Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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Shake Smart co-founders Martin Reiman and Kevin Gelfand (Photo: Liana Gilkey) Shake Smart co-founders Martin Reiman and Kevin Gelfand (Photo: Liana Gilkey)
 


Alumni Entrepreneurs Named Rising Stars by Inc. Magazine

Fowler College of Business graduates tapped as most inspiring entrepreneurs of 2018.
By Coleen L. Geraghty
 

“The Aztec network is a valuable source of counsel and camaraderie, especially in the Fowler College of Business and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.”

San Diego State University alumni Kevin Gelfand (’11) and Martin Reiman (’12) are among Inc. magazine’s list of “Rising Stars,” billed as the most inspiring entrepreneurs of 2018.

Shake Smart, the company Gelfand and Reiman founded during their junior year at SDSU, generated $3.6 million in revenue in 2017. There are 10 Shake Smart locations already and another 10 in the pipeline, Gelfand said.

Shake Smart makes and sells protein shakes, sandwiches, wraps, acai bowls, and cold brew coffee for healthy post-workout snacks.

Inc. magazine’s national recognition is not a first for Gelfand. In 2012, he made Forbes’ list of All-Star Student Entrepreneurs.  

First on the SDSU campus

SDSU was the site of the first Shake Smart outlet, opened in January 2011 outside the Aztec Recreation Center. The campus now supports a second location in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.  

Shake Smart continues to build its network on or near college campuses, Gelfand said. Besides SDSU, outlets are located at California State University Northridge, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the University of Texas, Texas State University and the University of Florida.

“By the end of 2019, we hope to have Shake Smart on 20 campuses across the United States,” Gelfand said.

Keeping the culture

The entrepreneurial duo keep in touch with their early professors and mentors at SDSU, and occasionally seek their advice.  

“The Aztec network is a valuable source of counsel and camaraderie, especially in the Fowler College of Business and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center,” Gelfand said.

And what are the most important lessons Gelfand and Reiman have learned as business owners?

“Because we’ve been very strategic about financing, we’ve been able to grow the business without bringing on investors,” Gelfand said. “And that has allowed us to keep our culture.”