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Forbes School of Business Sponsors Panel Discussion during San Diego Startup Week
Panelists shared their experiences starting businesses in San Diego

The Forbes School of Business at Ashford University and the Downtown San Diego Partnership teamed up to sponsor an expert panel discussion during San Diego Startup Week. The discussion, which took place on Thursday, June 18, focused on strategies for nurturing and growing Downtown San Diego’s innovation economy.

The panel discussion brought together startup pioneers representing each stage of the startup lifecycle. More than 70 attendees, including entrepreneurs, investors, and educators, took part in a dialogue about how downtown San Diego can continue to serve as a hub for tech startups. Andrew Clark, CEO of Bridgepoint Education and winner of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008, introduced the event. Rich Karlgaard, publisher at Forbes magazine, served as the moderator for the discussion where panelists shared first-hand accounts of the rewards and struggles of starting their own technology businesses. The panel featured Al Bsharah, CEO and cofounder of Email Copilot; Elizabeth Dreicer, CEO of Posiba, Inc.; and Austin Neudecker, co-founder and lead organizer for

"The Forbes School of Business at Ashford University's Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship program supports new business growth," said Dr. Richard Pattenadue, President and CEO of Ashford University.  Students who complete this program will have very specific theories, concepts and skills that are essential in the creation of new business. Despite recent PR that dropping out of college to startup s the entrepreneurial way - 95 percent of entrepreneurs have a bachelor's degree or higher. Creativity, knowledge and experience are a necessary combination for an exceptional strategy that fuels continuous innovation and business growth."

The panel discussion covered topics such as fostering relationships among like-minded individuals in the tech start-up community. The panelists agreed that the most difficult challenge throughout the startup process is finding the right people to work with, and the best way to overcome this obstacle is to create a community that brings people together. The panelists also talked about expanding opportunities for venture capital and other forms of funding for the new creative and tech startup economy in San Diego.

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About Ashford University

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s online degree programs, while the Clinton, Iowa campus offers bachelor’s programs. Whether on campus or online, Ashford students enjoy the same supportive community. For more information, please visit,,, or call Shari Winet, Vice President of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x11106.


About the Downtown San Diego Partnership

The Downtown San Diego Partnership is a non-profit, member-based organization that serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown San Diego. To learn more about the Downtown Partnership, visit