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Sunday, June 16th 2019

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

April, 2015

LaunchIn to Connect Students with Local Startups

LaunchIn 2015: Hire Top Talent on April 22nd!

LaunchIn 2015 Are you seeking to enhance your company by hiring talent from a pool of nearly 350 students from across the San Diego State University campus? The semiannual LaunchIn event will unite students from the seven colleges at SDSU all looking to identify opportunities within local startups and early-stage companies. This will be a great opportunity to connect with and hire students for internships as well as full/part-time positions within your company. The two-part event will be hosted by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and the SDSU Entrepreneur Society on April 22, 2015.

The event will kick off with a panel of entrepreneur founders addressing an audience of SDSU students and answering their questions. The panel will feature Michelle Weinstein, Founder and CEO/President of Fitzee Foods; Mitch Patridge, CEO of ClearBalance; and Adam Riggs-Zeigen, Co-founder/CEO of Rock My Run. Immediately following the panel, students will be invited to engage with local companies looking to hire interns and full-time employees.

If you are a startup or rapidly growing company in the San Diego region looking to hire qualified individuals, please contact Madisyn Prior at or 619-594-2781 for more information on how to register for the event.

This event is supported by Gold Level Sponsors, Torrey Pines Bank and Union Bank.

SDSU Team Win First Place and Awarded $25,000 at TCU Business Competition

TCU Business A team from San Diego State University won Texas Christian University’s fifth annual Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Business Plan Competition held in Fort Worth on April 10-11, 2015. The W.E. Do Good™ team consisting of SDSU alumnus Gemechu Abraham, current management student Peter Morrill, and faculty advisor Michael Sloan, secured the first place victory and were awarded $25,000 at the annual TCU competition that featured students from 49 universities across the U.S. and around the world. All participating teams were required to present plans that demonstrate a societal or environmental need to be filled, as well as the profitability of the business.

At the competition, W.E. Do Good™ showcased their low-cost, human-powered machine designed to improve agronomic practices and impact poverty in Ethiopia and other countries that currently harvest the teff grain through demanding, unsanitary and unhealthy means. An early prototype of the threshing machine was tested earlier this year in Ethiopia with much success. The Ethiopian test group offered suggestions for improvements to the machine which the team plan to incorporate into their third prototype. That prototype is expected to be complete and ready for testing by the end of this year. The Teff Thresher is affordable, durable, portable, and requires no fuel or electricity.

"Our business plan calls for allowing Ethiopian women the ability to purchase the threshing machines with low interest loans," said founder, Gemechu Abraham. "These entrepreneurial women would then rent the machines to farmers providing cash to the women and their families and giving the farmers a more cost effective method of processing their grain before it goes to market," he continued. Social Entrepreneurship lecturer and faculty advisor, Michael Sloan said "Winning the TCU Ventures and Values Competition provides the W.E. Do Good social venture with critical resources and invaluable relationships."

In addition to the $25,000 cash award, the team also received in-kind support of $75,000 of marketing/advertising services from Warren Douglas; $15,000 of social media, consulting or video services from Splash Media; three hours of legal consulting services from Winstead PC; one month of services from; four hours of IT consulting services from Comport Consulting and one year co-working membership with IDEA Works FW.

Now Recruiting Lavin Entrepreneur Class of 2017

LavinProgram 2015 The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is currently in the process of recruiting the Class of 2017 cohort of Lavin Entrepreneurs. The 2017 Lavin Entrepreneur Class will mark the ninth cohort since the program’s introduction in 2008, and the fourth group to participate in the two-year version of the program.

The two year program works to broaden and develop students’ skill sets and prepare them for an entrepreneurial future. The Lavin Entrepreneur program seeks to graduate students who know how to identify and evaluate new business opportunities and understand the roles and responsibilities of an entrepreneur. Students from various academic disciplines with different entrepreneurial experiences have applied to the program, and around 20 exceptional individuals will be selected to join the future cohort.

As we look forward to welcoming a new group of Lavin Entrepreneurs we also bid farewell to the graduating Lavin Class of 2015. Throughout their time in the Lavin Program, these students have proven their dedication to entrepreneurship by pursuing different ventures and participating in entrepreneurial activities and events on the campus and within the community. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors and look forward to continued collaboration.

For more information on the program please visit the Lavin Entrepreneur Program page.

Student Teams Deliver Strong Business Pitches During VentureStart Competition Finals

Venture Start 2015 Nearly 30 student teams submitted entries for consideration in the spring 2015 VentureStart Competition. We received a number of strong submissions this semester, with students from various colleges across the campus moving through the pivoting process and turning in revised business model canvases. From the submissions received, the four teams selected as finalists were: Aroma Balm, Go Ryder, Restoar, and SPAIRE.

The VentureStart Competition finals were held on April 9, 2015 in the Ron Fowler Auditorium. Each of the four teams pitched their innovative ideas to a panel of entrepreneur judges for the chance to win cash prizes to invest in their company. The competition was stiff, with each team delivering engaging and well-constructed presentations. Of the four teams, Aroma Balm, a lip balm offering aroma therapeutic benefits, took the first place award; Restoar, an all-in-one organic facial toner that reduces blemishes, was awarded second place; and Go Ryder, an on-campus student valet parking app, received the third place award. The judging panel consisted of three successful SDSU and Lavin Entrepreneur program alumni: Greg Crisci, Founder of Tip Network, Inc.; Jason Kirby, Co-founder of Togally; and Kevin Gelfand; Co-founder of Shake Smart. Pictures from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.

We would like to congratulate all finalists on a job well done!

Move Your Company Forward with a Summer Intern

Summer Internships Have you considered improving your organization’s marketing efforts? Do you need assistance with financial analysis and modeling? Do you need to improve your operational processes? Take your organization to the next level with the expertise of talented undergraduate or graduate interns from the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University.

The Internship Program benefits students and employers alike and we seek to connect students with internship opportunities that will further develop their professional competencies while providing companies talented interns. We are able to provide interns to help with various types of projects, including: marketing/fundraising strategy, operational review and assessment, financial analysis and modeling, accounting, web development, and implementing new initiatives. All internship opportunities are paid and last 150+ hours over the course of the semester.

If you are interested in hiring one or more SDSU interns for the duration of the summer you can begin the registration process on our website. Please contact either Sean Pierce at or Sara Sica at or call the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at 619-594-2781 for more information.

Registration Open

You can now register to participate in the 2015 LaunchIn! Learn more about hiring talented students during this interactive event.

Strategic Internship Opportunities
Let an SDSU intern move your company forward. Learn how they can work for you!

Building the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

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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