Torero Tidbits: A Closer Look at Entrepreneurship Opportunities on Campus

Torero Tidbits: A Closer Look at Entrepreneurship Opportunities on Campus

September’s here. Classes at the University of San Diego have started for fall semester. The routine has begun for students. But on an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus like USD, one of only 50 worldwide, it’s also time for entrepreneurship to rev up for another academic year.

The USD campus seemingly has no shortage of ways to explore it, learn from others who've done it, garner ideas for it and have ample opportunities to get hands-on experience. Just this month — and throughout the academic year — USD students can get a true feel for entrepreneurship from multiple perspectives, multiple fields and in settings that can be additionally beneficial in a networking environment.

• This evening (Sept. 18), The Brink, also known as the Small Business Development Center, hosts the  second San Diego Angel Conference Kickoff takes place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Barcelona Room 217 at the far west end of the USD campus. Tonight is the first gathering for local entrepreneurs who have an idea and seek to compete for a $200,000 investment from 40+ SEC accredited investors. The application deadline to enter is Dec. 18, 2019.

• On Thursday morning, students can hear the stories of real estate entrepreneurs at the Sept. 19 Burham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Breakfast with the BMC lecture series. This event, running 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre, will be a panel discussion with four prominent entrepreneurs sharing their experiences.

• Another valuable asset for student entrepreneurs is to attend the eighth annual USD Legacy Entrepreneurship Conference from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 in the Kroc IPJ Theatre. As stated in its description: “Often we only get to see the finished product of a successful business but rarely do we learn about the true struggle of the entrepreneurial journey. The USD Legacy Entrepreneurship Conference offers exactly this opportunity.” It’s free to attend but an RSVP is required so register now.

The university’s entrepreneurship culture has numerous resources and hands-on experiences for students to take part — from idea labs to organizations such as the USD Entrepreneurship Club, the Student International Business Council, student projects in the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and annual competitions with seed funding and mentoring available.

• This fall, USD’s entrepreneurship field has added a new entry called the Fowler Business Concept Challenge. Students are encouraged to explore their entrepreneurship potential to make a positive impact on the world. Finalists and semi-finalists have the chance to win up to $45,000 in scholarships. Organized by the newly created USD School of Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation Catalyzer, the Fowler Business Concept Challenge is open to all current USD undergraduate and graduate students. A submission workshop will take place on Oct. 1. Learn more.

• Another fall competition is the annual Changemaker Challenge, a video idea competition to address current social challenges in our community. The 2019 theme is “Homelessness, Displacement and Migration.” There are numerous events on campus this fall that tie closely to the theme, including this week’s Sept. 19, 4 p.m. debate, in the Kroc IPJ Theatre that answers the question, “Is America Facing an Immigration Crisis?” Hosted by USD’s Center for Ethics, Economics and Public Policy, Rich Lowry, a National Review editor, and Jason Riley, Wall Street Journal editorial board member and Manhattan Institute senior fellow are the debaters. Several more dialogues, film screenings, immersion trips and other special events take place this fall to help Changemaker Challenge entrants hone their idea. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Nov. 14.

• Two signature entrepreneurial events at USD take place during the spring semester, the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge and the Venture Vetting (V2) Pitch Competition.

The Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge announced exciting news this week. It has been selected for entry into the The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge. Other participants are Big Ideas at Berkeley, Innovation in Action and MIT Ideas. As part of The Rockefeller Foundation-Acumen Student Social Innovation Challenge, the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge has received funding and access to an exclusive set of student resources that leverage the experience of The Rockefeller Foundation and Acumen in building successful social enterprises. Winning teams from the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge will be invited to join a social innovator network hosted by Acumen where they can connect with peer innovators and receive ongoing support.

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone

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