SDSU Student Entrepreneurs Honored During the 2023 Mintz Awards
Six entrepreneurial teams led by San Diego State University students were honored for their innovative business ideas during the 2023 Mintz Awards. The awards are hosted by SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and the ZIP Launchpad and sponsored by Mintz, the primary legal partner for the center and the launchpad.
Four teams headed by students from SDSU’s Fowler College of Business picked up awards, which also come with cash prizes to get their startups to the next level.
The winners and their business innovations are:
Clark Jacobson, Marketing – Ultra Insect Farms (first place in the E-Track category): Currently in the development stage, Ultra Insect Farms is a proposed large-scale cricket farming operation raise crickets for human consumption.
Andrew Gladue, MBA – Plethys (first place in the Launch 1 category): Plethys is an early-stage producer of cases for smartwatches.
Tor Gasteiger, Accounting – Sk8M8 (second place in the Launch 1 category): Mobile camera technology, Sk8M8, uses a tracking device to create videos of skateboarders in motion.
Drew Thomas, MBA – It’s-Personal (second place in the Launch 2 category): Portable package of seat liners, toilet paper and surface cleaning wipes, It’s-Personal was launched to improve public restroom experiences.
Gladue was also recognized during the event for being a recipient of the Lavin Early Seed Startup Fund to further develop innovation for his business idea. Accounting student, Jahaziel Sanchez, owner of SD 360 Photo, was also recognized as a seed fund recipient.
Sanchez, who plans to complete his bachelors and masters degrees in the BMACC program next year, will use the funding to incorporate artificial intelligence into his photo technology to develop unique overlay images.
“This seed funding really came at a great time,” said Sanchez. “I could have never taken this next step in my business without it.”