his knowledge of startups to inspire, guide and educate the next generation of Trojan entrepreneurs.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. James’ expertise is in startups, incubators, mentoring, crowd funding and crowd sourcing. James is also a founder of IncubatriX, a premier Trojan Incubator that works to develop and enhance ecosystems at USC. He is a lifelong student and an entrepreneur that builds dynamic teams, provides mentorship, clearly articulates the vision and creates organizational alignment.
Prior to returning to USC, James was an IT business strategy specialist responsible for overseeing a portfolio of consulting projects in the U.S., Australia and Canada. His skills include deep project management expertise, business intelligence proficiencies, enterprise social media strategies and customer relationship management (CRM). He has experience leading offshore software development, implementing supply chain management, facilitating requirements gathering and streamlining business flows. He has nearly a decade of international technical computer experience in hardware and software in the industries of Aerospace & Defense, Entertainment, Financial Services, Healthcare, Government and Non-Profits.
James’ undergraduate accolades include being part of: USC Interfraternal Council, the USC Rugby team, USC Deep Water Cruising – Sailing program, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon – National Fraternity, the USC Football team, and the Captain of the National Champion Rose Bowl Team in 2003.
Kevin Kassel is a Senior double majoring in Business and Environmental Studies. He is the Founder/CEO of Aqus, a social enterprise that designs and sells life saving water filters around the globe as well as a related non-profit, Club H2O. Kevin is also an active member of the USC Surf Team and USC Ski and Snowboard team. He was first introduced to the water crisis in 2011 when he traveled to Ecuador on a school trip to teach english at an elementary school. When he arrived however, he learned that one of the students, a 7 year old girl named Maria, had died from diarrhea due to lack of access to clean water. This impact was powerful. Since then, Kevin founded a non-profit, Club H2O, that distributes water filters around the globe and has provided tens of thousands of people with access to clean water in 32 countries.
Just over one year ago, Kevin was sitting in his Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship class taught by Jessica Jackley (co-founder of Kiva Microloans) and Ben Goldhirsh (founder of GOOD) when he had his lightbulb moment for Aqus. He realized that the scale of his impact would be exponentially higher if he created a filter that people in developing countries could actually afford instead of having to rely on the donations of others. Aqus sells affordable water filters to people in developing countries who currently rely on boiling water or buying bottled water, as well as businesses, governments, and NGOs. For poor customers, Aqus filters provide the community with enough safe water to generate a supplemental income by providing a lifesaving service to their community. It’s an example of what social entrepreneurship can achieve. Over the next months, Kevin prototyped a water filter, selected a factory after speaking to over 100 candidates, and performed testing with an EPA accredited lab. Aqus is currently selling filters and is in the process of securing its first large orders from governments in Central America and Africa.
Over the past year, Kevin has gained recognition, winning the Schwarzenegger Institute's Spotlight Award at USC, the Daniel Floersheimer Global Impact prize at the USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase, and runner up at the H2O Challenge Accelerator in Panama, featuring the 10 most promising water related startups from around the globe. As a senior, Kevin is looking forward to working on scaling Aqus and attending USC’s social entrepreneurship Master’s program after graduation.