First Annual Entrepreneurship Symposium & Innovation Pitch Competition 2018

San Francisco State University College of Business Entrepreneurship Symposium Thurs., Apr. 5, 2018

Hosted by San Francisco State University College of Business, the first Entrepreneurship Symposium is part of a larger initiative to build an innovation center on the San Francisco State University campus.


Join Keynote Speaker Ofer Ronen at the College of Business' inaugural Entrepreneurship Symposium

Ofer Ronen

Ofer Ronen leads the Chatbase bot analytics team with Google’s startup incubator. Previously, he served as CEO and founder of, an app performance monitoring service, which he sold to Google. In addition, he was CEO and founder of Sendori, an ad network, which he sold to IAC. He is a startup mentor at Stanford and an Angel Investor in Lyft, Palantir and Klout. Ofer holds an MS in artificial intelligence from the University of Michigan, and received his MBA from Cornell University.


Thursday, April 5, 2018, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.


San Francisco State University Downtown Campus, 835 Market Street, Suite 609, San Francisco, 94103

Registration—Sold Out!

Cost: $95 per person ($45 for alumni and staff, $15 students)

To attend as an audience member, please register on Eventbrite.

Registration fee is waived for students pitching their business.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for San Francisco State University students or alumni who are interested in developing stronger entrepreneurial skills. You should be resourceful, resilient and mature, as well as be open to feedback and adapting to change. Participants who are able to bring intellectual rigor, natural curiosity, and drive to get out and apply what they learn in the program, will see a successful transformation of themselves by the end of the program.

The Innovation Pitch Competition

Our Innovation Pitch Competition is a forum to share and discover new business ideas and startups. The deadline to submit your business idea to the pitch competition has now passed. You are welcome to attend the Symposium to hear pitches from other entrepreneurs. Register on Eventbrite.

Program Objectives

  • understand how to create a business strategy, conduct market analysis, test a product or service, and develop a financial plan
  • learn how to manage limited resources to bootstrap a new business, that allows entrepreneurs to launch and grow through lean startup principals
  • develop higher self-awareness of your attributes, capabilities and behaviors as a leader
  • improve executive-level communication and decision-making skills
  • create a “fundable” business plan or pitch


8–9 a.m.  Breakfast and networking.

9–9:15 a.m.

  • Welcome by Dean Linda Oubre & Timothy Anderson
  • Tom Thomas (moderator) Introduction of keynote speakers
  • Introduction of Keynote Speaker by Professor Tom Thomas

9:15–10 a.m.  Keynote Address by Ofer Ronen, angel investor and Google in-house innovation executive

10–10:15 a.m.  Q&A with Attendees

10:15–10:30 a.m. Break

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Panel discussion with moderator Professor Tom Thomas

  • Scott Kelly, Founder & CEO, Black Dog
  • Gary Clayton, Clayton Multimedia
  • Zack Onisko, CEO, Dribbble
  • Eran Goren, CEO & President, Digital Media/EVP of Strategy at USIM
  • Kayla Matheus, Founder and CEO, MOTI

11:30 a.m.–Noon  Panel Q&A moderated by Professor Tom Thomas

Noon–12:30 p.m.  Networking and Lunch

12:30–2:30 p.m.  Startup Pitch Competition Presentations

2:30–3 p.m. Deliberations by Panel Judges:

  • Hassan Ali, Liquidity Regulatory Reporting Analyst, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
  • Laura Day, VP, Entrepreneurial Programming, Harvard Business School Nor. Cal. Alumni Association
  • Scott Kelly, Founder & CEO, Black Dog
  • Linda Oubré, Dean, College of Business, San Francisco State University
  • Ozzie Perez, VP, Financial Controls Manager, Controller of the Americas, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
  • Sapna Satanopan, Co-founder, Xyza: News for Kids

3–3:30 p.m.  Announcement of Winners and Award Ceremony. Wrap-up and Final Remarks from Dean Oubré

3–4 p.m.  Networking and Refreshments

San Francisco State University College of Business Entrepreneurship Symposium Thurs., Apr. 5, 2018

Discover What It Takes To Start A Venture

This program is designed for students interested in developing stronger entrepreneurial skills. By focusing on student ventures, we aim to train the next generation of innovators, dreamers, risk-takers, and entrepreneurs. Apply now to pitch your business idea.

Important Dates

Application Open: Friday February 16th, 2018
Application Close: Wednesday March 21st, 2018 midnight
Innovation Pitch Competition Day: Thursday April 5th, 2018 8am-5pm.
The pitch competition will be held from 1pm-2:30pm.

Entrepreneurship Symposium

This pitch competition will be held during the 1st Entrepreneurship Symposium which is part of a larger initiative to build an innovation center on the San Francisco State University campus.
To learn more about the symposium check out the main event page below.

Entrepreneurship Symposium Agenda and Speakers

What's at Stake?

To foster hands-on learning we offer 3 cash prizes:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250


Pitch Application Criteria

  • Our pitch competition is open to startups from all industries and at any stage in the startup cycle.
  • The founder or co-founder has to be a San Francisco State University student.

To participate in the Innovation Pitch Competition please complete the online application form below no later than March 21, 2018.

Business Pitch Application Process

  1. Submit Application. - All applications are accepted through the website. Please complete and submit the short application form with the required fields. Additional fields are optional.
  2. Selection. Applications will close at 11:59pm on Wednesday March 21, 2018. A committee of seasoned entrepreneurs will review submissions.
  3. Top Three. Three finalists will be invited to pitch at the Entrepreneurship Symposium on Thursday April 5, 2018. There will be pitching workshops prior to the symposium teaching you how to sell your idea and your company on pitch events in front of investors and juries in an impressive way.


Eventbrite ticket fees are waived for the pitch participants. To participate as an audience please register through Eventbrite.

What is a Pitch Workshop about?

The top three finalists will go through series of trainings prior to the symposium. If you are selected you will:

  • Get to know more investors
  • Learn to sell your product and company in a more authentic and confident way
  • Learn how to pitch your business idea and be more successful in your next funding round
  • Stand out from the crowd and get your investors ‚on the hook‘


For additional information, please contact Timothy Anderson.