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Friday, October 31st 2014

2014 Leonard Lavin Event

hansen program

This year, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center commemorated Leonard Lavin, the founder of Alberto-Culver Company and the person whom our center is named after. On February 19th, over fifty people came together at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center to honor Mr. Lavin as a gracious individual and accomplished entrepreneur. People from across the SDSU campus as well as the San Diego business community joined in celebration of Leonard’s lifelong accomplishments, making a positive impact on the lives of so many people. Current Executive Director, Dr. Alex DeNoble, and former Executive Director, Dr. Sandy Ehrlich, spoke of what a difference Leonard Lavin has made on SDSU students as well as anyone who has had the opportunity to work with Mr. Lavin. The Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Gangaram Singh, thanked Mr. Lavin for the inspiration and motivation he has provided to leaders everywhere.

Following a toast, all guests gathered together in anticipation of seeing the art piece designed by graphic designer, Tan Doan. Once the piece was exposed, everyone was in awe of its beauty and creativity. “Winners Make it Happen”, the title of Leonard’s book, displayed in bold letters next to Leonard’s portrait. Once the buzz subsided, people gathered together for pictures and networking. Mr. Lavin was genuinely thankful for the efforts that the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center put on in making the event special. He was also able to meet new students in the Lavin Entrepreneur Program that he pioneered. The event was a resounding success.


Forbes All-Star Student Entrepreneurs


Kevin Gelfand and Martin Reiman

As he was leaving the San Diego State University gym one afternoon in July 2010 after his usual weight-training session, Kevin Gelfand realized he was dreading the warm, lumpy protein shake he was planning to drink. "It almost tasted like dirt," he recalls. He decided he would try to concoct a drink that added ingredients like fresh fruit and nonfat milk to the usual whey protein powder to find a blend that tasted good and still packed a protein punch. He turned to fellow gym rat and Sigma Chi fraternity brother Martin Reiman for help.The pair came up with more than 60 different blends and recruited 20 friends to do a taste test before settling on 15 final flavors, including Chocolate Frosty, made with chocolate protein powder, agave nectar, milk and ice, and Perfect Ten, with blueberries, bananas, peanut butter and vanilla protein powder. They raised $50,000 from family and friends to set up a Shake Smart kiosk on campus near the gym, calculating they needed to sell 60 drinks a day to break even.


Instead Shake Smart exploded. Immediately after opening they were selling an average of 120 shakes a day, and within six months they had 12 people on the payroll. Last August they reached an agreement with SDSU to allow freshmen to pay using their meal plan.

This spring Shake Smart opened its second location, in a San Diego mall outside a 24 Hour Fitness gym. The company plans to open a third location by December, and Gelfand projects 2012 revenues of $740,000.

--Edwin Durgy,
Forbes Magazine
By supporting programs that offer feedback, insight, and mentoring to aspiring business leaders, I can give ‑fledgling ventures the best possible chance of success. Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Alberto-Culver
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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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