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Sunday, June 16th 2019

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

April/May, 2019

Sixth Annual Educators Conference Transformative


Our vision of uniting educators and researchers and examining how we could transform our teaching and research of entrepreneurship is now a reality. From April 12-14, the 2019 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference held at San Diego State University became a hub for the discussion of transformation within the field of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial leaders from across the United States and even abroad, gathered to share what they have done, and what needs to be done to transform the field of entrepreneurship through better research and teaching experiences.

The conference featured some keynote speakers such as Elissa Grossman from the University of Southern California and her topic “Decoding the Future,” Michael Morris from the University of Florida and his topic “The Changing Job of the Entrepreneurship Professor,” Candida Brush from Babson College and Patricia Green from the U.S. Department of Labor and their Fireside Chat: Women in Entrepreneurship and Ted Zoller from the University of North Carolina and his topic “MythBusting & Mentoring: Insights from the Entrepreneurs Genome Project.” In addition, the conference featured more than 40 sessions, roundtables and lightning rounds to deepen the sharing of entrepreneurship pedagogy and research insights.

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center would like to thank all the attendees for sharing your ideas and views that will help us all transform our field. We would also like to give a special thank you to our sponsors who were key in making this conference possible: The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, Intuit Education, the Fowler College of Business at SDSU and the School of Dance and Music at SDSU. The conference dates for next year are April 16-18, 2020.

California Educators Conference Participants Cross the Border


The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, in collaboration with the International Council for Small Business Mexico and CETYS University, hosted two conferences in two different countries with the same common goal from April 10-13, 2019. The sixth annual California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference and the fourth annual ICSB Mexico International Conference both gathered entrepreneurship educators and researchers from around the world in order to share insights on transformation, integration and innovation.

The collaboration kicked off in Baja California, Mexico and featured author presentations and round table discussions about how people can promote new knowledge and accelerate the exchange of innovative ideas. While in Baja California, attendees of the California Educators Conference got the opportunity to visit and network with entrepreneurial counterparts from the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) Mexico and CETYS University in Ensenada, the Bit Innovation Center, enjoy a lobster lunch in Puerto Nuevo and explore Guadalupe Valley for some wine tasting with the local wine entrepreneurs.

At the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, Certificate Director Tony Mendez, put on a Social Entrepreneurship seminar followed with a presentation by the Social Innovation Director at ZipLaunchPad, Jenny Amaraneni and a panel of students currently pursuing Social Entrepreneurship ventures. In addition, ICSB President-Elect Ahmed Osman, made an appearance via Google Hangouts into the conference during the Saturday lunch to send greetings to conference participants. He also invited everyone to come to Egypt in June, 2019 for the ICSB World Congress.

Lavin Center Entrepreneur Highlight, Zeynep Ilgaz

Zeynep Ilgaz Confirm BioSciences, a San Diego based company founded by a San Diego State University alum and current Lavin Entrepreneurship Center advisory board member, has announced that it has secured impact financing from Huntington Capital Partners (HCAP), a California-based private equity firm and recognized impact investor. Launched in 2008 by Zeynep Ilgaz, the company has been recognized as one of the fastest growing top private companies providing drug abuse testing kits to both corporate and individual consumers, and has also recently entered into major retail outlets such as Walmart and CVS stores.

“From the start, our mission has been to help create drug-free homes, workplaces and environments,” Ilgaz said. “This partnership with HCAP Partners will provide us with additional strategic value, and help us further our mission and scale our business to impact even more geographies worldwide.”

Managing partner at HCAP Partners Tim Bubnack, mentioned some key factors that led to the investment into Confirm Biosciences. “From an investment standpoint, Confirm Biosciences meets all the investment criteria that we look for here at Huntington Capital,” he said. “A nice growing small business, a profitability run organization, a good team, a market position that’s growing with products and services that are very attractive in the marketplace. All those market criteria are very important for us. When we invest in the company, so much of the investment is about the people, the leadership and culture of the company and the employees of the business. It was very clear to me when we started to look at Confirm Biosciences, the culture and the company is very similar to who she is. That was the impression I got from her 20 years ago and it has pretty much stayed the same.”

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is proud of our board advisory member and her family for the accomplishments they have made and for the impact they have had to the San Diego community.

Lavin Center Startup Fund Dinner: Jennifer Barnes

Jennifer Barnes

In order to encourage and support more San Diego State University students who aspire to create a potential startup, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Startup Fund was created. A key part of this program involves arranging periodic networking dinners with accomplished entrepreneurs and business leaders. CEO of Optima Office Accounting Services, Jennifer Barnes, was one of the leaders chosen to inspire and talk to Lavin Students at a private dinner for the month of April.

Rather than meeting in a classroom, this format allows for an excellent atmosphere for rich discussion between the aspiring student entrepreneurs and the more established entrepreneurs who were once in their shoes. “I’ve been running outsource accounting firms for seven years and this one I am spinning off on my own without partners,” Barnes said. Barnes, who graduated with an executive MBA at SDSU in 2008, believes in giving back to the community and inspiring student entrepreneurs and their endeavors. “I believe in educating and empowering the next generation of students who are going to be running our world,” she said.

Barnes praised the group of students she conversed with at the dinner and sees them as developing future entrepreneurs. “This is just a really bright group of students,” she said. “You can tell they are going to be leaders in our community. They will start businesses and become leaders in the community. It seems like the Lavin Center has genuinely done a very good job of attracting and retaining the very best students out there.”

Salute to Lavin Center Staff


As the 2019 spring semester comes to an end, so do the times of those student workers within our team. The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center would like to thank those students graduating this year for being a part of our family. Your efforts in sharing your skills and creativity do not go unnoticed and have helped the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center to maintain and run our programs. Thank you to the following students and we wish you the best in your future endeavors and pursuits:

Alexis Oplinger: Mentor Program Coordinator

Gustavo Cristobal: Marketing Writer

Jonathan Bolz: Internship Program Coordinator

Joseph Wilk: Marketing Assistant

Vinaya Krishna Pudyodu: Web Developer

Ziying Jian: Graphic Designer

Andrea Roberts Marketing Assistant

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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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