As you may know, I have been teaching MGT453 -- Creativity and Innovation -- at San Diego State University this semester. It's been a lot of fun, and I suspect I am learning as much about the topic as are my 51 students, most of whom are seniors who will be graduating in the summer of 2012.
Speaking of my students, many of them have dreams of becoming entrepreneurs, and a few have actually started their own businesses. Such is the case with my student Kevin Gelfand, who with fellow student Martin Reiman, started Shake Smart on the campus of San Diego State University. With a location conveniently situated adjacent to the university gym, according to the Shake Smart website, "Shake Smart solves the nutrition problems of the fitness minded individual. Delicious, convenient, and affordable protein shakes are now available to everyone at San Diego State University."
During a break at our Monday class, Kevin had some good news to share with me about his business. Shake Smart was named the 4th-place finisher in the recent Global Student Entrepreneur Awards program, held in New York City and run by the Entrepreneurs Organization and sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and the New York Stock Exchange. More than 2,000 students entered the contest, and this number was whittled down to 30 student entrepreneurs who pitched their business ideas to a group of veteran entrepreneurs gathered at the New York Stock Exchange. The judges included Redbox cofounder Mike DeLazzer, Shark Tank panelist Kevin Harrington, and others.
I am very proud of Kevin's accomplishments, and wish him well as he grows this business -- expanding far beyond his current retail outlet. Kevin's story goes to show that there are plenty of opportunities out there for anyone who is willing to put in the hard work necessary to succeed. Kevin and the other 2000+ Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competitors are proving this each and every day.