SDSU Lavin Entrepreneur Program

Building the next generation of SDSU Entrepreneurs

The Lavin Entrepreneur Program is a two-year undergraduate program that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration to build the next generation of SDSU entrepreneurs. Lavin students are given the resources needed to design, think, pitch and pivot their business ideas. Please check out the Lavin Entrepreneur Resources webpage in order to understand all resources and benefits available to accepted Lavin Entrepreneur students.

Selected from a qualified group of sophomore undergraduates, Lavin students come from a diverse array of majors and backgrounds. Lavins use their academic and professional experiences in business, engineering, sciences, and arts to create innovative ideas and add fresh perspectives. The program emphasizes experiential learning to help build students’ core entrepreneurial competencies.             

Both current SDSU sophomores and incoming junior transfers are encouraged to apply. Criteria for entry in to the program is based upon an assessment:                            

  • A student's portfolio of entrepreneurial experiences
  • Any entrepreneurial activity
  • Personality and curiosity traits
  • Grade point average
  • A growth oriented mindset

Application are accepted in late spring semester.

This program engages a select group of talented undergraduate students in an unforgettable experience designed to prepare them for an entrepreneurial career. Graduates of this two-year program will be able to identify and evaluate new business opportunities, understand the roles and responsibilities of an entrepreneur and marshal and deploy resources in order to launch and build new ventures. In addition, they will develop potentially life-long relationships with industry experts, faculty, mentors and Lavin Entrepreneurship Center staff to fuel their entrepreneurial careers. This two year co-curricular program is organized around a "Lean" framework that advocates dynamic business modeling based on "out of the building" assumptions testing. Key elements of a business model include: value proposition, target market segments, customer relationship building, key resource requirements, key activities, key partners, distribution channels, cost structure and revenue streams. Throughout the program, we challenge students to describe, design, invent, and "pivot" their business ideas.

Key Components Of the Lavin Entrepreneur Program

  • Mentoring/Coaching from Entrepreneurs
  • Company site visits
  • Opportunities to create and sell a product
  • Opportunities to start a company
  • Meeting Entrepreneur Speakers
  • Industry Expert Panel Support
  • Lavin VentureStart Competition
  • L. Robert Payne Distinguished Entrepreneur Lecture
  • Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Staff and Advisor Support
  • Four courses over two years
  • Mind shifting books and exercises


For more information, please contact Destiny Lopez at [email protected]





Lavin Entrepreneur Courses

  • BA311: Students will be introduced to entrepreneurship as a potential path for future career development. Entrepreneurship is about creating and building something of value. In this course, students will begin their journey of developing their entrepreneurial competencies and professional networks. Additionally, students will be introduced to the basics of ideation, opportunity recognition and business model development.
  • BA312: In the course, students will continue building their entrepreneurial competencies and mindsets. The class emphasizes the utilization of entrepreneurship frameworks for business opportunity assessment. Ideation and feasibility analysis techniques in ventures, and how to interact and negotiate with strategic partners will also be highlighted.
  • BA411: In the course, students will focus on developing an idea for launching a new business venture. Throughout the course, students will engage in significant customer development activities that are designed to test assumptions based on market feedback. Using Lean Startup principles, students will learn to make pivots when appropriate, leading to multiple iterations from their original business model canvas.
  • BA412: In the course, we will focus on company creation activities. Building upon the “iterated” business model canvas produced at the end of BA 411, students will be exposed to the types of challenges, issues and decisions that must be made while formulating their launch plan. By the end of this course, students will develop and present an investor pitch of their proposed new business venture.

Lavin Entrepreneur Mentors

  • The Lavin Entrepreneur Program offers the opportunity for experienced professionals to establish a mentoring relationship with a student entrepreneur acting as a close, trusted, and experienced colleague. The Lavin Program enables students to gain the necessary tools and mindset, whether they’re ready to start their own company or just want to explore the field of entrepreneurship.
  • Lavin students are selected from applicants across the university and are not limited to any field of interest or academic major at SDSU. This provides for extensive areas of opportunity for students and mentors to consider during the mentorship program.
  • Lavin students and Lavin mentors can spend time together in many ways to help identify needs and opportunities to support early stage new business ideas. Each mentor and student will likely have unique ideas as how to spend time together sharing knowledge from academic, work experience and networking relationships. From traditional one-on-one talks to attending networking events together, the mentor-mentee relationship can take many forms.
  • Mentors are expected to set aside time for their student mentee, offer and share knowledgeable experiences and opportunities, and have a background expertise in an industry of focus. If you meet all these criterias, we encourage you to apply to become a mentor.

If you have any questions about the application please email Destiny Lopez at [email protected].