Monday, February 20, 2012
San Diego State wants to turn on campus research into new local businesses.
SAN DIEGO Five teams of aspiring entrepreneurs at San Diego State will find out they’ve been tapped to share a $25,000 challenge today. The five teams' businesses will also be the first class of companies nurtured in a new on-campus incubator.
The Zahn Center will open next month thanks to a $700,000 dollar donation from Autosplice, Inc., founder Irwin Zahn.
Business teams will have to include at least one active SDSU senior or graduate student to qualify for admission to the Zahn Center. Center director Richard Kerr said helping students start businesses is the next logical step for a university that has spent years building its reputation as a world-class research institution.
“We have all of this great technology within here," Kerr said. "But we haven’t unlocked it. And so this is an attempt to unlock it, package it up. And that’s an awareness and a status and building program for San Diego State in the long term. Everyone will say, ‘Wow, look what came out of there.’”
Today's five finalists were chosen from 11 applications to be part of the center's inaugural class. They will find out how the initial $25,000 grant will be divided at the center’s ribbon cutting next month.