Director of the Center for Peace & Commerce (CPC) at Kroc School at the University of San Diego

MBA From University of California, San Diego - Rady School of Management
Greater San Diego Area

Kroc School at the University of San Diego

Director of the Center for Peace & Commerce (CPC)
A unique Social Innovation Institute, I am the new Director (1/15/2020) of the Center for Peace & Commerce. I will be leading meaningful programs & impactful events to assist in: Innovative solutions to peace and justice challengesABOUT CPC:When we set out to create the nation's only partnership between a business school and a peace school, we knew that this new paradigm would require new thinking. So we assembled thought leaders, we studied the issues, we outlined our goals, we asked questions and then we listened. The result is a solutions-based mission and vision that we'll use to inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs.Mission StatementAt the Center for Peace and Commerce we aim to enable students and faculty to build a more prosperous and peaceful world through innovative thinking and action, integrating business principles and effective management with positive peacebuilding and poverty alleviation.VisionCPC is a leader in preparing students and faculty to develop effective responses to complex social, environmental, and peace/conflict problems to make the world a better place.Business. Peace.CPC is a partnership between a business school and a school of peace. The Kroc School equips and empowers innovative changemakers to shape more peaceful and just communities. Learn more about the Kroc School.USD School of Business empowers ethical leaders to imagine socially innovative and fiscally sound ventures. Learn more about the USD School of Business. … see more
January 2020 - Present
(8 Months)

Forbes New York Business Council

Forbes Innovation & Business Contributor
Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit Silvia Mah has been accepted into the Forbes Business Council, the foremost growth and networking organization for successful business owners and leaders worldwide. Dr. Silvia Mah was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of her experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors. “We are honored to welcome Dr. Silvia Mah into the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Business Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.” … see more
December 2019 - Present
(9 Months)

AD ASTRA — an accelerator program designed to scale your business.Co-founded with 2 other amazing investors: Allison Long Pettine and Vidya Dinamani.THE AD ASTRA PROGRAM*12 Weeks of Custom Curriculum*Guaranteed Investment in your Company*Formal Mentorship with Industry Experts*Your Own Champion and Personal Advocate for the 12 Weeks and BeyondWe are seeking high growth startups, led by females.“Companies with a female founder performed 63% better than those with all-male founding teams.“Geri Stengel, ForbesWomen Get It Done: Fixing The Broken Venture Capital System –— Y E T —Female founders receive only 14% of angel investments and 3-4% of venture capital funds.(1)Let’s change that.▼ … see more
January 2018 - Present
(2 Years and 8 Months)

She Invests!

She Invests! is a collaborative movement aimed to increased the diversity of female investors across the venture table. A three-pronged approach to equipping ore women to find their venture voice and activate their capital, (1) She Invests! podcasts highlights female angel investors and women VCs and their venture investments, (2) She Invests! book (published 2018) highlights the investment thesis and portfolio of active angel investor, Silvia Mah, and the collaborative rising tide of female angels, angel groups, VCs and fund managers, and (3) She Invests! learning platform for female entrepreneurs and women investors to seek wisdom from each other, find new opportunities and "venture create" / invest in each other's impact. … see more
March 2017 - Present
(3 Years and 6 Months)

She Invests!

Dr. Silvia Mah speaks passionately about her mission to promote, nurture, and invest in transformational startups that allow women & diverse founders to excel around the world. As a speaker, she has traveled the world delivering keynotes at Google, LatAm Conference in Chile, and more!Dr. Mah's topics of discussion include:Angel Investment / Venture Capital Topics:* Managing Mindsets and an Early Stage Investor* The Rising Tide of Women - Investing in Women * Steps to Developing an Accelerator Program * Investing in the Entrepreneur * Current Trends for Women Angel Investors Entrepreneur Topics: * It can be done: being a Passionate AND Profitable entrepreneur * Which of your ideas to keep, and which ones to throw away* How to find, select and work with the right people to help grow your business* How to combine and reformulate ideas so they optimize your unique talents* Which of your ideas will give you the best chance for personal satisfaction* Which of your ideas have the best chance for startup business success … see more
May 2017 - Present
(3 Years and 4 Months)

She Invests!

