The Lavin VentureStart Competition
Uniting Entrepreneurs at SDSU
During fall and spring semesters, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center hosts the Lavin VentureStart Competition. A collaborative and team-based competition, all done in less than four hours, that pushes teams to be innovative and practical in formulating business ventures as solutions to a given problem. We invite local entrepreneur judges to evaluate and question the team's solution. The reward for the winning team is $1,000!
VentureStart Competition Spring 2021 Competition: Pivot to Win!
For the Spring of 2021, we are going to introduce a new element into the semester-based competition. With the arrival of COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions on small businesses, we are going to present teams with the challenge of choosing one of four existing businesses. Teams will measure the impact of COVID-19 on each business and then choose one of the businesses that the team wants to pivot in another direction in order to have that business survive and thrive.
Competition Agenda and Format
Date: February 19, 9am – 12 noon
Who: Teams of at least two students
What: Pivot one of four existing businesses
|9:00 am to 9:20 am||Welcome and competition overview|
|9:20 am to 9:30 am||Presentation of the four existing businesses|
|9:30 am to 10:30 am||
Teams pick one business, do research and prepare five slide presentation on their recommended pivot and solution
|10:30 am to 12 Noon||Teams have four minutes to present to judges and four minutes of judges Q & A|
|12:00 Noon||After all teams have presented, judges select a winner|
VentureStart Competition Fall 2020 Winning Team
1st place: Street Smart (Reid Becker, Isabella Messina, and Benjamin Shapiro)
The Spring 2021 VentureStart Competition winners are Reid Becker, Isabella Messina, and Benjamin Shapiro. In our new competition format, Street Smart pivoted a university-based chain making protein shakes on college campuses. Their team pitched portable kiosks that can be placed outside of universities in areas with dense traffic.
Ben Shapiro had this to say about the competition, “I loved the new VentureStart format. We got to apply our entrepreneurial skills to a real business facing a real challenge. It was pretty awesome seeing what everyone came up with within about an hour."
Contact Bernhard Schroeder at [email protected] for more information.
- Networks of world-class entrepreneurs, investors, and potential partners
- Mentorship by successful and seasoned professionals
- Education on the Business Model Canvas as well as entrepreneurial insight
- Content-rich feedback on their business model from world class entrepreneurs, investors, professors and professional service providers on our Judging Panel
- Team building opportunities to create a winning team of founders
Students from all seven (7) colleges at SDSU at the undergraduate and graduate levels may enter the Lavin VentureStart Competition. Multi-disciplinary teams that combine members from technical disciplines with members from the business school may prove to create the most successful competitors.
Access to submitted executive summaries is only granted by Lavin Entrepreneurship Center organizers to the members of its judging panel. The Lavin Center and the Judging team members are the only other individuals who may be provided with the submitted executive summaries. Reasonable steps are taken to limit access to the submitted executive summaries.
The judges of The Lavin VentureStart Competition are venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, professors and lawyers who deal with confidential material on a regular basis. There will be no confidentiality obligation by any recipient of your summary for information which: (a) is publicly available prior to the time of its disclosure to the Competition or becomes publicly available thereafter through no wrongful act of the recipient, or (b) was known to the recipient prior to the date of disclosure or becomes known to the recipient thereafter from a third party having an apparent bona fide right to disclose the information, or (c) is disclosed by recipient in accordance with your approval, or (d) is disclosed by you or any member of your team without restriction on further disclosure, or (e) is independently developed by a recipient; or (f) the recipient is obligated to disclose to comply with applicable laws or regulations, or with a court or administrative order.
Before submitting your executive summary, The Lavin VentureStart Competition urges you to confirm with appropriate advisors or legal counsel that any intellectual property described in your summary is protected; (i.e., by appropriate intellectual property filings, notices, patent, copyright, etc.) by the owning institution and/or individuals. We also recommend that you determine in advance whether your summary describes a technology, invention, copyrightable work or other intellectual property owned by SDSU in accordance with SDSU Policy. The Tech Transfer Office is available to answer your questions.
If you are not sure about the legal status of your own or third party intellectual property or any other aspect of your plan, The Lavin VentureStart Competition urges you to seek independent legal counsel.
- Minimize cost to maximize learning
- Identification of opportunities validated through hypothesis testing
- Product/service prototype ideation and development
- Customer interaction
- Pivot in response to customer interaction
SDSU MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND CONCERNING THE SDSU LAVIN VENTURESTART COMPETITION EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. IN NO EVENT SHALL SDSU, ITS TRUSTEES, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, STUDENTS, THE SDSU LAVIN VENTURESTART COMPETITION JUDGES AND MENTORS, AND AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, INFORMATION OR DECISIONS MADE FOR OR ON BEHALF OF THE SDSU VENTURESTART COMPETITION, OR FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING ECONOMIC DAMAGES OR INJURY TO PROPERTY AND LOST PROFITS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SDSU SHALL BE ADVISED, SHALL HAVE OTHER REASON TO KNOW OR IN FACT SHALL KNOW OF THE POSSIBILITY OF THE FOREGOING.
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2020 WINNERS
- 1st place: Kid Fyt
- Adrian Armenta
- David Evelo
- Isabella Messina
- Benjamin Shapiro
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2019 WINNERS
- 1st place: FreshTech
- 2nd place: BabyBox
- 3rd place: Genie
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2016 WINNERS
- 1st place: Tranquili Tea
- 2nd place: Lao Links
- 3rd place: Millennia
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2015 WINNERS
- 1st place: ToolD
- 2nd place: Laser Clean
- 3rd place: Park It Market
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2015 WINNERS
- 1st place: Aroma Balm
- 2nd place: Restoar
- 3rd place: Go Ryder
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2014 WINNERS
- 1st place: Hype Audio
- 2nd place: Wanderlust
- 3rd place: Kibble Kick
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2014 WINNERS
- 1st place: Hepcat Instruments
- 2nd place: Broccoli Bites
- 3rd place: Cutting Edge Innovations
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2013 WINNERS
- 1st place: Impaktiv
- 2nd place: Tug Tamer Leashes
- 3rd place: Crowd District
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2013 WINNERS
- 1st place: Spyne Tech
- 2nd place: Himalayan Coffee
- 3rd place: Fit Food
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2012 WINNERS
- 1st place: Epsilon Micro Devices
- 2nd place: FindCart
- 3rd place: EDUswap
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2012 WINNERS
- 1st place: Aspire Innovations
- 2nd place: Student Cloud
- 3rd place: Choco ART
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2011 WINNERS
- 1st place: Mobile Network Innovations, Inc.
- 2nd place: Moquility Inc.
- 3rd place: FriendChip's
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2011 WINNERS
- 1st place: Genosistant
- 2nd place: Secret Weapon Trucks
- 3rd place: SoshMap
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2010 WINNERS
- 1st place: Tip Network
- 2nd place: Elltrio
- 3rd place: DrawParts
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2010 WINNERS
- 1st place: Moto-Media
- 2nd place: LosingBid.com
- 3rd place: One for San Diego
- THE VENTURESTART FALL 2009 WINNERS
- 1st place: SMBC: Social Media Background Check
- 2nd place: IWAI: IWantAnInternship.com
- 3rd place: Good Thrill
- THE VENTURESTART SPRING 2009 WINNERS
- 1st Place: Fourth Estate Mobile
- 2nd Place: The SkateSpot.com
- 3rd Place: Mana Butter