Etrack: ​An Ecosystem of Entrepreneurship

Inspiring technology innovators.

San Diego is ranked as one of the top cities for tech startups, with booming and energizing technology clusters in software, robotics, medical devices, electronics and our blue economy. And through USD’s Etrack engineering entrepreneurship program, startups and social enterprises flourish, emphasizing curiosity, connections and creating value to build a new world economy — one that not only creates jobs and builds wealth, but also solves pressing societal issues and improves lives.

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Etrack at USD's Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering

Within the Etrack umbrella, we harness and nurture students' innovative spirit through a comprehensive three-tiered program. We start by infusing entrepreneurial-minded learning principles throughout our programs to deliver exceptional educational outcomes, particularly through the Entrepreneurship Scholars Program where students are engaged beyond the silos of engineering, taking critical business courses to round up their skills. Then, we offer an entrepreneurial track for senior design, where students learn how to design, develop and produce something of value and market that product to their customers through the Capstone Experience. The final component includes participation in the Torero Entrepreneurship Challenge (TECh) and other competitions, which offer support and mentorship to help turn an idea into something tangible.

Ignite Innovation Speaker Series

In the summer of 2020, we launched the Ignite Innovation Speaker Series — where technology and entrepreneurship meet. Inspirational and fearless entrepreneurs are featured throughout the year sharing stories of grit, resilience and innovation. The series is sponsored by USD's Engineering and Computer Science Alumni. Want to learn more... click here for real world inspiration.

Recognizing Industry Support

"I have spent the last 2-3 years working with the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at USD, as a mentor in the Etrack program, teaching and reviewing engineering Capstone Design Projects that have the potential to be turned into startup businesses.  My goal was to pass on my experience as an entrepreneur and to introduce students to business concepts that they do not learn about in traditional engineering programs. Engineers looking to start a business or aspire to take on managerial responsibilities should learn about finance, market and customer requirements and strategies to raise capital to launch their ideas. I have been so impressed with the quality of the engineering students and their ability to learn business concepts that I personally invested funds in two USD engineering startups to assist them in launching their companies. Today, we have both of them growing their operations that in the next 2-3 years will be successful businesses that are cash flow breakeven. I am so thankful that USD and Dean Chell Roberts have given me the opportunity to contribute to young people who have the ambition, passion and determination to be successful in business." 

— Don De Sanctis, retired business leader

How Can You Get Involved?

There are a plethora of ways for alumni, leading professionals and industry sponsors to engage with our budding entrepreneurs throughout the Etrack program. We invite you to get involved by contacting Etrack's co-faculty leads Venkat Shastri, PhD or Jeff Teza.

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Mentors

Share your experience and guidance to become a role model to our aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Sponsors

Work with Capstone teams and gain access to exceptional talent and innovative solutions.

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Judges

Use your expertise as an angel investor to evaluate team pitches at our Etrack competitions.

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Speakers

Motivate our entrepreneurs and community members by sharing your stories and expertise.

We're With You Every Step of the Way

Our dedicated Etrack team provides inspiration, advice and strategy for our aspiring technology innovators and are readily available to answer your questions regarding USD's Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering entrepreneurship program.
Venkat Shastri

 

CO-FACULTY LEAD

Venkat Shastri, PhD 
De Sanctis Professor of Engineering and Entrepreneurship 

Associate Dean of
Graduate Programs

Contact: venkat@sandiego.edu
 

Jeff Teza

 

CO-FACULTY LEAD

Jeff Teza
Professor of Practice

Program Director, Master of Science in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship

Contact: jteza@sandiego.edu

A Hub of Innovation

Through these initiatives and more, we are engaging students on a multitude of levels for real-world entrepreneurial experience — where faculty across campus and external partners sustain our entrepreneurship program through deep, consistent engagement. We are an innovation hub, moving beyond traditional boundaries, into a mindset that breeds innovation — where anything is possible.

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