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Sunday, June 16th 2019

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

August, 2017

Leonard H. Lavin- Entrepreneur, Innovator and Leader


We are saddened to learn of the passing of our great friend, benefactor and namesake for our Center, Dr. Leonard H. Lavin. Leonard was a man of many talents: World War II naval hero, entrepreneur, visionary, family man and philanthropist. Leonard touched the lives of so many people through his business acumen, his generosity and most of all through his friendship. Leonard had a passion for life and the wisdom to share his good fortune in ways that will last far into the future.

We at the San Diego State University Lavin Entrepreneurship Center are especially grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and interact so intimately with this great man. Leonard loved visiting our campus. He was a frequent speaker in our classes and an active participant in many University events. He especially enjoyed meeting with our students. They would pitch new business ideas and he would challenge them to justify their business assumptions with the fire and wit that he was so well known to exhibit. When he was no longer able to travel to campus, we brought the students to him. In his more comfortable surroundings, Leonard continued putting on a clinic that these students will never forget. The university awarded him an honorary degree in 2012. We will continue to be inspired by his values and actions. Many future generations of San Diego State University students will benefit from the time and energy he spent engaging with us.

So, to the Lavin family, we extend our deepest sympathy and heartfelt thanks for sharing this great man with us.

Click here to read the statement released by the university.

Building the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship Major Awarded Valedictorian

This year we significantly increased our Lavin Entrepreneur Program recruitment efforts, resulting in double the amount of applicants and a larger number of accepted Lavin students compared to last year. A big welcome to the 2017-2019 cohort of the Lavin Entrepreneur Program! The next generation of Lavin Entrepreneurs come from different backgrounds, all seven colleges at SDSU and a variety of majors, including Accounting, Mechanical Engineering, Business and more.

As generations of Lavin Entrepreneur students graduate from SDSU and our program, we continue to support and have interest in their endeavours. In our most recent research, we found that 38 out of the 148 graduates of the Lavin Entrepreneur Program started their own company. Tip Network is a company founded by a recent Lavin Entrepreneur graduate, it is a platform that unravels and automates the process of tips flowing through restaurants and provides feedback back to the restaurants throughout the process. Bamboo Tranquility was created by a graduate from our 2015-2017 cohort, which offers quality bamboo textile products at a competitive price. Help Flow, Restoar, Bold Brew, CourseKey and Scott’s Cheap Flights are a few other companies created by Lavin Entrepreneur graduates. Our research also found that the Lavin Entrepreneur Program has experienced higher graduation rates than the campus as a whole.

At the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, we are thrilled to see what the fifth generation of Lavin students will accomplish during the two year experiential program. With a commitment to give students the support to pursue their entrepreneurial passions, we focus on providing the participants of this program the opportunity to learn how to identify and evaluate new business opportunities and how to marshal and deploy resources in order to launch and build new ventures.

Brian Kidwell, Lavin Entrepreneur to Co-Founder

Judge Venture Start

Brian Kidwell has had quite the journey in the past three years since he graduated from SDSU and the Lavin Entrepreneur Program. We met him as a freshman when he walked into the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and asked us how he could maximize his entrepreneurial experience here at SDSU. Over the next four years, he involved himself in the Center, internships, had several mentors, competed in competitions and learned how to become an online marketing expert.

Once he graduated, however, despite several job offers, he felt he needed to push himself and learn more about what he did not know with respect to entrepreneurship. So, he kept his freelance marketing clients while traveling across Europe and Asia meeting other entrepreneurs and more “digital nomads” like him. Through the course of that journey he connected with one other aspiring entrepreneurs and together they have grown Scott’s Cheap Flights, an email based notification business which finds cheap flights for its subscribers.

While the business sounds simple, last year they had more than 600,000 subscribers and generated more than $4 million in revenue. What’s not surprising is that Brian is the marketing force behind the company. His major in Finance and passion for online marketing led him to discover how to utilize marketing tools to drive online niche businesses; that is the goal of the Lavin Entrepreneur program. To prepare our students for opportunities in the future where they can take their knowledge and competencies and potentially create a company. Well done, Brian.

Call for Proposals! Embracing Diverse Voices at the 2018 CEEC

Judge Venture Start

Join us for the 2018 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (CEEC) to explore the theme of Creative Disruption. The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center will host the conference on April 12th, 13th, and 14th in sunny San Diego, California. The CEEC convenes annually as a community of entrepreneurship educators, researchers, and thought leaders dedicated to the study of higher education and research. We are assembling a stellar group of session leaders to help us consider dynamic approaches to the way we teach and research entrepreneurship.

To provide a more tailored conference to our attendees this year we will be asking for session proposals. These proposals need to meet the criteria below as well as compliment this year's theme of Creative Disruption. The proposals may either be for our Research day or our Pedagogy day.

CEEC attendees are invited to consider the following criteria for their proposals:

  • Each submission should have an executive summary that will specify learning outcomes, and if it is related to Research or Pedagogy
  • Each submission must be double spaced, using 12-point Times New Roman font in a Word or PDF file
  • Presenters may only submit a maximum of three different proposals
  • All submissions should be designed in a way to make sure all conference attendees are actively interacting in the session
  • Each submission should have be 1- 3 pages maximum
  • Specify whether you or someone else will be presenting

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center encourages proposals that challenge our old ideas and make us think about new solutions and opportunities. All proposals should be emailed to Pamela Razo at You can register for our Conference here.

Stay Updated!

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Creative Disruption is our 2018 theme and mission. Don’t miss out on this amazing educators conference at SDSU!
Judge Venture Start

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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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