Innovation Week Kicks Off April 28 at the University of San Diego

Thursday, April 13, 2017TOPICS: Innovation and EntrepreneurshipGuest SpeakersConferences and Workshops

Audacious people take risks and dream the impossible. That's why the University of San Diego brings together a whole world of social entrepreneurs, upstart innovators and thought leaders for Innovation Week—a celebration starting on the USD campus April 28 to help students and community members go from ‘wild dream’ to ‘wildly successful.’

Innovation Weeks kicks off on April 28th with a keynote address from Tom Love, founder and executive chairman of Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores, who will speak at noon in Manchester Auditorium about his entrepreneurial path to success.Love’s talk and the other three events described below are all free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the West parking garage. 

Love and his wife, Judy, started their stores in 1964 with one small location in a tiny western Oklahoma town. Today, Love’s has more than 420 locations across the country in 41 states and employs more than 17,000 talented team members. Love’s is recognized each year by Forbes as one of America’s largest privately owned companies.

On May 3, Innovation Week continues with final pitches for the Center for Peace and Commerce’s 7th annualSocial Innovation Challenge (SIC) in Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice (KIPJ) building. SIC promotes, guides, and supports student-driven ideas to launch or contribute to social enterprises.

“The reach of SIC continues to expand with an eye towards becoming global, in line with USD’s mission to be a global hub for social innovation and changemaking,” says Amitkumar Kakkad, CPC faculty director.

Starting at 10 am, judges from prominent companies and nonprofit institutions will evaluate 17 finalists from over 75 proposals submitted by university students from all over San Diego County and Mexico. The winners of the monetary and in-kind prizes, including $40,000 in seed funding, will be announced and prizes awarded on May 5 at the SIC Award Ceremony starting at 4 p.m. in the KIPJ Theatre after each of the finalists gives a 90-second fast pitch and the attendees vote for the Audience’s Choice Award.

More than 70 proposals were submitted for the USD School of Business’s 6th annual Venture Vetting (V2) Competition. On May 4, entrepreneurial students from San Diego as well as from Mexico and Uruguay will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of distinguished angel investors to win more than $30,000 in funding. V2 starts at 5 p.m. in KIPJ. It is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the West parking garage.

These Innovation Week events are made possible by generous support from Qualcomm Ventures, Qualcomm Wireless Reach, John and Nancy Jo Cappetta, Michael Mugel, Moxie Foundation, Annie Navarra and Jerome’s Furniture, the Price Family Foundation, the McNamara Purcell Foundation, Pacific Western Bank, Wendy Gillespie,  Moves the Needle, Cleantech San Diego,, Mission Edge, Hera Hub, Impact without Borders and private donations.

For more information about Innovation Week at USD, visit and or contact Rachel Christensen, assistant director of the Center for Peace and Commerce, at


Regina Bernal
(619) 947-8040