Skip to content
Wednesday, November 14th 2018

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

October, 2018

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Launches New Student Startup Fund

Student Startup Fund For aspiring student entrepreneurs at San Diego State University, creating a potential startup is becoming more of a reality with support from the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Startup Fund.

The intent of the Startup Fund is to encourage, support and give student startups a head start by providing the funding needed to progress in their early stages. Some of the activities funded by the program include (but are not limited to): early prototyping, web or application development, legal services, brand development as well as travel to trade shows and competitions. In addition, the funding will provide networking opportunities such as entrepreneur dinners, where students get to meet and spend time with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders such as the Co-Founder of Rubio’s, Ralph Rubio.

In May, 2018 four out of the nine proposals submitted were selected to receive funding. The companies selected by the Startup Fund were Zero Pressure, Body Enrichment, SOULmuch and Summit Suncare.

Zero Pressure, founded by Lucien Eloundou, received $500 for his business, which focuses on improving the health of busy and active professionals by transforming their smartphones into health management tools. “The dream is to help people live healthier lives,” he says.

Body Enrichment, founded by Andrea Roberts, received $2,500 for her business that focuses on providing sustainable and holistic skin care products. “It means the world to know that someone sees your vision and supports it,” she says. “Now I feel even more ambitious and motivated.”

Kristian Krugman and Reyanne Mustafa’s company SOULmuch, aims to feed people living in impoverished areas by providing them with nutrient-rich products while reducing food waste, was awarded $3,000.

Summit Suncare, started by Courtney Wegener, was awarded $2,000 for her company, which focuses on providing people with health-conscious and environmentally-friendly skin care products. “I want to create products that feel good and are good for the environment,” she says. “Hopefully I can also raise awareness and help people take action.”

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 kind support helped grow the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

The Inside Story of the Fish Taco

Rubios Living with his parents because he was a broke college student, working at a restaurant while studying and continuing to work at restaurants even after graduating; would you ever believe that this description defines the co-founder of the iconic fish taco restaurant chain Rubio’s, Ralph Rubio? Watch the video and gain insights into the key moves Ralph Rubio made.

Rubio found his inspiration through his entrepreneur-minded father, who immigrated and became a US citizen, worked in a plastics company and later became a senior vice president of manufacturing for another big plastic company. “When I was 12 years old, he told me, ‘Son, if you ever get a chance to own your own business, you should do that because there’s nothing like owning your own business, working for yourself and making your own decisions.’” These words stuck with Rubio and influenced his decision in creating a business that he would later find to be very successful.

With his father’s advice and support, Rubio pursued a college education at San Diego State University initially as a business major in 1973, eventually graduating with a liberal studies degree along with a minor in Spanish. During his studies, and even after graduating, Rubio was working at restaurants where he climbed up through ranks that helped him gain hands-on restaurant experience in management.

Rubio’s first glimpse of a fish taco occurred in Mexico while on spring break with some friends in his first year of college. “A light bulb went off,” he says. “I saw all these other students like me loving fish tacos, drinking a cold beer and hanging out with their friends. Nobody was doing this in San Diego.” This moment led him to take the first steps in creating his company.

Rubio looks back most fondly in the first two years of the startup where he would find himself working at least 80 hours a week. “(That was) the start-up phase where every time you put the key in the door, you didn’t know what to expect,” he says. The adrenaline is going because you’re fighting for your life and you’re just trying to figure everything out. You’re just living, breathing this business and trying to make it come alive and live the dream. It was so much work and it was so intense and that’s what I remember and I fed on that.”

His main job today at Rubio’s is shepherding the food menu, marketing and public relations as well as making television appearances. “I pretty much get to do what I want to do and I’m still very enthusiastic about what I do everyday,” Rubio says.

Lavin Center Provides SDSU Entrepreneurs Legal Services

SDSU Entrepreneurs Legal Services Starting a business is a hard and often complicated process with many unexplained terms and concepts. Fortunately for SDSU student entrepreneurs, legal services are now easily accessible at little to no cost.

