How to Start a Startup @USC

sydneyverifiedco-creator of Commaful
Autoplay OFF  •  2 years ago
Having worked on 2 different ideas at USC and winning $15k in prize money through various competitions, thought I'd share my thoughts on the resources I've used at USC to build out products and ideas. I've included links to many of the things I mentioned:
Startup Equinox: http://www.startupequinox... (ask @david for info on this)
Blackstone LaunchPad: https://blackstonelaunchp...
Spark SC: (ask @stephen for info on this)
Lloyd Grief Center: https://www.marshall.usc....
USC Incubator:
New Venture Seed: https://www.marshall.usc....
Silicon Beach USC:

For a master list, see @slisam 's list:

How to Start a Startup @USC

Having worked on 2 different ideas and won over $15k in prize money, figured I'd share my thoughts

Don't have an idea?

Interested in startups but don't have an idea? I'd recommend checking out LavaLab, the student run incubator. You meet cool people and come up with new ideas to work on

Looking for a Co-Founder?

Meet really smart people who are different from you. Check out Startup Equinox and Spark SC; both great places to meet smart people.

How to get started?

Blackstone LaunchPad @USC to learn how to go from pure idea to startup, especially if you've never done it before. They will put you with a mentor to personally help

The gist of getting started

Know your market and do some market research. Launch quickly (as fast as you can) with an early prototype. Get users on it early so you can quickly get feedback.

My Favorite Resources

I can't comment on things I've never participated in, but will list some at the end.

Blackstone LaunchPad @ USC

Whatever stage you are in, BLP will likely be able to help you. They've given me so much advice helped me reframe how to think about the business

Lloyd Greif Center

The Greif Center and BLP combined gave us the opportunity to pitch Mark Cuban and got us onto Inc Magazine! They have some great classes and competitions

USC Incubator

Paul gives solid advice about how to start an early stage company and makes his knowledge and rolodex open to incubated companies. I found the program to be helpful


One of the best run competitions. You get a mentor and great help throughout. I think you need to have a Viterbi student though

New Venture Seed

This competition every Spring. It's always a fun one with pretty good prize money

Silicon Beach USC

I could never qualify for the finals for this (despite my efforts), but they have a cool event to go along with the pitch competition

Other Resources

Those were the favorites of the resources I used. Here are a few that I've heard great things about

VSI2 + Viterbi Startup Garage

Ashish is extremely smart and has great advice and connections. Ashish actually introduced us to the co-founder of eHarmony (who joined as an advisor)


It's an entrepreneurship frat.

Steven's Institute

Used them for legal help. They run an innovation showcase every year too.

Parting thoughts.

Have fun with it. It's a fun but grueling process. Hopefully you'll fall in love with it like I have :)

Questions? Want to say hello? Comment :)

Go to the descriptions below with the comments to see all the links to resources

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