Podcast Host
This is the show where I highlight the growing number of female angel investors, the real unicorns. My mission is to equip female angel investors with more knowledge about how to invest, finding their tribe, and collaborating. From deal flow to exits, women have been gaining experience. Let’s learn from each other. We can only improve our representation around the venture table by truly sitting at it and having a voice.* Season 1: Diverse Discussions on Trends, Initiatives, and Data (24 episodes)* Season 2: Social Impact Investment landscape (launching April 2019) … see more
March 2017 - Present
(3 Years and 6 Months)

Hera Labs

Founder & Executive Director
Business Accelerator, supporting women via business development, education, acceleration, mentoring, and funding. HeraLabs is a unique business accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurial women, providing female start-ups, in all industries, a safe place to test ideas and grow their business. This is achieved through specialized DIY, hands-on, get-it-done LABS and mentoring. As the educational arm of Hera Hub, a co-working space for women entrepreneurs, there now is a one-stop resource for enterprising women to work, connect, and flourish. Hera Labs is funded by the federal government through the SBA Accelerator Growth Fund, the City of San Diego, and corporations like Qualcomm. … see more
August 2012 - Present
(8 Years and 1 month)

Next Wave Impact

Lead Investor/GP
Silvia was an LP in the 2016 inaugural US Next Wave Venture Fund and is a lead investor/GP in the 2017 US Impact Fund.One of the driving goals at Next Wave Impact is to increase diversity in angel investing and high growth entrepreneurship. Our first pilot programs in 2015 and 2016 sought to narrow the gender gap in angel investing by providing nearly 200 women a unique learning opportunity that allowed them to build a diversified portfolio of investments, receive mentoring by women who were experienced angel investors, and participate in an education & training program around angel investing. We completed two pilots: a US program in partnership with Portfolia and a Europe program in partnership with Go Beyond Investing and the European Business Angel Network. We also partnered with the Angel Capital Association on the education and training piece, which was supported by the Kauffman Foundation. Our new fund, Next Wave US Impact Fund I, also seeks to increase diversity in angel investing by engaging more underrepresented groups in early stage investing. The focus of the new fund is on impact investing and we will seek investments that achieve both social impact and financial return. … see more
July 2017 - Present
(3 Years and 2 Months)

Hera Angels

Founding Member
Hera Angels is the first female-only angel group in San Diego that focuses on investing in female founders and female-focused businesses. The angel group was initially launched in 2014 in San Diego. Female Funders are connected with Female Founders to enable great ideas to be funded through collaborations, mentoring, and education. Angel bootcamps through partnerships with Pipeline Fellowships, Rising Tide Fund, 37 Angels, and Angel Capital Association will enable prospective female angel investors to gain the knowledge to invest wisely and female founders will gain the startup mentoring necessary to pitch to investors through Hera Labs female intensive. Hera Angels is a member of the Angel Capital Association and syndication partner of the "Angel Syndication Network" in the US Southwest. … see more
July 2014 - Present
(6 Years and 2 Months)

Hera Hub

Advisory Board Member
Supporting Hera Hub's Franchise Growth Strategy of supporting 20,000 women in business globally in the next five years.Hera Hub's mission is supporting and creating business opportunities for women. Felena Hanson's founder vision is to empower women in the launch and growth of their business through beautiful coworking spaces and to create a strong collaborative network of like-minded women entrepreneurs. … see more
January 2013 - Present
(7 Years and 8 Months)

CONNECT - San Diego

President & COO
In my first 90 Days, I plan to be a strategic architect; aiming to accelerate learning by listening, and achieve alignment of goals and visions to build more collaboration, connections, inclusion, and cohesion. About the organization: CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that creates and scales great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. By creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and C-suite executives have access to the people, capital, and technology they need for success, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. CONNECT is widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful organizations linking entrepreneurs and C-suite executives with the resources they need for the commercialization of innovative products and services. … see more
March 2019 - December 2019
(10 Months)

San Diego Angel Conference

Fund Manager
As a member of the growing number of female angel investors, venture capitalists and fund managers, bringing more diverse opportunities for founders and funders to connect and make concrete funding transactions is very important. Thus, the SDAC (San Diego Angel Conference) was born through robust collaborations amongst Mysty Rusk, John Sechrest (his brainchild), Will Fowler, and Victoria Lakers. As fund manager, my main roles impacting the outcomes of this experience (angel/entrepreneur education & event) are:- Recruit diverse angel investors to participate in the conference and learn to invest by doing - Develop a framework for education and due diligence structure that fits the San Diego startup culture - Assist with this fabulous team, in the creation of the first SDAC fund- Recruit diverse entrepreneurs to apply for this $200K funding opportunity- Mentor and equip the startup founders applying for the conference to become investor ready- Attend and teach events/workshops that provide education and connections on both sides of the venture table- Support the conference leadership, partners, and sponsors to bring real value to BOTH investors and entrepreneurs. … see more
October 2018 - May 2019
(8 Months)

