Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter
California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference a Success!
The 4th annual California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference was held on SDSU’s campus from March 9th-11th. This year marked several new additions, including a pre-conference day and Smart Conference platform. The pre-conference day featured a tour of our on-campus incubator, the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad, a 3D printing workshop, and design thinking workshop with the Idea Lab. This year over 85 attendees came from 40 universities across the globe. Several countries were represented with attendees from the United States, Mexico, Canada, England, Ireland, India, and Guam.
The conference had one day dedicated to entrepreneurship research and another day to entrepreneurship pedagogy. Each day featured session leaders who dove into the latest trends and cutting edge topics in the field of entrepreneurship, focused on providing interactive sessions with the audience. Attendees left the conference with a set of new tools to help design research projects and engage their students in the classroom. To learn more about the sessions and speakers who presented, take a look at the conference webpage.
We always strive to tailor our conference with information that will benefit our attendees. If you have any suggestions for topics you want to discuss, or fields in entrepreneurship you would like to see represented at next year's conference, please send any comments and feedback to Jenna McGuigan at email@example.com
Tony Hawk the Entrepreneur
On March 14th the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center invited Tony Hawk to the campus to present to a packed room of 500 students. While most know of Tony Hawk as the famed skateboarder, he was invited to speak on his success as an entrepreneur. During his skating career in 1992 Hawk co-founded his first company Birdhouse Projects, now known as Birdhouse Skateboards. Since then he has gone on to found several companies including: Hawk Clothing, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Video Franchise, Tony Hawk Signature Series, and his charity the Tony Hawk Foundation. Hawk gave the students insights into what enabled him to turn his love for skateboarding into successful businesses. He spoke on the importance of being passionate about what you are doing, having a supportive team of people you trust, and how critical it is to control your brand with a long-term view.
Hawk’s lecture was part of the annual L. Robert Payne Speaker Series in which distinguished entrepreneurs are invited to campus to share their insights. The lecture series was established in 1996 with a gift from SDSU alumnus L. Robert Payne. Mr. Payne is a successful entrepreneur and long-time supporter of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. Past lecturers include: John Wilson, Co-founder of Stance; Kurt Listug, CEO of Taylor Guitars; Thom McElroy, Co-founder of Volcom; Jim Sinegal, Co-founder & CEO of Costco; and Irwin Jacobs, Chairman & CEO of Qualcomm.
To view the live-stream of Tony Hawk’s lecture, check out this video on the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center facebook page!
Meet Raj Pranav, Founder of Globofund!
SDSU entrepreneurship students are busy far beyond the classroom. Several students are pushing themselves outside of their studies, using all of the resources available on campus to start a company. One of these students, Pranav Raj Palasamudram, is in the process of founding his company Globofund while participating as a student team in the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad (ZIP Launchpad). The ZIP Launchpad is the on-campus incubator which provides students with services, training, mentors, and a collaborative working space to turn their dreams into a viable startup.
Pranav has teamed up with another student, Alex Jones, to build Globofund. Globofund is a website that connects teachers in need of school supplies with donors. Pranav and Alex created Globofund because they believe it’s unfair for teachers to spend an average of $500 a year of their own money on school supplies. Globofund.com makes it easier for individuals to give items to schools. These individuals include parents, relatives, community members, and businesses. Globofund brings together these individuals and teachers to give and receive school supplies. It’s absolutely free for teachers to use and always will be. Pranav spoke highly of his experience in the ZIP Launchpad, “The ZIP launchpad has been a crucial part of our initial success in school. Diego our advisor really pushed us to strive to do learn about our customers and really figure out if there was a problem in the education industry.”
The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is proud of what our students are accomplishing and the opportunities that our students are taking advantage of during their time at SDSU. To learn more about other student teams in the ZIP Launchpad take a look at their website.
LaunchIn: Connecting SDSU Students to Startups
The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center will be hosting our semi-annual LaunchIn event in just two weeks on April 26th. LaunchIn is a startup entrepreneur event focused on connecting students to local entrepreneurs. Each semester the event consists of a panel featuring three local entrepreneurs. The event is done in a reverse panel fashion, with each entrepreneur giving a brief two-minute introduction before opening up the remaining time for the students to ask questions about their experiences growing a business. The panel is carefully selected to showcase local entrepreneurs who were recently in the same situation as the students, typically SDSU and Lavin Entrepreneur program graduates. Designing the panels to be as relatable to the students as possible allows for them to be inspired to take action on their own entrepreneurial passion.
In the Spring semester, we go even further to connect our students with local growing companies. After the panel event has ended, students head to a hiring event. This hiring event is designed to help growing companies and startups acquire talent that supports and accelerates their expansion. This opportunity allows for students to network with 40+ growing companies who are all seeking employment. Hosting events like LaunchIn allows to truly serve our students outside of the classroom and enable them the opportunity to network with local entrepreneurs and build on their skillset.