Future Entrepreneurs Put Their Ideas to the Test

USD Hosts First Business Plan Competition 

Five finalists have been selected for the University of San Diego School of Business Administration’s first Business Plan Competition offering a total of $10,000 in prize money for entrepreneurial students looking to be the next Steve Jobs or Richard Branson.  

The final round of competition takes place Friday, May 2 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in USD’s Mother Rosalie Hill Hall conference room (Room 102). 

Sixteen teams and over 60 students competed in the first round in April. Two finalist teams were selected from the graduate division and three teams from the undergraduate division.  

Plans that made it to the final round include “Green City Mexico,” an enterprise offering beautification services to Mexican cities in exchange for exclusive billboard advertising rights, “,” a virtual dating site and, an online sports community.  

USD’s new Entrepreneurship Club; the School of Business Administration; Amador Bengochea, owner of Bentar Inc., a Las Vegas-based contracting firm and parent of a 2007 USD graduate and USD alumnus and entrepreneur Tom Breitling are sponsoring the contest.  

Breitling co-founded and later sold the company to for more than $100 million. “I’m very impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of USD’s business students and look forward to judging the final round,” said Breitling, author of the new book “Double or Nothing” chronicling his business journey through the Internet and gaming industries.  

The other two judges for the final round are Michael Gallegos, president and CEO of American Property Management Corp., one of the nation’s largest independent hotel companies with operations in San Diego and Albuquerque, N.M. and Andy Laats, co-founder and president of Encinitas-based Nixon Inc., which markets branded watches and fashion accessories to action sports and youth fashion retailers.  

This competition, along with the formation of the USD Entrepreneurship Club are two important steps toward building a program that will significantly increase our contribution to the innovation-driven economy of  San Diego,” said USD Assistant Professor of Management Helder Sebastiao, coordinator of the competition and instructor of entrepreneurship. 

In March, “Business Week” magazine ranked USD’s undergraduate business programs in the top 50 of the nation for the second year in a row.  

USD’s MBA program was also ranked in the top 100 worldwide for integrating social and environmental issues, according to the Aspen Institute’s 2007-08 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes.  

The University of San Diego School of Business Administration is committed to developing socially responsible leaders and improving global business practice through innovative, personalized education and applied research. Visit

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls some 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies will bring the University’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Leadership and Education Sciences, Law and Nursing and Health Sciences. 


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.