University to Hold a Variety of Entrepreneur Events for Students

Dan DiZio and an employee at one of his franchises Photo Credit / Vimeo Dan DiZio and an employee at one of his franchises Photo Credit / Vimeo
Dan DiZio and an employee at one of his franchises Photo Credit / Vimeo
Dan DiZio and an employee at one of his franchises
Photo Credit / Vimeo

By Samantha Werkheiser
Assistant Editor-in-Chief

On April 4 at 7 p.m. in Beers Lecture Hall, ESU will welcome Dan DiZio, founder of Philly Pretzel Factory. He will be the first in the President’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series.

DiZio graduated from ESU in 1995 with a degree in finance. After years of working in his degree field, he found himself bored and made the decision to leave to start his a new business.

While in college, DiZio and Len Lehman, DiZio’s former roommate, talked of opening a bar one day but nothing ever came of this.

DiZio and Lehman started the Philly Pretzel Factory, opening the first shop in Northeast Philadelphia. Both are Philadelphia natives, so the territory was not new to them.

The business quickly expanded to 14 states with over 150 locations, many of which are franchisees.

The business is so successful that DiZio appeared on the popular reality show “Undercover Boss” in 2012.

Though it seems that DiZio and Lehman lucked out, DiZio has been involved in the pretzel business from a young age.

When he was 11, he was selling pretzels on busy street corners in Philadelphia. He even had several other kids working across the city for him.

ESU will be hosting a variety of entrepreneurs over the coming months to discuss the challenges they faced in opening and operating their own businesses.

They will also talk about their life experiences and how their education opportunities helped further their career.

Additional entrepreneurial speakers will be announced shortly, for more information contact Stacey Grant at or 570-422-7920.

Another entrepreneurial event being held is the Executive Leadership Speaker Series on April 10 at 11 a.m. in ESU’s innovation center.

This event will be organized by the Business and Management department, the Division of Research and Economical Development and the Student Entrepreneurship Club.

There will be a panel discussion on “Synergies and Entrepreneurship” where students, alumni, faculty and community members will share their struggles and success stories.

Members of the panel include representatives from Sunoco, Pocono Raceway, RonPak and the Philly Pretzel Factory.

There will also be the opportunity to network and grow possible partnerships as well.

The event is open to the public but registration is preferred. To register visit

In addition to these events, ESU will also be holding a entrepreneurship conference on Friday, March 24 in the Fine Arts Lobby from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..

This event will celebrate ESU entrepreneurs and their accomplishments.

The event will also have several presentations and interactive activities to help students and community members further their entrepreneurship skills.

For more information on this event, contact Margaret Ball at

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