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Sunday, June 16th 2019

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center News

Meet Our New Chairwoman- Tamara Romeo

Tamara_Romeo San Diego State University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center has named Tamara Romeo as the new chairwoman of the Advisory Board. We are delighted to have such an inspiring entrepreneur on our board. Tamara is a proud alumna of SDSU’s School of Communication and is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. Her knowledge and entrepreneurial expertise have led to the success of her thriving business. Tamara is the Founder and President of San Diego Office Design, an award winning Commercial Interior Design firm specializing in creating highly branded interiors that define and support strong company culture. Before San Diego Office Design, Tamara worked at The Reader and was responsible for their major market advertising. She was inspired to start her own business after realizing that many owners were not capturing the essence of their company’s message in their surroundings. In 2010, she founded her company with one goal in mind: to design office environments that visually reflect the cohesiveness of that company’s brand.

Tamara’s story is particularly unique because although she did not have experience in interior design, she was able to blend her background in brand marketing and her drive to succeed, in order to found a company that creates integrated brand-centric office environments. Like any business owner, Tamara faced and overcame challenges throughout her journey. She describes herself as being naïve as her company was growing rapidly in the beginning. She trained herself and her talented team of designers to create processes and procedures to make her vision come alive. Her expertise has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine, San Diego Magazine, and The San Diego Business Journal. She has won business awards including “Business Woman of the Year” and “Best Interior Designers of 2016.”

Tamara has been an active member of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center’s advisory board and is well-known in the San Diego business community. Her strong connections on and off campus will bring many great opportunities to the Center. She enjoys speaking about her story in MBA classes, getting involved in school, and giving back to her local community. As a true believer in continuing education, Tamara advises student entrepreneurs to be surrounded by motivating people and to ignore the nay-sayers. While female entrepreneurship is rapidly growing, she encourages women to support each other in business. “As a female entrepreneur, it is my mission is to help new women entrepreneurs succeed,” Tamara says, “being on the Lavin board is such an amazing opportunity for that.” She believes the purpose of having a business is not only to make a profit, but to create opportunities for young entrepreneurs who want to learn the path at gaining financial success in life. Tamara will bring experience, wisdom, and different perspectives to the table so others can see the value that the Center can bring.

Welcome, Tamara!

Jeffrey Stamp, Founder of Bold Thinking At SDSU Entrepreneurship Conference

Jeff Stamp The 2017 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference took place at San Diego State University over March 9th-11th. During this time conference attendees enjoyed the pre-conference design thinking session from the Idea Lab, hosted by Kevin Popovic, and a 3D Printing workshop, hosted by the Zahn Innovation Platform LaunchPad. Then the next two days after consisted of the conference itself. During this we received two sessions from Jeffrey Stamp who is the founder of Bold Thinking. During his first session, Stamp hosted our Prof. Pitch Competition where attendees brained stormed on research paper ideas, then pitched them to our panel of entrepreneurship journal editor “judges” for the best research idea.

Stamp’s second session was on Pedagogy Day. Jeff gave a “WeNote” an alternative to a KeyNote presentation; in other words he decided to create a collaborative closing session that made the attendees do the thinking. The subject of the matter was to make educators think like scientists; instead of trying to solve a problem the challenge was to question “why”. So many scientist ask the question “why” instead of “what”. Stamp encouraged everyone to forget everything we know to be true, and try thinking with a clean slate. This exercise is to help us question everything we grew up learning and never be satisfied with anything but the truth. We thank Jeff for his insights and his energy in contributing to make the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference a success.

Forbes Ranks SDSU Top 25 Most Entrepreneurial University!

Forbes Ranks SDSU Top 25 Most Entrepreneurial University!

UGGFounderPIC2 Forbes has ranked SDSU a top 25 most entrepreneurial university for two consecutive years now. The entrepreneurship initiatives across the campus continue to push SDSU students to take action on their ideas and start their own companies. The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and the Zahn Innovation Center are here on campus to support and provide unique resources for its students. If you would like to read the full article you can access it at the following link:

Click here to learn more

Shark Tank Casting Call Comes to SDSU!

Shark Tank Casting Call Comes to SDSU!

Have a great business, product or idea? Need an investment to propel it forward? Come apply for your chance to pitch in front of the sharks. The Shark Tank casting directors will be on campus to hear your ideas! Simply come ready to pitch!

June 6, 1-4pm, Gateway Center Room 1509 on the SDSU Campus

All SDSU Students, Alumni, and Faculty Welcome!