The Lavin Entrepreneur Advocacy Program (LEAP) is a collaboration between The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and key partners, the University of San Diego School of Law and Duane Morris LLP, whose attorneys provide legal assistance for Lavin Entrepreneur students and their startup businesses. Students in the program are offered free workshops, connect with USD law students, along with legal mentors and legal advisors from Duane Morris, who are there to clear up topics such as equity, ownership, intellectual property, employer and employee relationships, tax entities, finances and much more.

“It’s better to seek advice earlier than later because it’s much easier to be set up right than to fix your problems later," University of San Diego Legal Clinics Administrative Director Eric Austin, says. “A common problem that we see is that people are hiring consultants to do work for them, to build an app or to design something, but they don’t have a written agreement in place with this consultant (and as a result,) the consultant owns intellectual property. We also see people run into tax issues and founder disputes where they don’t properly distribute the equity and ownership of the company, which leads to fights later on about who own the company.”

Duane Morris Attorney Partner and Lavin Advisory Board Member Michelle Hon Donovan, helped create the LEAP program in order to further support Lavin entrepreneur students and their businesses. “The end goal of the program is to guide students who are starting a business and to make sure they’re doing it in a way that is legally compliant,” she says. “If you try to fix some of these big pitfalls down the road, it becomes much more harder and more expensive. I think the key to entrepreneurship is to keep trying and to dream big. For every successful entrepreneur that you meet, they will tell you that there is a long list of failures behind them before they became a successful business.”

SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Welcomes New Board Chair

Larry_Petersen After successfully growing three different businesses that became multi-million dollar companies Larry Peterson, finds himself playing a major role at San Diego State University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, where he is looking to influence the dreams of student entrepreneurs.

Serving as the Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, Petersen’s career can be traced back to when he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing at SDSU. “My education has been useful and successful to me since the day I graduated,” he says. “I learned so much (at SDSU) and I was taught invaluable lessons that really helped me in my life and my business development.”

Petersen was the president and founder of LP Marketing, a marketing organization in Northern California which worked with major consumer and professional electronics manufacturers. His company has received over 100 national awards for its excellence in sales and marketing. He has also founded Bayview Distributing, an electronics distributions company and Bayview Development, a company that builds custom homes in the Oakland area.

Some of Petersen’s involvement at SDSU include starting the Entrepreneur in Residence Program at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, mentoring SDSU students, and establishing a scholarship for entrepreneur students. “It’s extremely valuable for students to be able to monetize their education and a lot of that came from lessons I learned (while studying at SDSU),” he says. “Someone invested in me and I know how it helps students through the scholarships and mentoring when you have an experienced adult helping you. You only get a chance to go to a university once. Embrace it and make the most of it. There’s nothing like college and don’t worry about what comes next because you can always go to work and get a job, you can’t always go to college.”

2019 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference

Transforming the Field of Entrepreneurship

CEEC 2019 The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University invites entrepreneurship educators and researchers to join us for the 2019 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, where we will emphasize our mission and focus of “Transforming the Field of Entrepreneurship Research and Education.” Information on entrepreneurship is available seemingly everywhere with online websites and seminar guru’s providing a plethora of information and motivation. But is that what is needed?

With entrepreneur evangelists constantly advocating students to dropout of school so they can devote themselves full time in the pursuit of their startup ventures, it is pretty clear that action needs to take place to transform the university teaching environment in order to accommodate the next generation of entrepreneurs.

By joining us at our sixth annual conference in April 11-13, 2019, you will start connecting with a leading network of entrepreneurship educators and researchers who will help to define the crucial transformations in entrepreneurship research and pedagogy.

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

Register Now


Stay Updated!

View and subscribe to the Lavin Center's Event Calendar


Connect with us

Facebook page Twitter page Twitter page

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.

Note: Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view; download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Documents in MS Word (DOC) format require a Microsoft Word compatible viewer to view; download Microsoft Word Viewer.
Documents in MS Powerpoint (PPT) format require a Microsoft Powerpoint compatible viewer to view; download Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer
Documents in MS Excel (XLS) format require a Microsoft Excel compatible viewer to view; download Microsoft Excel Viewer

Site Created by: Pagelines | Digital