SDSU Alumni Companies
IdeatorCo-Founder Jeremy Sanders, SDSU '08
Ideator is where you can go from idea to business plan to launch. Create private or public circles depending on how you want to share, protect, and secure your concept. Collaborate with your own team or our trusted advisors. Bring your idea to life.
Organik SEOFounder and CEO Julien Brandt, SDSU ‘03
Julien Brandt graduated from SDSU with a degree in Economics. He had always had an interest in marketing and in 2008 he Founded Organik SEO. Located in the Cedros Design District of Solana Beach Organik SEO is a team of search engine optimization, social media, and web marketing specialists dedicated to helping clients grow their online exposure, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. Today, Julien and his team manage these specialized marketing tactics for over 100 small to mid-sized businesses. The company also heavily promotes eco-friendly practices, giving back to the community, and a healthy work-life balance for its employees. In addition to running a successful growing business, Julien is an active member of the San Diego entrepreneur community. He serves as a board member for San Diego EO Accelerators (an Entrepreneurs Organization) and he is a founding board member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.
SOLO EyewearCo-Founder Jenny Amaraneni, MBA, SDSU ‘11
Co-Founder Craig Stern, SDSU ‘11
Creative Director, Dana Holliday, SDSU ‘11
SOLO Eyewear is a unique line of hybrid bamboo sunglasses where each pair purchased help funds a pair of reading glasses and a cataract surgery for someone in need.
The concept for SOLO Eyewear was developed in a classroom at San Diego State University. Jenny was enrolled in the MBA Program. While completing an International Entrepreneurship course, she was given the option to read Paul Polak’s Out of Poverty. While reading the book, she discovered there was a great need for eye care around the world and decided to research the issue further. Jenny, who has poor vision, encountered two startling statistics: approximately 1 billion people do not have access to eye care and nearly 80% of the world’s blindness is preventable. (World Health Organization)
These statistics were a call to action… the idea for SOLO Eyewear was born. It wasn’t until meeting Craig and Dana at the Entrepreneurial Management Center on campus that the idea became a reality. Craig and Jenny hit the ground running, meeting with local entrepreneurs and advisors while Dana put her design skills to work developing all of the amazing graphics and website.
In just one year, SOLO Eyewear went from being an idea to an actual business that impacted the lives of nearly 1,000 people across 12 countries. To date, SOLO has funded 750 pairs of reading glasses and 105 cataract surgeries.
Compete Marketing GroupJon Tucker, SDSU ‘10
Jon was always passionate about the internet and the possibilities it provides. He worked on more web ventures than he can remember in his early days at SDSU, but eventually caught his stride in online business. He went on to build Compete Marketing Group, an online marketing agency that works with a range of diverse clients that also builds and operates their own web based businesses.
FitnessQuest 10Todd Durkin, Founder, SDSU ‘96
While playing professional football in Europe, Todd suffered a serious back injury that ended his playing career but led him to earn his Master's Degree in Sports Medicine/ Biomechanics from SDSU. Todd then started FitnessQuest 10, a personal training, health and wellness center in San Diego and has since been named one of the top 100 trainers in the United States. He currently trains Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and Scripps Ranch moms.
Lumedyne TechnologiesBrad Chisum, SDSU ‘07
Brad Chisum earned his MBA from San Diego State University in 2007. After graduating from SDSU, Brad co-founded Lumedyne, a company that specializes in accelerometers and energy harvesting. Lumedyne's clients include Fortune 500 companies and the US Military.
H20 AudioCarl Pettersen, SDSU ‘01
Carl started his career in Mechanical Engineering after his graduation from SDSU in 1993. After seven years as a Mechanical Engineer, he came back to school and earned his MBA from SDSU. Pettersen then co-founded H2O Audio and took responsibility for the Product Development and Marketing of its' line of waterproof housings and headphones for all mp3 players.
Confirm BioScienceZeynep Ilgaz, SDSU ‘00
Zeynep Ilgaz moved to San Diego from her native Turkey in 1998 and five years later after earning her M.B.A. from SDSU she started Confirm BioScience, a home test kit distribution company with her husband, Serhat Pala. Zeynap is a one of eight College of Business Administration alumni to win the Lamden Rising Star Award at SDSU.
Pacific InkJamie Mautz
About to earn her MBA from SDSU in 2000, Jamie Mautz decided to follow her instinct and start an online printer ink retailer with her husband and brother and named it Pacific Ink. Pacific Ink's revenue is now well into the seven figures and Jamie is giving back to SDSU by giving talks about her successes and failures.
Stroller StridesLisa Druxman, SDSU ‘89
Druxman earned her Master's degree at San Diego State University in psychology with an emphasis in exercise adherence and weight control. Knowing that mothers across the country are looking for ways to connect, Lisa Druxman started Stroller Strides. Stroller Strides currently has more than 200 franchises in 47 states.’
VolcomThom McElroy, SDSU ‘89
Thom initially came to SDSU to pursue a business degree. But into his second year he realized he was not pursuing what mattered to him. Transferred into PFSA to get his graphic design degree, graduated, created his own marketing agency and went on to co-found Volcom.
Wahoo’s Fish TacosWing Lam, SDSU ‘84
After graduating from SDSU in 1984, Wing and his brothers founded Wahoo's Fish Taco which is a Mexican-Brazilian-Asian restaurant found in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Texas and Australia. Categorized as a "fast-casual" restaurant, Wahoo's are easily recognizable by the thousands of surf and skate stickers all over the windows, doors and walls.
Rubio’sRalph Rubio, SDSU ‘78
Ralph Rubio and some friends were looking for killer surf while on spring break from SDSU when they encountered their first fish taco. Upon graduating with a Liberal Studies degree, Ralph initially worked for a number of other restaurants. He then pursued his dream of creating his own fish taco and opened Rubio's, which now has more than 170 restaurants nationwide.
CostcoJim Sinegal, SDSU 59
Jim Sinegal earned his BA from SDSU. He then worked his way up to Vice President in the Price Company and eventually co-founded Costco in 1983. Always the innovator Jim made Costco the first warehouse club to include fresh food, eye-care clinics, pharmacies, and gas stations. He made Time Magazine's 2006 list of The 100 Most Influential People.