Shark Tank, the critically acclaimed, business-themed show is continuing the search for the best Entrepreneurs with the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The Emmy-nominated show features The Sharks - tough, self-made, millionaire/billionaires who give budding entrepreneurs a chance to make their dreams come true and become successful and possibly wealthy - business people. If you have questions about the event please contact Alissa Thompson at

UGG Founder Brian Smith Speaks to SDSU Students about UGG's and Entrepreneurship

UGG Founder, Brian Smith Shares the Story Behind the Boot

UGGFounderPIC2 The SDSU Entrepreneur Society was fortunate enough to have the founder of UGG Australia, Brian Smith, tell his story about how he built UGG into a worldwide brand. Brian spoke to a packed house of over 125 students in the new Aztec Student Union on Wednesday night, February 5th. Brian talked about bringing the sheep skin boot to the United States from Australia and how the company struggled to popularize the boot in its early years. Through years of hard work and persistence, Brian cemented his idea into American culture.

After growing the company with successful branding and marketing, Brian realized he needed more and more capital to fulfill the extraordinary amount of orders UGG was receiving daily. He finally took a long standing offer to sell the company to Decker’s Outdoor Corporation in 1995. Students really resonated with the reality that UGGs were not an immediate success and that it sometimes takes years to attain positive revenues. In 2013, UGG Australia generated sales of $1 billion and is poised to do the same this year.

Alex DeNoble will take Lavin Center ideas to the national stage

AlexLavin For more than thirty years, San Diego State University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center (formerly known as the Entrepreneurial Management Center) has served as an on-campus resource, taking student ideas and turning them into reality.

Alex DeNoble — who has been an integral part of the center since its inception — will take his experience and entrepreneurial spirit to the national level, as he was recently chosen as the president elect for the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

“The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center has received national attention, so people know who we are,” said DeNoble, a management professor and executive director of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. “I'm looking forward to working with our USASBE team to develop and disseminate best practices around entrepreneurship education.”

The position is a three-year commitment, beginning in January 2014. DeNoble will serve as the president elect until January 2015, when he will become the president of the organization for one year. In the final year, DeNoble will serve as immediate past president, where he will assist in the transitioning of the next president. He currently serves on the USASBE board as a director-at-large.

Esteemed organization

The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship is the largest independent, professional, academic organization in the world dedicated to advancing the discipline of entrepreneurship.

With more than 1,000 members from universities and colleges, for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations and the public sector, USASBE members are a diverse mix of professionals that share a common commitment to fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviors.

The organization's mission is to provide the network to advance knowledge and foster business development through entrepreneurship education and research.

National stage

DeNoble is looking forward to using his position to encourage other universities to adopt cutting-edge entrepreneurial-based curriculum to develop our nation's next wave of student entrepreneurs.

“Our programs are designed to create impactful and meaningful experiences to help our students develop competencies to behave entrepreneurially,” DeNoble said.

As the president of the association, DeNoble is eager to use the success of SDSU's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and entrepreneurship education as a national model for curriculum innovation.

"I'm always engaging with passionate entrepreneurship educators at other universities, and we're all in a friendly competition to push each other to expand the best practices of entrepreneurship," DeNoble said. "USASBE will continue to improve what we do in the area of entrepreneurship education and push the boundaries of entrepreneurship research."

About the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at SDSU serves students, entrepreneurs and business leaders through its entrepreneurial curriculum, workshops, internships, resources and events.

"I can't wait to come into work every morning — we are working on so many innovative things to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs," DeNoble said. "All the programs, guest speakers and networking opportunities are driven by the mission to create the highest level of entrepreneurial capabilities in students, DeNoble said.

Incoming 2013-2015 Lavin Entrepreneurs Meet with Founders

LavinThommcelroy Every year, we have taken each incoming Lavin Entrepreneur cohort and connected them, in a fun informal way, to founders and senior executives at the beach. There is something about having an event in that environment that opens everyone up and makes everyone comfortable. This year was no exception as the incoming Lavin cohort met at Tourmaline in Pacific Beach and were welcomed by the following founders and senior executives: Thom McElroy, Co-founder Volcom, Tim Garrett, former President of Lost Clothing, Kristian Rauhala, founder of H2oAudio and Pear Sports, Craig Stevens, founder of MarWest Real Estate and Steven Aarstol, founder of Tower Paddleboards.

The incoming Lavin's had the opportunity to take some paddleboard and surf lessons and generally network with other students and the executives. After a "session" in the water, it was time to sit on the beach and hear each founder talk about their experiences at SDSU in their college days, discuss how they built their career, lessons learned, good and bad, and advice they had for these students. Then for about another hour, over tacos in the sand, they took questions from the students. In all, a great day.

