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2018 MBA Startup Seminar Panel on new venture strategies, sponsored by the Smith Center, left to right: Glen Taylor (CSUEB Professor & Director, Oakland & San Ramon MBA programs), Roger Cockroft (CEO, MDC Vacuum Products), Mariah Lichtenstern (Founding Partner/Managing Director, DiverseCity Ventures), Rick Juarez ’88 (Managing Director, Imperial Capital), Larry Jackson (CEO, Loudmouth Golf), Izzet Darendeli (Associate Professor, CSUEB & Associate Director, Smith Center).

Smith Center for Private Enterprise

The Smith Center for Private Enterprise Studies

The Smith Center for Private Enterprise Studies was established in 1991 through a gift from community leaders Owen and Erma Smith to what is now the College of Business and Economics at California State East Bay.

The intent of the donors, and the practice of the Smith Center since its inception, is to provide programs that promote a better understanding of the free market system and limited government under the rule of law among the University community as well as the general public.

  • ''The most important thing we can teach students is an entrepreneurial perspective and the imagination and ability to think of things no one has thought of before.''- Professor Charles Baird, Founding Director, Smith Center

In the past year, the Smith Center has evolved to recognize the impact of technological advances combined with entrepreneurial ingenuity, which inevitably move the economy toward market solutions, replacing less efficient arrangements and creating value for businesses and for society as a whole. The Smith Center sponsors activities that help the University and wider community recognize the changes and opportunities which arise from this process. The Center’s aim is to be a thought leader on campus and beyond on the economy of the future.

In particular, the Smith Center facilitates class projects where students work on real problems faced by Bay Area companies (often start-ups), or identify firms that are pioneering market solutions (for example, as investment prospects). To support these activities, The Smith Center maintains close relationships with businesses and other organizations that promote entrepreneurship on and off-campus. The Smith Center also develops and delivers instructional material and research on market solutions, and participates in various forms in public debates.

Startup Seminar

A recent Smith Center event of note was a “Startup Seminar” on November 9, 2018, featuring startup founders and investors speaking on a panel and then in small conversation groups with students and alumni.

Events planned include a mixer for students and start-ups, a workshop where projects are handed over from one MBA student cohort to the next, and an event around final project presentations (judged by an invited panel.)

Smith Center for Private Enterprise

College of Business & Economics
  • 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
  • Hayward, CA 94542
  • VBT Bldg.
  • Hayward, CA 94542
  • Phone: (510) 885-4331
  • Fax: (510) 885-4884
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