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Business Student Sparks Idea for Incubator Lab at USD

Business Student Sparks Idea for Incubator Lab at USD

This summer, the University of San Diego School of Business launched its first-ever app featuring over 30 workshops for students to skill up and stay connected while away from campus. And as a testament to the relationships forged at the USD School of Business, the app was created by a double graduate alumnus from Spain, David Jimenez Burgos, who earned both an MBA and a master’s in finance in 2018. 

A memento from the V2 Pitch Competition

Burgos launched the company Momento Solutions with some of the money he won from the 2017 V2 Pitch Competition at USD, where he took home first place and $22,000 for his health-focused mobile app idea. That idea eventually evolved into Momento Solutions which creates “apps and software solutions that take event planning and event communication to the next level.” 

“When I told David about the V2 Pitch Competition, he got so excited that he came to the USD School of Business determined to win the competition,” says Regina Bernal, entrepreneurship manager at the USD School of Business of a conversation she had with David when he was still a prospective student looking for the right school to pursue his MBA. 

“At USD, David spent countless hours working on his pitch deck. He stopped by my office many times and worked closely with me and other mentors to prepare for the competition. I was impressed by his drive and grit, both of which he still displays today as he pursues his entrepreneurial ventures,” added Bernal. 

Meeting mentors for life at the USD School of Business

Burgos credits Bernal as being a mentor and instrumental in his decision to attend the USD School of Business. He also names Professor of Management Priya Kannan-Narasimhan as another influential mentor during his time at the business school.

“With the tremendous support of Regina and Professor Priya, I received two “levels” of education at USD,” says Burgos. “One being theoretical learning in the classroom from my professors. And the other being applied learning through the pitch competition, connections to expert industry professionals, and an extensive fountain of entrepreneurial resources that they made available to me.”

Planting the seeds for a startup incubator at USD

Professor Kannan-Narasimhan is the founding director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Catalyzer at the USD School of Business and chair of the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She recently revealed how Burgos unwittingly planted the seeds that blossomed into the Torero Ventures Lab (TVL), a class that gives USD students the unique opportunity to test their business ideas using prototypes and market research before bringing them to market.

“What you might or might now know is that David was the inspiration for our TVL class!” says Professor Kannan-Narasimhan. “While I was traveling with him in Mumbai during a study abroad class, David was developing his mobile app idea and asked if there was an incubator at USD. At the time, we didn’t have one. I quickly realized it was unacceptable that we didn’t have a structured incubation program on campus.”

Soon after, Professor Kannan-Narasimhan put plans into place for USD’s first on-campus incubator program designed just for students, ultimately becoming the Torero Ventures Lab — now in its third year. 

At the USD School of Business, the small ratio of staff and faculty to students allows them to build strong bonds with each other. Professors and administrative staff become lifelong mentors who nurture student ideas and guide them along their academic and professional endeavors. And although it may not be emphasized nearly enough, students impact the USD School of Business every day — they challenge the status quo, bring new perspectives, and spark new ideas, even when they don’t realize it.

begin quoteDavid was developing his mobile app idea and asked if there was an incubator at USD. At the time, we didn’t have one. I quickly realized it was unacceptable that we didn’t have a structured incubation program on campus.
USD School of Business MBA alumnus, David Jimenez Burgos

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Gabrielle Horta
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(619) 260-4468

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