Larry & Madeline Petersen's Continued Support

Lawrence, '71, and Madeline Petersen's goal to support the College of Business Administration's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center became a reality this year to Andrew Haines. The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center launched a new scholarship for any SDSU student in the Lavin Entrepreneur program, a management major with a specialization in management or an Entrepreneurship minor.

Andrew Haines is in the College of Engineering at SDSU, majoring in Electrical Engineering. Haines is a Lavin Entrepreneur, a member of the Entrepreneurial Society, involved in IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and AGC (Associated General Contractors) student chapters at SDSU. His current plans are to continue working construction for an income and using what he learns from his Electrical Engineering courses to assist him in his life as an entrepreneur. His future plans are to run his own business, maybe in robotics.

The Larry and Madeline Petersen Endowed Scholarship in Entrepreneurship provides support to upper division full-time students, encouraging them to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and learn how to transform their ideas and inventions into profitable businesses. "It is the right thing to do and the right time to do it," Mr. Petersen said. "The students should be able to control their own destiny in their professional lives. That is why it is so important for them to start gaining entrepreneurial skills while they are in college."

Epsilon Micro Finishes in Top Eight

Epsilon Microdevices, San Diego State University’s team placed in the top eight at Harvard in the annual Business Model Competition (BMC). More than 1,100 teams competed in the 2013 BMC. The semi-finals and finals of the competition were hosted at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, the hub of entrepreneurial activities at the University.

The judging criteria for the BMC are centered on the emerging Business Model Canvas and the current cutting-edge tools to lean start-ups. Cultivating ideas around lean startup and business model development, the business model competition focuses more on a new venture’s ability to pivot in response to customer input and interaction.

Epsilon Microdevices earned an honorable mention in the top eight with their business model of simple but dependable biotech tools. Within the field of microfluidics, Epsilon Microdevices has developed affordable and original technologies that combine a multifaceted approach in utilizing new equipment and techniques. Their immediate goal is to assist researchers with improved technology that is more efficient in terms of time and cost.

SDSU Students Make An Impact at the Next Generation Summit

The Next Generation Summit, held at the University of California Santa Barbara on May 4 – 5, 2013, welcomed thirteen San Diego State University business students which consisted of the executive board from the SDSU Entrepreneur Society and five Lavin Entrepreneurs from the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. The Lavin Center at SDSU strongly believes in the value of the exchange of ideas and the formation of relationships among our next generation leaders and provided some of the funding for our students to be able to attend this event. The purpose of the summit was to foster networking, perspective sharing and learning within the young and growing business community.

Brian Kidwell and Alex Martinez, president and vice president of the SDSU Entrepreneur Society, respectively, spoke to other students regarding membership growth strategies of their campus entrepreneurial clubs. The SDSU Entrepreneur Society started in 2008 and has grown to 115 members since its founding through extensive marketing and student effort.

The Entrepreneur Society is in talks with the organizers of the Next Generation Summit and will consider holding the event at SDSU in the future.

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Dedication

On February 15, 2013, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center celebrated its official renaming with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by Dr. Leonard Lavin. Dr. Lavin was joined by SDSU President Elliot Hirshman, College of Business Administration Dean Michael Cunningham, and the first entrepreneurship professor at SDSU, Daryl Mitton. The Ceremony was attended by more than 75 people including some influential San Diego Entrepreneurs such as Cary Mack, Jim Sinegal, Jim Morris, Brian Devine, and Irwin Zahn.

The naming of Lavin Entrepreneurship Center signifies a new era in entrepreneurship at SDSU. Dr. Lavin’s gracious donation will enable generations of students to learn techniques, skills, and competencies necessary to develop into successful entrepreneurs. Future programs funded by this gift include: a micro venture fund, campus accelerator support, Lavin Accelerator, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and Faculty Development Grants and Infrastructure Support. Dr. Lavin’s gift expands the current experiential programs and provides students with necessary support for the future. It ushers in a new wave of SDSU Entrepreneurs!

SDSU Student Wins Best Paper at USASBE 2013

Erin Chmelik, a recent MBA graduate from SDSU, was awarded best student paper from the United States Association for Small Business Entrepreneurship (USASBE) on January 12, 2013. Erin co-authored the paper, titled Measures of Performance in the Context of International Social Ventures, with SDSU professor Martina Musteen. Erin stated that she was drawn to social entrepreneurship because it “combines a social mission with innovative business models … there is a way to utilize my business background to address social needs around the world.” Professor Musteen reflected that the paper “offered some excellent insight on how different types of social ventures assess their effectiveness in meeting their goals.” After traveling and working in India and East Africa since graduation, Erin is currently residing in Denver, Colorado, and hopes to continue to put her entrepreneurship skills to work in Africa.

