Innovations in business change how we work and how we play. Some of the most innovative concepts in business have come from esteemed USC alumni, and through our programs, we continue to graduate innovators who will make an impact on our lives each day. Below is a small sampling of exciting spinouts, labs, and projects in business at USC:
In 1997, USC Marshall School of Business student Chris Dewolfe wrote a business plan for a community website called Sitegeist for a class called "The Impact of Technology on Media and Entertainment." He received an A-. Five years later, he co-founded the social networking phenomenon Myspace. Originally created to help local bands and club owners promote their music, Myspace emerged as one of the most popular websites on the Internet offering an interactive network to post personal profiles, photos, music, video, and more.
The concept for Kinko's began in a USC library, where USC student Paul Orfalea noticed a copy machine and realized how few people had access to the technology at the time. In 1970, the USC graduate opened his first Kinko's in a former hamburger stand near the University of California at Santa Barbara selling photocopies and school supplies. As the small office market boomed, Kinko's became a pioneer in serving customers 24 hours a day. Today FedEx Kinko's operates 1,500 stores worldwide.
USC School of Law alumnus Larry Flax traded the courtroom for the dining room in 1985 when he co-founded California Pizza Kitchen. Focused on California-style cuisine that included inventive, hearth-baked pizzas as well as made-to-order pastas, CPK has left a lasting California touch to eating out. Today there are more than 200 CPK restaurants in 29 states and six countries.
Salesforce.com founder and USC Marshall School of Business alumnus Marc Benioff is the first to admit that his company didn't invent sales management – he just improved upon it. With Salesforce.com, companies can access, manage, and share sales information conveniently online, without having to purchase or update software. Benioff, a former executive at Oracle, secured a $2 million investment from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to launch the company. Today Salesforce.com serves more than 500,000 subscribers at 27,100 companies worldwide.
The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is among the nation's leaders in entrepreneurship education and research. Its faculty -- a diverse mix of academics and entrepreneur practitioners -- together offer undergraduate and graduate programs designed to help students acquire the tools, develop the skills, and cultivate the mindset central to organizing, launching, and managing successful new ventures. The Greif Center has been labeled "one of the best entrepreneurship programs" in the country by Businessweek and has been ranked among the best by U.S. News and World Report.
The Entrepreneurship Research Impact Database is a comprehensive source of information on the impact of entrepreneurship articles published in management and entrepreneurship journals. Hosted by The Greif Center, the database is the underlying theme for the Greif Research Impact Award, which launched in August 2007. By signing up as a user of this database, you can currently view the ranking of the Top 20 Most Impactful Entrepreneurship Articles published in 2001 in leading management journals or look at the Comprehensive List of Articles that met our search criteria for this year's award.
With the Certificate in Technology Commercialization, USC encourages students in business, engineering, and other disciplines to experience the entire spectrum of the commercialization process, from invention and product development to technical and market feasibility analysis and business planning and venture funding.
TicketClub.com offers their members the most competitive prices on the market for any sporting or concert event in the United States. TicketClub sells tickets at below box office prices to the most popular events around. Constantly striving to serve customers in a way they should be treated- with respect and thoughtfulness. TicketClub was established to provide great deals for sports and concerts to our club members. Started by two brothers out of the University of Southern California and Northeastern University, Ticketclub was infused with technological know-how from Streamlined Fusion and TicketBean teams as well as over 18 years of ticketing industry experience.
University Skateboards is a skateboard company influenced by surf culture that specializes in custom skateboards and contemporary fashion. University Skateboards main product is designing skateboard decks for Universities and other institutions and organizations. Dan Singleton, currently working on his PhD in Electrical Engineering in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering created the new style of university Skateboards by using the size of a short board with the wheel base of a longboard, which makes it easy for novice riders to use for campus cruising, and allows expert riders to skate with an aggressive surfing style.