Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Community Newsletter

August, 2020


Internship Program Survey Insights

Internship Program Survey Findings

The Lavin Internship Program connects local San Diego employers with students to fill a variety of positions such as marketing, software development, finance, project management, web development, etc. Most positions are from startups, small companies and middle-sized firms in the areas that provide positions and exposure to senior executives to facilitate the development of professional competencies in our students. Over the past few months, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center has been gathering insights into this program, noting some interesting findings.

Over a three week period, students and supervisors from our internship program were sent a Qualtrics survey via email. Our intern survey yielded a 47.1% response rate and our supervisor survey yielded a 53.3% response rate. Questions asked in the survey revolved around logistics of the internships and participant experiences.

All of the supervisors reported their interns had a moderate to great understanding of projects assigned. This is likely influenced by the high rate of communication reported between some interns and supervisors. It is critical that our supervisors facilitate in the building of professional competencies, meaning effective communication is key.

Most memorably, 87.5% of supervisors reported being extremely likely to hire another Lavin intern through our program. As our program continues to grow, we are constantly looking for new client companies. If you are interested in hiring a Lavin intern, fill out an application or contact our new internship coordinator, David Brummel, at [email protected].

Former Lavin Pays it Forward

John Walsh

As a Lavin Entrepreneur, John Walsh was ambitious, hungry, and scrappy. Similar to most young entrepreneurs, he was eager to leave his mark. Before graduating from San Diego State University a few years ago, Walsh was actively involved in the Lavin Entrepreneur Program and ZIP Launchpad. With an inkling towards sustainability, Walsh continually tested his ability to recognize environmentally friendly solutions to unfriendly everyday problems. He founded his own company, VENA, that aimed to solve water scarcity through atmospheric water generators and eventually won a regional Global Student Entrepreneurship Award.

His passion for all things good and sustainable, remain with him to this day. Now, Walsh is the Chief Executive Officer of Endera Motors, a transportation technology company that builds clean-energy, electric commercial vehicles. In the last year, Endera has become a client company in our Lavin Internship Program. John offers sustainable marketing and business internships to our up and coming Lavin Entrepreneur students. We are grateful for former students like John who have benefited from their time with us, to now re-engage in such meaningful ways.

Benjamin Shapiro, a current Lavin Entrepreneur and junior project manager for Endera, describes his experience working with Walsh as incredible. Saying “[our] similar attitudes and shared Lavin history have allowed us to better understand each other and work together. We are able to chat about the concepts and skills taught in the Lavin Program…I’ve been able to bring new ideas and tools to the table that Lavin did not teach John back when he went through the program.”

Walsh sees a lot of himself in the interns he hires. He says that Bernhard Schoreder, our Program Director, was an early mentor to him and now he is paying it forward with current Lavin Entrepreneurs. Since hiring his first intern earlier this year, the company has grown significantly. To date three Lavin Entrepreneurs have interned with Walsh at Endera and there is, certainly, intended to be more. In a full circle moment, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is elated to see Lavins hiring Lavins and the influence the program has had in establishing these professional connections.

Lavin Center Start-Up Seed Fund Recipients

Seed Fund Recipients 1

The Startup Fund was developed to encourage and support SDSU students who aspire to create their own startup, with an ultimate goal of creating more founder-based SDSU companies. Quarterly, a committee meets to review applications for the Startup Fund which was made possible by Carol Lavin Bernick.

Towards the beginning of July, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Startup Fund Committee met to review applications for the summer round of seed funding. In total, $8,067 will be dispersed through the seed fund to five up and coming SDSU companies as they find their footing.

These five SDSU startups will receive funding for reasons including marketing research, insurance financing, outreach, lean testing, etc.

  • Till - App that allows restaurants to sell leftover meals at discounted prices.
  • TekMate - Platform connecting older adults and seniors with young adults for tech tutoring.
  • Teach Private Lessons - Assists aspiring music teachers in establishing their own private music lesson studios.
  • Wubbie - Social network and educational platform that consolidates education materials for patients continuing their education.
  • Hempress Hygenics - Organic, hemp-based replacements for disposable feminine products such as pads, liners, and tampons.

Applications for the next round of seed funding will open again during the fall semester. Information about the Lavin Entrepreneurship Startup Fund dates, eligibility, and applications can be found on our website.

California Entrepreneurship Educator Conference 2021

California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference 2021

Last month we announced the dates and theme of our 2021 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference. Come April 15th and 16th of 2021, entrepreneurship educators and researchers from across the globe will be joining us as we reinvent the discipline of entrepreneurship. In light of this announcement, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is reflecting on some stimulating sessions from last year's conference.

  • John Mullins from the London Business School spoke on the different “customer-funded business models” that start-ups can utilize to acquire their initial funding. For the full session video click here.
  • Chantal Line Carpentier from the United Nations emphasized the possibility of doing well by doing good in humane and social entrepreneurship. For the full session video click here.
  • Michael Morris from the University of Notre Dame explored an empowerment perspective on entrepreneurship and how we can address disempowerment of important parts of society. For the full session video click here.

As we are still in the early planning stages for the coming conference, we will be reaching out for speaker and session proposals in the October timeframe. Check our website for more information about our 2021 California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference. For additional information contact Jacinda Molina at [email protected].website.