Start-up @ State, Four Founders: Insights. Trends. Future.

Please RSVP at our Facebook page here>>

Start-up @ State features four current founders of local San Diego companies and will give students and local entrepreneur’s insights into what industry trends these founders see coming. This event is on October 30th from 4:00-6:00 PM at the Fowler Athletic Center auditorium and is being hosted by Start-up Circle, SDSU Entrepreneur Society and Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at SDSU.

The panel features entrepreneurs who have created companies in the mobile technology, organic foods, web analytics, and financial services industries.

Four Founders, Four Emerging Industries

Mitch Thrower, CEO and Founder of BUMP- Mobile Technology

Mitch Thrower is an entrepreneur and professional tri-athlete who has founded successful companies across industries from mobile technology and action sports, including The Active Network, Inc.

Currently, Mitch is the founder and CEO of, a safety, marketing, membership and communications platform that allows users to connect online and offline via unique identifiers, including license plates, mobile phones and online profiles.

Caue Suplicy, Founder of Barnana- Organic Food

Caue Suplicy is an elite tri-athlete from Brazil that came to Southern California to commence his professional racing career and to pursue his entrepreneurial vision in the organic food industry.

Currently, Caue is the founder of his first successful company Barnana, a sustainable organic whole foods company that produces chewy banana bites.

Blaise Barrelet, Founder of Anametrix- Web Analytics

Blaise Barrelet is a serial entrepreneur from France with a 25-year track record of building successful technology companies, including WebSideStory, the Web analytics industry pioneer.

Currently, Blaise is the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Anametrix, a web company that aims to be the ‘wheelhouse of all data’.

Mike Alfred, Co-Founder of BrightScope- Financial Services from the Cloud

Mike Alfred is a 401k and financial expert that has excelled at starting financial and investment based companies.

Currently, Mike is the Co-Founder and CEO of BrightScope, a cloud based financial company that uses web/data analytics to drive individuals to make better investment decisions.

Lavin Center teaches Entrepreneurship Course in Barcelona

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Director Bernhard Schroeder is teaching a Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship course in Barcelona, Spain this winter break for two weeks. Spots are filling up quickly for the trip, which includes 3 units of course credit, company visits, meals, living accommodations, and other benefits. It is an incredible opportunity to see firsthand the historical culture of Spain's heritage while earning some much needed units in the process, a true win/win. The deadline to apply is October 15, 2012. Click here for more information on the program or to enroll online!
Click here for more information

Helping Create Companies @ SDSU

Beyond the academics and the experiential programs, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is helping entrepreneurs build real companies.

Here at the Lavin Center we are all about helping SDSU students build companies. We are proud of and celebrate the efforts centered on assisting these entrepreneurs in their journey to build successful businesses. From critiquing business plans, to pairing young companies up with the right service providers, to offering strategic guidance, either mentoring or finding mentors, the Center is proud of the companies that have been graduated out of our programs or center.

A few examples of these companies are H20 Audio, Lumedyne, Confirm BioSciences, and Shake Smart. H20 Audio has become one of the world's leading watersport music companies, providing waterproof cases, headphones, headsets, and other waterproof accessories. Lumedyne Technologies specializes in patented high performance MEMS based displacement sensors and ultra sensitive vibration energy harvesters used in navigation and consumer electronics. Confirm Biosciences is a leading provider of point-of-care medical diagnostic products as well as lab based drug testing services. Shake Smart has created the next generation of blended drinks, specializing in protein shakes, meal replacements, and healthy food options.

These are just a few examples of successful companies that started with a single passion and idea. We now look forward to fueling the next generation of entrepreneurs here at SDSU. If you haven’t already, come check us out, we are here to help!

SDSU Alumni Win Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Lavin Center News San Diego State University alumnus Frederick Pierce was one of six 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for the San Diego Region. Mr. Pierce is the President and CEO of Pierce Education Properties, L.P., the top owner of student housing in the United States. Pierce Education Properties, L.P. specializes in housing and real-estate for students in educational institutions and communities, with a mission to 'help college students thrive in an environment away from home.' Its market success is attributed to staying on the cutting edge of marketing, communications, and life-style operations that its technologically-savvy students demand. Pierce Education Properties aims to grow to become the largest private student-housing company in the country.

