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Sunday, June 16th 2019

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

November, 2013

SDSU Semi-Finalists for Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Award - Lavin Center November Newsletter

We are looking for San Diego State alumni businesses or startups to participate in Entrepreneur Day! Join the Entrepreneur Society and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center this coming March to celebrate entrepreneurship and showcase your business!

For more information, please contact Amy Checho at

March 5, 2014
10 am - 2 pm
Centennial Walkway, SDSU

SDSU to Offer New Entrepreneurship Minor Across Entire Campus

Learn more about the Minor!

SDSU Semi-Finalists for Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Award

hansen program Michael L. Sloan, the Social Entrepreneurship Program Director at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, was announced as one of the semi-finalists for the Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Award at Brown University! The award recognizes high impact and replicable education innovation. Receiving the award would bring positive recognition to the Hansen Summer Institute of Leadership and International Cooperation.

The Hansen Summer Institute is a joint three week program hosted by San Diego State University (SDSU), University of San Diego (USD) and the Fred J. Hansen Foundation. The main goal of the program is to assist students from all over the globe in the creation of social entrepreneurship ventures in their native countries in order to build a better future. "Universities have more obligation to foster, enable and create critically aware and socially responsible citizens. The program also adds further credibility to SDSU's extended interest in developing social entrepreneurship as a critical piece for student education," said Sloan.

The Hansen Foundation has recently extended the Hansen Summer program for summer 2014. "The Foundation recognizes the value of this program and decided to support our social entrepreneurship initiatives," Sloan added. The Lavin Center is looking forward to facilitating international social entrepreneurship endeavors next summer.

Ashoka U-Cordes Innovation Awards                        The Hansen Summer Institute                       

VentureStart Competition Finalists Announced

venturestart The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center recently held the VentureStart Fall 2013 competition. Of the four finalist teams, Impactiv, Tug Tamer Leashes, and Crowd District placed 1st through 3rd respectively.

The Lavin VentureStart Competition is designed to unify multidisciplinary students whose talents, ideas and energy may operate tomorrow's leading organizations across the country. This business model competition cultivates ideas around lean startup and business model development to reward SDSU students for innovative ideation. Students from all seven colleges, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, may enter the Lavin VentureStart Competition.

The Lavin VentureStart Competition             San Diego State University Majors                 

Co-Founder of Volcom Addresses SDSU Students

Co-Founder of Volcom Addresses SDSU Students On Tuesday October 22, 2013, more than 300 SDSU students, faculty, and local entrepreneurs attended a talk hosted by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center to hear Thom McElroy, the co-founder of Volcom, speak about his entrepreneurial journey. The lecture was a part of the annual L. Robert Payne Speaker Series, in which distinguished entrepreneurs are invited to campus to share their insights and lessons learned. Thom shared his thoughts on how to develop a career based on following your passion. He also discussed the process of building a company, from gaining funding to building a brand. "You will see great success if you go all in," Thom said. "Be prepared to fail. I have failed miserably over the years, but it's how you react, that is critical."

Thom McElroy is a SDSU alumnus, who graduated in 1985 with a degree in graphic communications. He helped to build Volcom into a $400 million company. A passionate entrepreneur, Thom focused the company on the ideals of self-expression and individualism. He designed the face of the company, their distinctive stone-shaped logo, and positioned the brand culture as an anti-establishment surf and skate company.

Volcom             SDSU School of Art and Design                 

Student Spotlight - John Walsh

john walsh "I have always been interested in renewable energy systems that could make our planet greener and more sustainable," said John Walsh, the CEO of Grow Energy, Inc. The company plans for utilizing algae to create clean electricity for residential and commercial structures. Their first system, called Verde, is a technology specifically designed for individual homes. According to the company, Verde uses a clean combustion process to burn algal biomass to create electricity and heat energy, which can significantly offset a property's utility expenses.

The company just received approval from SDSU to install a few units of its energy system on campus as well as receiving a substantial investment to grow the business. "Now, we are working on the prototype design since every unit installed should be modified according to a building's location, height and shape," Walsh continued. "We can prove that we are able to grow energy endlessly without disrupting environmental sustainability."

John Walsh is an undergraduate student at SDSU studying finance. He established his first company, BeeYa Software, when he was 14. He is currently the CEO of Grow Energy and a new venture Vena, dedicated to solving the water shortage problem around the world. "I have always been drawn to sustainability and that is why I am so passionate about each of my companies," said Walsh.

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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