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Tuesday, December 18th 2018

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

November, 2018

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Receives National Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence

Excellence The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University is honored to receive the prestigious NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence Award by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC).

This special award represents the highest honor that a university entrepreneurship center can receive and recognizes advancements in entrepreneurship research and curriculum, outreach to emerging ventures, community collaborations, special projects and overall prestige and recognition in the field of entrepreneurship.

“We are incredibly honored to have been named the 2018 GCEC NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence,” said Alex DeNoble, executive director of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. “This was truly a team effort and without the contributions of so many individuals within the Fowler College of Business and SDSU’s Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad and Idea Lab, we could not have achieved the outstanding entrepreneurship educational programs, research and outreach success we’ve accomplished in the past few years.”

The award puts SDSU on the list of winning schools, which includes previous winners such as Baylor University, the University of Southern California, Syracuse University, the University of Tampa and the University of California, Berkeley.

The following individuals and programs contributed in making the award possible:

  • Cathy Pucher and the ZIP Launchpad team
  • Kevin Popovic and the ZIP Idea Lab team
  • Susan Baxter and the CSU I-Corps teaching team
  • John Francis and the Aztec Consulting team
  • The entrepreneurship faculty in the management department of the Fowler College of Business (Mujtaba Ahsan, Congcong Zheng, Martina Musteen, Mike Sloan, Kim King and Tanya Hertz)
  • Bernhard Schroeder and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center team

Startup Fund Rewards Seven Student Startups

Startups The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is proud to fund seven startups founded by San Diego State University students : Stick Around, SOULmudch, Vardas Inc., Body Enrichment, Hoopla, Kosachi Kontent and LENDIT. We are excited to support these highly creative startups with their innovative ideas and energy to pursue success.

Startup Funded Teams:


Stick Around is a company founded by Kevin Gallegos and Blake Meyers that focuses on simplifying the way small to medium businesses keep track of their equipment. The technology uses radio frequency identification reader (RFID) tags and scanners that are synced up to a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

SOULmuch, founded by Reyanne Mustafa and Kristian Krugman, focuses on sustainability with regards to food waste. Inspired by personally seeing how much food goes to waste when they were servers at a restaurant, the duo decided to take action by starting a company that collects excess grains and turning them into healthy snacks.

Vardas Inc., founded by Chad Vardas, focuses on finding alternatives other than prescription drugs in order to help those struggling with stress, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Zone, their main product at the moment, is a wristband that uses biometric technology to guide individuals to their unique optimal breathing rate, which in turn, helps to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and alleviate the dependency on medications.

Body Enrichment is an organic, vegan skincare company founded by Andrea Roberts. Her main focus is the idea of minimizing the carbon footprint we leave behind by using eco-friendly skincare products that not only help the environment, but also helps the individual maintain moist and healthy skin.

Hoopla, founded by Austin Wulf and Josh Munoz, is a company that plans to sell bioplastic containers beginning in Spring 2019. The company will offer a line of bioplastic food storage containers that are “free of any toxic leaching,” which has been linked to various health problems.


Kosachi Kontent is a company founded by Michael Kosoff, aimed at helping realtors to transition to a modern format of marketing by subscribing them to a monthly service. Kosoff’s objective is to develop realtors’ personalities into their own personal brand by helping them target millenials who are in the housing market.

LENDIT is a company founded by junior and U.S. Marine veteran Andrew Adrian, that focuses on the concept of lowering needless purchases and over-consumption by making renting more convenient than buying. This is accomplished by making a simple but powerful POS operating system for rental businesses in industries such as sports, party, auto, equipment, construction and boating, etc...

The support and resources from the Startup Fund are made possible thanks to a generous gift provided by Carol Lavin Bernick, who serves as CEO of Polished Nickel Capital Management, a privately held company that manages diversified investments and owned operating companies in retail and professional sports. Bernick is also the daughter of Leonard Lavin, whose invaluable support helped grow the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.
If you would like help us fund more startups, please contact Alex DeNoble

Building Bridges Across Borders

Baja The objective of building bridges across borders comes to life with the the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center’s annual Baja Exploration. In partnership with the university Centro de Enseñanza Técnica Y Superior (CETYS) with campuses in Tijuana, Mexicali and Ensenada, San Diego State University faculty and students gain insights for new potential opportunities for expansion and collaboration.

In the fall semester, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center took SDSU faculty across the border and introduced them to the evolving entrepreneurship ecosystem in Tijuana. Doing so gives faculty the opportunity for potential collaborative research, a look at trends and dynamics of a different area in a different country and it also helps them understand cross border issues.

“We bring a group of professors in September to visit various coworking facilities where entrepreneurs have a place to work and a place to connect with one another,” said Alex DeNoble, executive director of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. “We do this so our professors can understand what is going on just across the border. We also want them to take this trip so they can create possibilities for their students to engage in cross border activities.”

Similarly in the spring semester, a group of Lavin Entrepreneurship students also cross the border and engage with their Mexican counterparts.

California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference 2019

CEEC 2019 The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University is actively looking for proposals for the 2019 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference. The shifting landscape of entrepreneurship education and research indicates that it is important to transition and adapt in order to continue offering impactful innovation for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

We are seeking out "transformers" who are interested in sharing what they are learning, teaching and researching with respect to entrepreneurship in a variety of ways and submitting a proposal. Proposals are currently being accepted for workshops, round table discussions, or a lightning round presentation.

To submit a proposal for a session at the 2019 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, please click the proposal submit button below.

Submit Proposal

Registration :

Dates: April 11th (pre-conference), 12th, and 13th, 2019
Location: San Diego State University
Full Conference Fee: $349
Single day fee: $249 per day
Baja Exploration: $119

Register Now


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Transforming Entrepreneurship

California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference 2019
April 11-13, 2019


Video Insights on our Programs

Tony Hawk, Entrepreneur

Tony Hawk, Entrepreneur

Investor Insights

Investor Insights

Internships Benefits

Internships Benefits

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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