More on SDSU Alumni

Leonard Lavin to Receive Honorary Doctorate

San Diego State University will award honorary doctorate degrees to two distinguished entrepreneurs, it was announced today. Leonard Lavin and L. Robert Payne will receive the awards during commencement ceremonies May 18-20 at Viejas Arena.
More on Leonard Lavin

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Unites Freshmen Entrepreneurs

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center’s Journey into Entrepreneurship Program was recently recognized for uniting freshman entrepreneurs through a year-long Residential Learning Community and a supporting course in entrepreneurship. More on Lavin Entrepreneurship Center

SDSU's Entrepreneur Society Meets Mayor of San Diego!

mayor of san diego On April 18th, the SDSU Entrepreneur Society met with the Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders. The topic of the discussion was about building a successful career by creating value in the community. More on SDSU's Entrepreneur Society

Adam Zuffinetti Named Outstanding Faculty Member

Teaching award Family Business Management lecturer Adam Zuffinetti was named the Outstanding Faculty Member for 2012 by the SDSU chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi. Zuffinetti was presented with the honor during the organization's Second Annual Faculty Appreciation event, held on April 4, 2012.

More on Adam Zuffinetti

Leading BioTech Venture Capitalist at SDSU

The graduate course on Managing the Growing Entrepreneurial Firm offers students the unique opportunity to learn about the growth challenges of young companies. More on Leading BioTech Venture Capitalist at SDSU

Jerry Halamuda, Founder of ColorSpot Nursery

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012, CEO and Founder Jerry Halamuda presented ten ways not to kill your business, and how those key tactics can turn a small start-up into a multimillion-dollar business. More on Jerry Halamuda

Lavin Center Announced 22 Student Internships in Spring 2012

This Spring 2012, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center announced 24 student internships across its Qualcomm Social Entrepreneur Internship Program, EMC Internship Program, and the Lavin Center WebCompass Program. More on Lavin Center

Monumental Entrepreneur Meets SDSU Students

Monumental tournament Thursday, February 23, 2012 Leonard Lavin, founder of Alberto Culver Company and benefactor of SDSU's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center's Lavin Programs, joined 20 student leaders from SDSU for lunch. During the luncheon Leonard read excerpts from his book "Winners Make It Happen", shared stories of his successes and his challenges. He also imparted words of wisdom and encouragement to the students.

Qualcomm Partners with Lavin Center, Providing 2012 Social Entrepreneurial Internships

On February 16th, SDSU students, faculty advisors, Qualcomm mentors, and participating non-profit agencies kicked off the spring 2012 Qualcomm Lavin Center Social Entrepreneur Internship Program. The program places MS/MBA students with non-profit agencies to serve as consultants for strategic and/or entrepreneurial focused initiatives.

This Spring 2012, the Lavin Center placed five SDSU MBA intern-consultants for the following non-profit organizations: Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Goodwill Industries of San Diego, Local Initiative Support Corporation, Mental Health Systems, and Ocean Discovery Institute. The intern projects serve as experiential learning for the student interns and as valuable assets for the non-profit companies.

Lavin Center Business Forum Holds Private Equity Event

Approximately 125 local business people, SDSU business students and faculty gathered at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine on February 1, 2012 to listen to a panel of representatives from the private equity and venture capital community to discuss funding strategies and what they look for as potential investments. This event was put on by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University.

Panelists Joel Gragg (Huntington Capital), Craig Dupper (Solis Capital Partners), Lou Caballero (Bison Capital) and Ed Fyfe (Fyfe Group) provided insight to the investment process and mutual investor and investee needs. Mr. Fyfe recounted his experiences as a recipient of venture private equity capital, while the other three panelists described the inner workings of various funding scenarios. Many of those in attendance were entrepreneurs who were seeking information about, or actively pursuing investment funding. The event culminated in a lively question and answer session along with networking among the active participants.

SDG&E Partners with Lavin Entrepreneurship Center to Offer Strategic Growth Planning for Entrepreneurs

Twenty small company owners from Diverse Business Enterprises in Southern California received guidance and consultation from San Diego State University faculty, staff, and MBA consultants during October – November, 2011 Strategic Growth Planning Program. The Program was supported by SDG&E’s partnership with SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and offered participants 40 hours of lectures, case discussions, and breakout sessions.

The participating entrepreneurs were exposed to resources to aid in business growth. Through the help of MBA consultants and program staff, each entrepreneur developed a business improvement project to help guide their strategic growth initiatives. Participants gained help with identifying and pursing growth opportunities and learned how to align their businesses to pursue the growth opportunities. The program gave participants strategies for evaluating business improvements and mitigating risks. Participants were prepared to apply new growth initiatives through learning new tactics that gain financial requirements needed to make company growth happen.

