Innovation Pitch Competition

The Big Pitch Join us for our inaugural Lam Family College of Business Pitch Competition Friday, September 29, 2017 Details pitch-competition

Join us for our inaugural Pitch Competition

A self-proclaimed start-up junkie, Linda Oubré, dean of the Lam Family College of Business at SF State, is blazing a trail to kick-start an Innovation program on campus.

The proposed Innovation initiative will feature Pitch Competitions, Entrepreneurial Conferences, Entrepreneurial Program, and more. As the top university for diversity among the largest 100 universities in the nation, the Lam Family College of Business will be paving the way for developing and training a diverse pool of talented future entrepreneurs. The Pitch Competition will provide students with an opportunity to showcase their business concepts.


Event: Innovation Pitch Competition
Date: Friday, September 29, 2017
Time: Noon–2 p.m.
Location: San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, Library Room 121


12:00PM - 12:15PM
Registration and Networking

12:15PM - 12:30PM
Opening Remarks & Introductions

12:30PM - 1:30PM
Pitch Competition

1:30PM - 1:45PM
Winner Announcement

1:45PM - 2:00PM
Closing Remarks

Panel of Judges

Celena Aponte

Director of Strategic Initiatives, NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center

As Program Designer, Ms. Aponte is building interdisciplinary learning and knowledge-sharing opportunities for entrepreneurs through programs, events, and research to support their complex journey of growth. Ms. Aponte has over 10 years of international brand development experience as PR Director for some of the world’s biggest stars, and most recently as Data Strategist at Cisco for Americas Field Marketing. Teaching Creativity and Innovation at San Francisco State University keeps her constantly curious. At the dinner table, you’ll hear her talking about her love of ‘90s fashion, Italy, and design.

Chris Haroun Teacher & Founder/Partner at Haroun Education Ventures - ‎Haroun Education Ventures

Chris Haroun is a venture capitalist, an award-winning business school professor, MBA graduate from Columbia University and former Goldman Sachs employee. He has raised/managed over $1billion in his career and is the CEO of Haroun Education Ventures. Haroun has work experience at hedge fund giant Citadel, consulting firm Accenture, and several firms that he has started. Chris is also the author of the #1 best-selling business course on Udemy and the book “101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Business School,” which in 2015 Forbes wrote is,”1 of 6 books that all entrepreneurs must read right now.” He also teaches at some of the top universities in the Bay Area, including San Francisco State University.

Timothy Yamauchi

former CFO, Pride Industries

Mr. Timothy S. Yamauchi served as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of PRIDE Industries, Inc. until July 18, 2016. Mr. Yamauchi joined PRIDE in 2002. Mr. Yamauchi has more than 20 years of senior and general management experience in finance, strategy, and operations with a variety of businesses. He served as Treasurer of Total Pharmaceutical Care. He served as the Chief Operations Officer of Stockpoint since July 1998. Prior to Stockpoint, he served as Chief Financial Officer at HealthDesk Corporation, where he managed the completion of an initial public offering (IPO). He serves as a Member of Client Advisory Board of Profit Recovery Partners, LLC. Mr. Yamauchi serves on the SACTO (Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization) Board of Directors. He is a Certified Public Accountant, with previous experience at a "Big Four" accounting firm. He is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum Mountain Valley Chapter, and serves on Sacramento State's Lam Family College of Business Administration Advisory Council. Mr. Yamauchi a has B.S. in Business from California State University of Los Angeles and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Scott Simmons


Mr. Scott Simmons has over 20 years of experience in start up and high growth technology companies.  He joined as COO and CFO in August 2017.  Previously, Scott was COO and CFO at ShopRunner for 4 years and served in a variety of roles over 11 years at Nextag, including roles in finance, business development, marketing and ultimately as President and COO.  Prior to Nextag, he held various finance positions with Real Time Data and Prudential Investment Corporation.  During his career, he has led or played a key role in venture capital, private equity, bank and other debt transactions well in excess of $1 billion.  Mr. Simmons holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology with Highest Honors and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Lan Paje

Co-founder, SF Hack

Mr. Lan Paje is a student at San Francisco State University studying journalism and computer science. He raised angel investor funding for his first startup Crowdshop at the age of 16 and eventually sold its assets and intellectual property to a larger company in the industry. Lan has previously been featured on Business Insider and USA Today, and in his free time has managed to convince thousands of people to help him meet Taylor Swift, asked Mark Zuckerberg about the role of diversity in tech, and even co-founded SF State's intercollegiate hackathon now known as SF Hacks. Lan recently spent his summer working in New York at The Points Guy, a travel publication with over 5 million readers, where he travelled to seven US states and reported on breaking news in the aviation industry.

Pitch Application for Startups

Our pitch events are open to startups from all industries and at any stage in the startup cycle.

If you are a startup founder or co-founder and would like to apply to pitch to our panel of judges, please fill out this APPLICATION with the following required information:

Please fill out application by September 15, 2017. Space is limited. Only seven participates will be selected to present during the Pitch Competition. This is a 3 minute VERBAL pitch (no pitch deck) followed by 3 mins of Q&A and feedback from our panel of judges. Timing is strictly enforced. All startup founders who are selected to pitch to our panel of judges, will be invited to participate in the Pitch Competition event.

General Rules

  • There is no fee for entry.
  • Applications may be entered by individuals or teams.
  • Each team may enter one idea.
  • Each team must have at least one currently registered SF State student; if you are applying as an individual, you must be a currently registered SF State student.
  • Currently registered SF State students include all full-time and part-time undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral candidates.
  • SF State students must submit their email address at submission time.
  • The required events must be attended by at least one SF State student on each team. Team members who are not SF State students are also encouraged to attend, but at least one SF State student per team is required to attend.
  • A single individual cannot be the sole qualifying student for two teams.
  • Entries must be the original work of entrants.
  • Teams must disclose any funding already received at the time of registration.


For additional information, please contact Timothy Anderson.

Terms of Participation Agreement

You agree that you are responsible for any accidents or damages that you cause. You also agree to not hold the College of Business at San Francisco State University, or any of the event supporters liable for any loss, damage, injury, or any other unforeseeable incident.

By participating at the event, you grant the College of Business at San Francisco State University permission to capture photo/video of the event.

By registering for this event, you also consent to receive email communication from the College of Business at San Francisco State University and its programs about events and updates that may interest you.

Tickets to this event are non-refundable. If you are unable to attend, you have the option of giving it to a friend or team member to attend in your place.