University of San Diego Innovation Week Transforms Students' Wild Dreams into Wildly Successful Initiatives

Audacious people take risks and dream the impossible.  The University of San Diego’s Innovation Week brings a world of social entrepreneurs, upstart innovators, and thought leaders to campus from Friday, April 28 to Friday, May 5 to help students from San Diego and Latin America transform their “wild dreams” into “wildly successful” initiatives.

Innovation Week 2017 includes both the seventh annual Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) where entrepreneurial students compete for more than $40,000 in seed funding to start ventures for social, economic and environmental good and the sixth annual V2 (Venture Vetting) competition where entrepreneurial students compete for more than $30,000 in start-up funding.


Full details for Innovation Week include:

Keynote Address on Entrepreneurial Success by Tom Love, founder and executive chairman of Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, which has 420 locations across the country in 41 states and employs more than 17,000 team members since its founding in 1964.

Friday, April 28 at Noon

Manchester Auditorium in Manchester Hall.

Final Pitches for Social Innovation Challenge

Seventeen finalist teams, chosen from 75 submissions, will pitch proposals including “Greyble” to promote greywater recycling; “Recylinator” to reclaim carbon dioxide from craft breweries and “Dream Big” to support Native Americans in higher education.

Wednesday, May 3

10:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Conference Rooms A and B

Students from USD, UCSD, SDSU, Point Loma Nazarene and universities in Mexico will participate. Judges come from Qualcomm and other prominent companies and nonprofit organizations.

 “The reach of the Social Innovation Challenge continues to expand with an eye owards becoming global, in line with USD’s mission to be a global hub for social innovation and changemaking,” said Professor Amitkumar Kakkad, director of USD’s Center for Peace and Commerce.

Final Pitches for V2 Competition

Six finalist teams, chosen from 70 entries, will pitch their ideas including “Envimed” to provide quality medical tourism at a low price; “Trash Tracker to monitor how much waste each home produces and “Global Seller Holdings LTD” to serve the logistics needs of e-commerce sellers on a global scale.

Thursday, May 4

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre

Entrepreneurial students come from USD, Mexico and Uruguay. “Actual angel investors evaluate their pitches, giving the students a real experience with funding their ventures,” said Clinical Professor Michael Lawless, Academic Director of Entrepreneurship Initiatives in the USD School of Business.

Social Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony

The fun, fast-paced awards ceremony includes a 90-second fast-pitch competition for the Audience’s Choice Award.

Friday, May 5

4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre

The 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 other private donations.

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. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. 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.


Liz Harman
(619) 260-4682