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Sunday, June 16th 2019

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

March, 2016

SDSU Entrepreneurship Rankings on the Rise!

Help Students Connect with Local Entrepreneurs!


LaunchIn is held once a semester on San Diego State University’s campus with the goal of connecting students with local start-up entrepreneurs. Spring LaunchIn has two parts; a reverse panel of three local entrepreneurs where students ask questions about starting a company. After the panel, students connect with 50 local start-up companies looking for paid interns or full-time positions. For alumni and local founders, this is your chance to harvest the next crop of capable and hardworking students from SDSU and expand the talent at your company!

As a non-profit organization, we rely on alumni and community support to help fund our programs. In order to cover the costs associated with the LaunchIn event in the Spring, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center needs your help in raising $3500. The San Diego State University Alumni Engagement Center is holding a fundraiser to help fund LaunchIn this Spring. Please consider helping the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center in holding this event to bring entrepreneurs to our students. You can find more information by visiting the LaunchIn fundraising page.

Your gift of any amount will help support this program! For more information about LaunchIn, please contact Sean Pierce at

18th Annual L. Robert Payne Lecture Series to Feature SDSU Alumnus!

Robert Payne Lecture Series

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is proud to announce the 18th year of the L. Robert Payne Distinguished Entrepreneur Lecture Series on April 21st, 2016. This year we are pleased to present SDSU alumnus John Wilson, co-founder, President and COO of Stance. John graduated from San Diego State University in 1993 with a BA in Marketing. Six years in, Stance still makes socks (and recently launched an underwear line). The company has attracted $86 million in funding, including a $50 million series C round in March of this year. Stance received initial investment from various celebrities including Will Smith and Dwyane Wade and recently signed a deal with the NBA as the official on-court sock. Famous fans include LeBron James and Rihanna. In a startup world, crazy with competition to find a niche, Stance's founders realized theirs was hiding in plain sight.

The lecture series brings an outstanding entrepreneur to San Diego State University to speak to and interact with students, faculty, and invited business guests from the regional entrepreneurial community. The L. Robert Payne Lecture Series was established in 1996 with a gift from SDSU alumnus Bob Payne, a successful entrepreneur and long-time supporter of SDSU and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

Meet Robert Mendralla, Our Newest Advisory Board Member!

Robert Mendralla The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is proud to announce that San Diego State University alumnus, Robert Mendralla is the newest member to join our Advisory Board. Mr. Mendralla is recognized as a strategic thought leader, focused on the big picture with a record of diverse management experiences. Robert is currently the CEO of RM Enterprises, a company focused on the consolidation of the global healthcare industry. Since 2011, he has been serving as President and CEO of Apex Health Solutions Group, providing healthcare products, wellness programs, telemedicine solutions to companies as well as educational and governmental institutions. Robert has been a Senior Partner with RLM & Associates since 2002, a management consulting company that assists clients in all areas of technical and business processes. Robert graduated from San Diego State University with his MBA in 1994 and is proud to return to campus as an advisor.

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University is an entrepreneurial leader in a thriving and diverse San Diego community. In order to build a world-class and forward thinking center, we need the financial and strategic support of experienced and committed Advisory Board Members. We are seeking alumni and business leaders who can help us achieve our strategic objectives and support us in the community by joining our philanthropic board. If you are interested in making a difference, please contact Alex DeNoble at

Recent Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Events Were a Success!

LeanModel During the first two weeks of March, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center hosted several events on the San Diego State University campus, starting with LeanModel Competition. On March 4th-5th, 20 student teams from 15 different Universities arrived at the San Diego State University campus to compete in the business model competition for prizes totaling $18,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. Sensytec from the University of Houston took first place among the myriad of stellar startups. To view the complete list of winners, check out the LeanModel Competition website page. In addition to this competition, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center transformed SDSU’s campus into an entrepreneurial village on Entrepreneur Day and host the 2016 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference.

On March 10th, for the 7th year in a row, Entrepreneur Day was held in the main Centennial walkway on San Diego State University’s campus. This was an opportunity for alumni as well as current students to showcase and sell products they have developed, creating an entrepreneurial village on campus. Over 50 companies, including 36 from our Lavin Entrepreneur program, sold products while over 15,000 students strolled through the walkway. For more information on Entrepreneur Day, check out the Entrepreneur Day website.

In addition, from March 10th-12th the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center hosted the 3rd annual California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference at San Diego State University. The conference brought in over 110 researchers and educators each day to dissect the research process and learn how to approach entrepreneurship pedagogy in interesting ways. The conference featured a number of leading entrepreneurship educators, researchers and thought leaders, including keynote speakers Heidi Neck and Howard Aldrich. To view the complete list of speakers and panelist, check out the conference website.

Lavin Advisory Board Members Honored as “2016 Most Admired CEO”

Ms. Zeynep Ilgaz San Diego company Confirm BioSciences Inc.'s Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ms. Zeynep Ilgaz received the honor of being named "2016 Most Admired CEO" by the San Diego Business Journal in the Small Business Private Company category. Not only is Zeynep Ilgaz a San Diego State University graduate, she is a lecturer of International Entrepreneurship and member of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center’s Advisory Board. Another member of our Advisory Board and lecturer at San Diego State University, Kevin Popovic founder of Ideahaus, was a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal Most Admired CEO awards.

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is proud to have both Zeynep Ilgaz and Kevin Popovic as members of our Advisory Board. Both Ilgaz and Popovic help us achieve our strategic objectives and support us in the community.


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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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