Solo Eyewear Founder Speaks at Hansen InstituteThe Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation is an exciting program open to students from developing countries. Each summer, a multi-cultural group of students gather at the University of San Diego (USD) to study the latest techniques of conflict resolution, mediation, and international business management. One of the critical elements of the program is to have the students interact with founders of social enterprises. This year, Jenny Amaraneni, an SDSU alum and the CEO and co-founder of Solo Eyewear, was invited as a guest speaker to the program. After meeting with students and talking about the importance of social entrepreneurship and its impact on society, Jenny offered one of the Hansen Fellows a pair of prescription eyeglasses displaying an act of kindness.
One of the Hansen Fellows, Violet Thokozani Machika, a student from Malawi, Africa, came to the US to pitch her venture. Her organization is designed to help empower women by making them self-sufficient and financially independent through individually tailored jobs, and providing them an occupation they would enjoy. "I believe that if you do an act of kindness, you will receive kindness in return," said Machika. "In San Diego, not only did I learn the principles of social enterprises, but also received a real support from one," she continued. Machika left the Hansen program with invaluable knowledge and substantial funding for her project. "The Hansen program gave me much more than I expected; I am so happy that I will be able to help people and give opportunities to those in need!"
Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation Solo Eyewear USD Lavin Center Social Entrepreneurship Program
LeanModel Competition Going Global For 2015!The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at SDSU is excited to announce the 3rd annual LeanModel Competition is going global! Previously, the competition was open only to universities in California and Baja California. This year, the competition is open to all four-year universities around the world. LeanModel is specifically designed to assist and reward student start-ups by giving them an opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of potential investors and C-level executives. The competition rewards students for identifying and defining assumptions, testing those assumptions in the marketplace, and then pivoting their business model based on customer interactions. It aims to shape the next generation entrepreneurs through a real life learning experience. Last year, the Center received applications from more than 15 different schools within California.
The LeanModel Competition will be held at SDSU on Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th, 2015. Applications will open in early November, 2014. For more information, please check our website.
LeanModel Competition LeanModel Competition 2014 Winners
Shark Tank Casting @SDSU: Follow-UpLast month, Shark Tank casting directors visited SDSU in order to find the most outstanding college companies to give them an opportunity to pitch their companies in front of the Sharks. The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is excited to announce that six companies will proceed to the next round!
The initial casting was tough and required entrepreneurs to possess great knowledge of their company's financial statements and operations. "When I came to the casting call, I felt very confident. I know our business well, and had the elevator pitch down!" said Jon Margalit, the co-founder and CEO of Togally.com. "If you can't write your elevator pitch on the back of a matchbook, it's too long," he continued. Now, the second round of the casting is open and the participants are busy submitting their company videos to the Shark Tank casting directors. "This is indeed a hefty round," said one of the participants. "SDSU has become so heavily influenced by entrepreneurship, and we are fortunate to develop a very solid relationship with the Lavin Center that have mentored us along the way," said Chase Fisher, the co-founder of Blenders Eyewear. "No one ever said it would be easy but we love it, we are getting after it and we are making it happen," he continued.
Shark Tank is a business-themed reality show featuring creative and innovative entrepreneurs seeking investments for their product or service. This time, the casting crew decided to feature innovative college entrepreneurs on the show to find the next Mark Zuckerberg. Currently, Shark investors include Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Landmark Theaters; Lori Greiner, the CEO of For Your Ease Only; Barbara Corcoran, the real-estate guru and the founder of the Corcoran Group; Robert Herjaves, the CEO of the Herjavec Group; Daymond John, the fashion industry expert and the founder of FUBU brand; and Kevin O'Leary, a venture capitalist and the Founder of O'Leary Funds.
Shark Tank Togally.com Blenders Eyewear
Life Science Students Attend SDSU Entrepreneurship Summer ProgramThe Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, in conjunction with the College of Sciences at SDSU and Autonomous University of Baja California, hosted the Life Sciences Entrepreneur Certificate program. Thirty-three life science students attended the program where they were exposed to entrepreneurship concepts and business model theories throughout the week. "I learned how to use the Business Model Canvas, which I will be able to apply to future business projects in addition to preparing a business plan," said Sergio German Reyes Alejo, one of the participants of the Certificate program. "The last two weeks were a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to learn different implementation techniques of an actual business model," added Emanuel Ramirez Cruz, another participant of the program. "We are glad to receive such positive reviews on our program," said Alex DeNoble, the Executive Director of the Lavin Center at SDSU. "It is our goal to provide students with cutting-edge knowledge regardless of their profession and specialization," he continued.
We wish all the best to all the participants of our Life Sciences Entrepreneur Certificate program and hope with the new found entrepreneurship knowledge, they will go on to pursue an individual entrepreneurship venture in the future!
Alex DeNoble College of Sciences, SDSU Autonomous University of Baja California