SFSU Public Affairs Press Release
Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.
$100,000 gift from businessman Robert Ohrenschall creates endowment; Center renamed the Ohrenschall Center for Entrepreneurship at S.F. State
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--May 4, 1999--San Francisco State University’s Center for Enterprise has been renamed the Ohrenschall Center for Entreprenuership following businessman Robert F. Ohrenschall’s donation of $100,000 to the center. The donation allows SFSU to enter into a creative, collaborative agreement with San Francisco’s Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center that will closely link the university’s academic program with a real world business incubator environment. The agreement will provide SFSU business graduates opportunities to become working entrepreneurs. SFSU will celebrate the gift and the new arrangement with the Renaissance Center on Thursday, May 6 with a luncheon on campus from noon to 2 p.m. in the Seven Hills Center and a reception at the Renaissance Center, 275 Fifth Street in San Francisco, from 4-6 p.m. Members of media are invited to attend both events.
"To my knowledge, no other university in the country has linked its academic program so closely with a real world entrepreneurial business environment," said Rich McCline, co-director of SFSU’s entreprenuership program and one of the implementers of the new agreement.
S.F. State’s five-year-old entrepreneurship program is dedicated to developing courses and programs designed to help small business owners thrive in a competitive business environment. The Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center offers a range of practical, hands-on training in business management for both the new entrepreneur and more the more experienced business owner. Its Business Incubator Program helps build new businesses by providing low cost office space, office support services and intensive business management assistance.
The agreement between SFSU and the Renaissance Center creates an innovative linkage that allows SFSU entrepreneurship business graduates who have developed a strong business plan to see it launched through the Renaissance Center’s Business Incubator Program.
"Bob Ohrenschall’s excitement for this simple but creative linkage made the relationship more than a dream," said McCline. "The Renaissance Center will provide office space to SFSU entrepreneurial grads who are funded by the endowment. We expect to have two to three SFSU students in the Incubator Program as the new collaboration gets underway."
Ohrenschall, who lives in Tiburon, is chairman emeritus of Addison Design in San Francisco. He was founder and chairman of Soyster & Ohrenschall, an international marketing and design consulting firm. Ohrenschall, is a member of the board of directors for the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, the State of the World Forum, the International Diplomacy Council and the SFSU College of Business Advisory Board and he serves as chairman of the SFSU’s Romberg Tiburon Environmental Center. Ohrenschall also is an advisor to the Citizens Democracy Corps, the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the California State University system’s Ambassadors for Higher Ed.
Plans call for an annual competition among SFSU entrepreneurship students for proposed business plans to be launched at the Business Incubator. A panel of judges from SFSU and the business community would select the winner or multiple winners. Winners will receive an SFSU-Ohrenschall Fellowship to implement business plans. SFSU’s College of Business enrolls more than 5,000 students and has more than 120 faculty members. Business administration is the most popular undergraduate major at SFSU, chosen by nearly one in four undergraduates.
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