Costco's CEO Jim Sinegal Featured at Special SDSU Event

On May 2nd, 2011 Costco's CEO Jim Sinegal was featured in the 13th annual L. Robert Payne Lecture Series. The Series began in 1996 with a gift from San Diego State University Alum Bob Payne, who is a successful entrepreneur and long-time supporter of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Centerr. The Lavin Center annually brings an outstanding entrepreneur to SDSU to speak and interact with students, faculty, and alumni during the Lecture Series. This past year, the Lavin Center brought Costco’s CEO Jim Sinegal to inspire next generation entrepreneurs with Costco’s stories on growth and allegiance to providing the best deals to customers amidst challenging economic times.

The 2011 Lecture Series was a unique opportunity for students to meet and listen to, according to a recent Forbes article, one of the “hero CEO’s” of this generation. Jim Sinegal being the co-founder of Costco helped build the start-up into $76 billion juggernaut that continues to grow. Mr. Sinegal is a person who believes in valuing employees through paying his employees fairly, encouraging de-centralized decision-making, and paying himself a modest salary. Jim Sinegal’s goals for his business endeavors involve long-term thinking, with the hope of building a company that will be here years from now.

Family Business Seminar for Students

Powerful Free Workshop on Family Business Issues
October 30th 2010 at 9:00am – 12:00 noon
Lavin Entrepreneurship Center

The workshop will take place on Saturday, October 30th from 9am until noon at the Entrepreneurial Management Center located in the Gateway Center Building (right next to KPBS) and is being led by Carmen Bianchi, an SDSU lecturer and expert family business consultant.

We encourage you to come with your parents to this workshop as we will go through The Family Enterprise System and teach you how to differentiate between family and the family business. You will learn how to leave your emotions at the door when you walk into the business and not bring the dining room table into the board room and vice versa. You will come away understanding how to create boundaries and structure in a family business. 87% of all the businesses in the USA are family owned or family controlled and we at SDSU are here to help you remain healthy and successful. If you have any questions concerning this seminar, please contact Carmen Bianchi, Director of Family Business Forum, at In order to register for the event, please contact Sprigley Allan at

The Future of Action Sports Panel
Featuring Top Executives in the Action Sports Industry

The Future of Action Sports Panel
October, 21st 2010 at 6:00pm
the Aztec Athletic Center Auditorium

On October 21st, a panel of executives from the action sports industry will be visiting the SDSU campus to discuss the future of the industry. The panel will feature the following:

  • Jeff Roberts, V.P. of Retail Sales for Volcom
  • Tim Garrett, Former President of Lost and Founder of The Action Sports Collective
  • Carl Petterson, Founder of H2O Audio
  • John Wilson, Former President of Reef and Co-Founder and President of Stance

The panelists will give brief presentations discussing how they became involved in action sports as well as the current state and future of the industry. The audience will then have the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from the experts. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn about action sports and see where the industry is headed!

Several students will be randomly selected to receive the V.I.P. Treatment at the Event. These students will receive 2 reserved seats in the front of the auditorium for themselves and a friend and they will have the opportunity to meet the panelists and take pictures with them after the event. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Janet Noyes at

Entrepreneur Society Will Host Todd Durkin at SDSU

Todd Durkin Motivational Talk
September 16, 2010 – 4:30pm
Aztec Athletic Center Auditorium

The Entrepreneur Society will kick off the fall semester with a motivational talk from Todd Durkin. Todd is a strength, speed, & conditioning coach, personal trainer and motivational speaker/coach. He is the 2005 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year and the 2004 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year. Men's Journal has named Todd one of the top 100 trainers in the United States and top 5 in Southern California. Todd owns and directs Fitness Quest 10, a premier, cutting-edge center for Health & Human Performance in San Diego, CA that focuses on personal training, strength & conditioning, Pilates, therapeutic massage & bodywork, and yoga. He has authored over a dozen DVDs and videos and is highly sought after as a fitness expert and motivational speaker. As a former professional football quarterback, he works with dozens of elite NFL, MLB, and professional athletes—LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Donnie Edwards, Quentin Jammer, and Mark Prior, among others.

The Entrepreneur Society is thrilled to have Todd come speak to SDSU Students. The event will be open to all students on a first come, first serve basis. Space is limited so please make an effort to arrive early on Thursday, September 16th at the Aztec Athletic Center Auditorium.

If you have any questions, please contact Janet Noyes at

2010 Lavin Center Entrepreneurs Golf Tournament

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center hosted its 7th annual Lavin Center Entrepreneurs Golf Tournament on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at The Crossings in Carlsbad. The tournament was a fun time for all! Over 90 SDSU alums, entrepreneurs and local senior level executives participated in the tournament. Nine MBA Students had the opportunity to play in foursomes with these local business leaders. Everyone had a great day playing golf and networking.

the crossings

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors. Without their support, our programs and efforts on the SDSU campus would not be possible.

