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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Thom McElroy, co-founder of Volcom, speaks to students at SDSU's annual Entrepreneur Day. Thom McElroy, co-founder of Volcom, speaks to students at SDSU's annual Entrepreneur Day.

Top Spot for Start-Ups

SDSU was selected by FORBES as a top entrepreneurial university.
By Hallie Jacobs

San Diego State University's commitment to entrepreneurship has been recognized by FORBES on its list of "America's Most Entrepreneurial Universities."

Coming in at No. 18, SDSU's entrepreneurialism ranked among top universities, including Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth and Princeton.

FORBES ranked the nation’s most entrepreneurial research universities based on their entrepreneurial ratios – the number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners against the school’s total student body. 

With Aztec alumni heading top companies — including Costco and Rubios — and producing an influx of tomorrow's start-up companies, the ranking comes as no surprise to Bernie Schroeder, director of programs at SDSU's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

"The Forbes ranking is recognition of the efforts of many people across campus to embed entrepreneurship into the DNA of SDSU," he said. "We strive to give every student a chance to learn how to incubate and grow a business."

Entrepreneurship starts here

A pillar of SDSU's Strategic Plan, Building on Excellence, is dedicated to improving student preparation for an innovation-based economy by fostering entrepreneurial experiences.

The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center serves students, entrepreneurs and business leaders through its entrepreneurial curriculum, workshops, internships, resources and events. With the right blend of university curriculum and industry involvement, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center within SDSU's College of Business Administration has emerged as an entrepreneurial leader.

The Zahn Innovation Center is SDSU's own business incubator. The commercial and social incubator supports SDSU innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs — students, faculty and staff from any major or department on campus — as they transform their ideas into companies. These individuals are organized into teams working on commercial and social enterprises as well as projects resulting in positive social impacts.

In fall 2013, SDSU announced the entrepreneurship minor

“Through the resources of the College of Business and the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, we are focused on preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said AlexDeNoble, a professor of management and executive director of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. “The entrepreneurship minor is a significant milestone in our quest to build a world-class program for entrepreneurs here at SDSU.”

Aztec entrepreneurs

SDSU boasts an impressive resume of entrepreneurs, both alumni and current students.

Through the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and Zahn Innovation Center, SDSU is dedicated to supporting the entrepreneurial endeavors of all Aztecs. 

SDSU has been the launch pad for a number of successful businesses, including Pura Vida Bracelets, SOLO Eyewear and Volcom.

"We want to make entrepreneurship a part of every student's experience," Schroder said. "We're doing it to give students the best possible chance to be successful and help them look at life through an entrepreneurial lens."