Campus: San Diego State University -- July 3, 2002

Entrepreneurial Management Center Celebrates 15th Anniversary

SDSU Now Ranked Among Nation's Tops for Entrepreneurship

As it celebrates its 15th anniversary, San Diego State University's privately funded Entrepreneurial Management Center (EMC) continues to establish itself regionally and nationally as a hotbed for producing entrepreneurs.

The EMC connects SDSU's College of Business with local leaders by developing strategic initiatives that promote better knowledge of the entrepreneurial process through experiential learning, while providing the regional community with the tools and skills necessary for venture growth and creation.

SUCCESS Magazine ranked SDSU's MBA program 10th nationally among Business Schools for Entrepreneurs in February 2001. The program was listed 20th in the nation by US News & World Report in May 2002.

"This program is filling a definite need," said Ron Fowler, founding chairman of the EMC. "The most important aspect is providing students with exposure to the community. It combines their academic learning experience with the realities of the business world."

The EMC program is designed for students who want to start and manage their own firms, work in growth-oriented organizations, be service providers to entrepreneurial clients, work with investors in evaluating proposed ventures, or pursue a doctoral degree in entrepreneurship.
Graduate students specializing in entrepreneurship choose from a variety of classes designed for new business creation and development. The curriculum includes entrepreneurship, managing the growing firm, strategic management of technology and innovation, business plan development, financing the emerging enterprise, and product innovation management.

"The key to success is attracting bright students and educating them exceptionally well," said Sanford Ehrlich, executive director of the EMC. "We are proud that the quality of our program is reflected in the success of our students' business plans and start-ups," he added, noting that a group of students recently launched a company called Novaphage that caught the attention of the Carrot Capital Business Plan Competition in New York City. The business plan was selected from more than 450 registered teams. Novaphage uses a gene therapy process to prevent heart disease.

EMC programs include:

  • Center for the Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT)
  • Venture Challenge Business Plan Competition
  • QUALCOMM EMC Internship Program (companies & non-profits)
  • L. Robert Payne Entrepreneur Lectureship Series
  • Entrepreneurs-in-the-Classroom program
  • Entrepreneurship curriculum development and research programs
  • Entrepreneur Society (student-oriented) & Entrepreneurial Network (alumni-oriented) affiliated organizations

Established in 1986, the EMC hosted its first national business plan competition (now known as Venture Challenge) in 1990. The EMC began operating out of its own facility in the Gateway Building in 1994. Two years later, the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc. became a major underwriter of the student business plan competition.

The L. Robert Payne Distinguished Lectureship (endowment) was established later in 1996 to bring outstanding entrepreneurs to campus to lecture. In 1998, the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership established the Kauffman Internship program. In 1999, EMC and QUALCOMM, Inc. announced an annual gift from QUALCOMM supporting the EMC's Social Entrepreneur Internship program.

In 2001, the EMC received $1.7 million as part of a $6 million federal initiative to fund the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technologies, a collaboration among the EMC, the SDSU Foundation, UCSD's CONNECT and the Jacobs School of Engineering, SPAWAR and ORICON Technologies.

"Our competitive advantage is our location in San Diego," Professor Alex De Noble said. "We do a lot of networking. We are part of everything and we immerse our students in the entrepreneurial community."

Steve Dolan
SDSU Marketing & Communications
(619) 594-4298, Pager (619) 620-1184

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