A Big Thank You to:

Title Sponsor: Easy Turf
Networking Reception Sponsor: Vanberg Construction
Networking Reception Sponsor: Kiwi Audio Visual
Hole Sponsors/Donors: Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company
San Diego Padres
Bellrock Growers
Wilson Creek Winery
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
Soccer Fanatic
Trepco West
KOA Kampground
Alliant Insurance
Hunter Industries
Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth
Temecula Olive Oil
Keith Eck Financial Services
The Crossings

  • Cologel H.R. McMaster to Speak at Lavin Center Business Forum Event

    May 2009

    The Lavin Center Business Forum and Chairmen’s Roundtable are proud to present, “Leadership Lessons from the Economic Meltdown.” Colonel H.R. McMaster will be speaking about valuable leadership lessons he believes to be transferable from the battlefield to a complex business environment. This event will be moderated by George Chamberlin, Executive Editor of The Daily Transcript.

    This event will take place on May 21, 2009 from 4pm – 7pm at the Marriott Mission Valley.

    For more information please contact Kelli Lem at 619-594-2781 or

  • Christie Hefner to Speak at EMC Event

    February, 2009

    Christie Hefner, retiring Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises Inc. is slated as the keynote speaker at the Fourth Annual Family Business Retreat. The Retreat is staged by the SDSU Entrepreneurial Management Center and will be held from February 27 – 28, 2009 at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

    Hefner’s presentation, entitled “Adapting to Change” will take place following dinner on Friday, February 27 at 7:45 p.m.

    For more information on the retreat visit the web site, or contact Carmen Bianchi at 619-594-4949 or

  • Lavin Center 's WebCompass Program

    January, 2009

    SDSU's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center recently launched the WebCompass program in order to offer paid internships for undergraduate seniors majoring in business, graphic/web design and computer science.

    Students from each major team up during the semester-long internship and are given the task of completing a web-based project for a local non-profit. The end result provides the students with real-world experience and the non-profits with much needed web services.

    With support from Qualcomm Inc. the program's pilot phase was established in late September of 2008 with the first WebCompass student teams completing websites for non-profits, La Cuna and Innovations Academy. La Cuna is a San Diego-based Latino foster care agency and Innovations Academy is a new charter school in La Mesa.

    WebCompass will be offered to students each semester, beginning Spring '09. For more information, please contact Adrienne White at or (619) 594- 0462.

  • Ron Fowler Offers Tips for Success

    November, 2008

    The Chairman and CEO of Liquid Investments, Ron Fowler, presented information on how to be a successful entrepreneur to a nearly full-to-capacity audience on November 12, 2008. Liquid Investments is the parent company of beverage distributors throughout California and Colorado and has annual sales in excess of $285 million.

    The presentation was part of the L. Robert Payne Lecture Series that provides a forum for accomplished entrepreneurs to share the secrets of their success with SDSU entrepreneurship students and faculty, as well as to the public.

    Fowler shared his 10 tips for entrepreneurial success and talked about how he became an entrepreneur by “eliminating the things he didn’t want to do” until he settled on a career in beverage distribution.

    As the presentation concluded, Dr. Sanford Ehrlich presented Fowler, an avid sports fan, with an autographed portrait of Chargers’ running back, LaDainian Tomlinson.

  • Ted Waitt, Gateway Computer Founder, Visits SDSU Business Class

    November, 2008

    On November 17, Gateway Computer founder, Ted Waitt, was the guest lecturer at Dr. Massoud Saghafi’s class (Marketing 769 – International Marketing), where he discussed how he co-founded Gateway Inc. and their rise and fall in the international market.

    While working at a computer store in Iowa, Waitt dropped out of the University of Iowa in mid-1980’s to start his business. The company, first called TIPC Network, began by manufacturing computers and selling them over the phone. By 1999, Gateway had become one of the most successful computer manufacturers in the world.

    Waitt discussed Gateway’s entry into the international market, starting in Ireland in 1993 and moving throughout Europe and Asia. At first, Waitt and Gateway experienced phenomenal success, however, after Waitt’s first retirement from the company in 1999 and his return to the company in 2001, the company’s stock prices and sales, both domestically and abroad, were dropping.

    Eventually, Waitt said, the company pulled out of the international market altogether in order to concentrate on sales domestically. In 2007, Gateway was sold to Acer, a Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer.

  • Dr. Sandy Ehrlich - Quoted in BusinessWeek

    October, 2008

    Dr. Sandy Ehrlich, Qualcomm Executive Director of the Lavin Center, has been quoted in a recent BusinessWeek article about how entrepreneurs can sometimes make a success out of failure.

    From: Entrepreneurs Turn Business Failure into Success.

    By Amy S. Choi

    "Failure is a great tuition payment," says Sanford Ehrlich, director of entrepreneurship at the Entrepreneurial Management Center of San Diego State University. "Failure is not something one has to be ashamed of. And if you can recover from it, it is a badge of honor."

  • Alex DeNoble Quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine

    June, 2008

    Alex DeNoble, Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at San Diego State University, was quoted in Entrepreneur magazine in an article about creating multiple businesses in their June 2008 issue. Full article below:

    Who's Counting? Full of ideas? Create multiple businesses while still in school. Here's how.

    By Nichole L. Torres

    If you're young and full of the energy it takes to start a business while still in college, why not start two--or even three? That's exactly what 21-year-old Jeremy Clarke did. He started his first business, a website design company called Vortex Web Solutions, while still in high school. After starting college at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2006, he launched, a web resource used as an assessment tool in classrooms and in homes. And last year, he launched, a directory of Indianapolis restaurants that includes menus, coupons and reviews. Together, his Middlebury, Indiana-based businesses bring in five-figure sales.

    Clarke is full of ideas, and his entrepreneurial spirit is what drives him to launch new business concepts. "I'm really ambitious," he says. "I'm always looking for new opportunities. I want to dip my fingers into as much as possible."

    Running more than one business while still in school is certainly a big challenge, but it can be done if the businesses complement each other or, as in Clarke's case, if they're based on similar technology platforms. In fact, the startup process is made easier by rapidly evolving technologies. "Today's entrepreneurs have Web 2.0 tools available to them that entrepreneurs even five years ago didn't have," says Alex DeNoble, professor of management and entrepreneurship at San Diego State University. Not only do these specialized tools enable entrepreneurs to manage technological processes more efficiently than in years past, but they also make it much easier for small startups to rapidly ascend to the global playing field, DeNoble says.

    Copyright Entrepreneur Magazine - June 2008

  • Lavin Center Directors Present in Mexico

    May, 2008

    On May 22 and 23, 2008 Dr. Sanford Ehrlich, Executive Director of the Lavin Center, and Carmen Bianchi, Director of the Lavin Center Business Forum, presented in Monterrey Mexico at the University of Monterrey (UDEM). The topic was Governance and Structure for Families in Business and was well attended by family businesses in the $10 - $100 million revenue range.

    Gail Naughton, Dean of the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University, traveled with them to Monterrey. While there she met with the Dean of UDEM and the Dean of ITESM to see how the two universities can collaborate with one another on MBA programs and dual degrees.

  • SDSU Launches Entrepreneur Program for Undergrads

    May, 2008

    The College of Business Administration at San Diego State University (SDSU) announced today that the college would offer entrepreneurship and human resources specializations to undergraduate students pursuing management degrees starting in the Fall semester, 2008.

    While the university's entrepreneurship graduate program has long been nationally ranked, SDSU will be the only traditional university in the region to offer entrepreneurship and human resources as specializations to undergraduates. The addition of the two new specializations was created primarily to fill a need for individuals with these specific skill sets within the San Diego region.

    We founded this program to fulfill a business need for individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset. People who can recognize opportunities and react appropriately to them during the start-up phase are critical to the success of young organizations, said Dr. Alex DeNoble, incoming SDSU management department chairman. DeNoble will head up the entrepreneurship specialization, which will include courses in creativity and innovation, family business management and franchise management.

    The Human Resources (HR) specialization evolved from a lack of skilled HR managers within the local business community, explained Dr. Michelle Dean. Dean, who will be in charge of organizing the HR specialization said College graduates from this area tend to stay in San Diego and this creates a valuable resource for the business community to draw on workers with skills in labor relations, diversity issues, compensation and employment law knowledge. It is these areas and more which the program at SDSU will be specifically addressing to the benefit of our students and San Diego employers.

    Both specializations require that students complete an internship at local businesses in order to earn their diplomas.

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The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University serves SDSU students, entrepreneurs and business leaders through entrepreneurial curriculum, workshops, internships, resources and events. For information browse the Programs section of our website, subscribe to the Lavin Center Calendar and sign up for the Center's Entrepreneurial Fuel Newsletter. Entrepreneur resources such as the Lavin Center resume guide, marketing and business planning tools and more can be found in the Resources section of our site.

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