The Basement UC San Diego

Student Programs Diversity Director
My impact to the UCSD innovation community is:- Deliver experiential educational programs at The Basement for all 4 tracks: Seeker, Incubator, Accelerator and Accelerator Plus. Mentor all startup teams towards their own successes, provide strategic direction to the leadership for optimal impact within the SD innovation ecosystem, and bring more resources to student teams from within the UCSD campus and larger SD community. - Design and review programs/initiatives/events to foster a more diverse and inclusive innovative culture across the UCSD campus - Strategically advise on making existing programs more aligned with needs of startups across campus, then teach and pivot for a better collective experience.- Analyze, advise and implement any new programs across campus to enrich the innovation culture- Serve as a trusted resource for all entrepreneurial programs across the UCSD campus who advise and assist startup growth for all stakeholders on campus The Basement provides space, education, mentorship for undergraduate student teams to develop their business and product concepts. The Basement’s vision is to engage UC San Diego entrepreneurs regionally and globally starting with the undergraduate student population and extending through the UC San Diego alumni network. The mission of the program is to increase entrepreneurial awareness, interest, diversity, cross-disciplinary collaboration and connections to campus. … see more
September 2018 - March 2019
(7 Months)

The Basement UC San Diego

Curriculum Designer & Strategic Developer
The primary goal of bringing more value to The Basement in this new role was to:- Design, develop, implement, and deliver Basement accelerator program (at the time there was only 1 program: incubator) - Refine existing Incubator program track curriculum and goals.- Develop learning outcomes and metrics that could be quantitatively tracked to align with strategic initiatives/goals of startup activities at UCSD.- Advise students and student teams at the basement about key startup themes.- Analyze and refine all educational resources and workshops at The Basement for alignment to core goals- Co-Create with all stakeholders at The Basement & implement an Innovation Code of conduct.The Basement provides space and mentorship for student teams to develop their business and product concepts. The Basement’s vision is to engage UC San Diego entrepreneurs regionally and globally starting with the undergraduate student population and extending through the UC San Diego alumni network. The mission of the program is to increase entrepreneurial awareness, interest, diversity, cross-disciplinary collaboration and connections to campus. This is in complete alignment with Alumni and Community Engagement’s Vision, Mission and Strategies, as well as the Office of Innovation and Commercialization. … see more
September 2016 - August 2018
(1 year and 12 Months)

The Basement UC San Diego

Startup Mentor
Startup mentor for UCSD student teams at The Basement included:- Advise on best practices for entrepreneurs, especially around BMC (Business Model Canvas) methods and practice - Provide mentorship on investor relations and investor landscape in San Diego, nationally and globally. - Listen to and provide strategic guidance to startup leaders and teams at the incubator, The Basement, primarily for undergraduate students- Provide strategic advise to The Basement leadership on mentor roles and responsibilities.The Basement provides space, education, mentorship for undergraduate student teams to develop their business and product concepts. The Basement’s vision is to engage UC San Diego entrepreneurs regionally and globally starting with the undergraduate student population and extending through the UC San Diego alumni network. The mission of the program is to increase entrepreneurial awareness, interest, diversity, cross-disciplinary collaboration and connections to campus. … see more
December 2015 - September 2016
(10 Months)

Pipeline Fellowship

Pipeline Fellow
Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women, works to increase diversity in the U.S. angel investing community and creates capital for women social entrepreneurs. Pipeline fellows are CHANGING THE FACE OF ANGEL INVESTING by actively investing in socially-relevant ventures, creating a collaborative network of like-minded angel investors, and making smart investment decisions to impact global innovation. Through education, mentoring and practice, Pipeline fellows gain the important skills to make a group investment at the end of the fellowship program, but also continue to invest in startups, join later stage angel networks, and/or create their own angel groups, unleashing capital beyond their Pipeline Fellowship investment. … see more
August 2015 - January 2016
(6 Months)

The Nicholas Conor Institute (TNCI)

Marketing Communications, Strategy & Business Development Advisor
• Executing commercialization assessment & business development advising for research acceleration platform• Developing marketing communications plan and creative brief for more efficient venture capital funding proposals … see more
September 2012 - January 2016
(3 Years and 5 Months)

The Nicholas Conor Institute (TNCI)

Marketing Intern
Develop personalized medicine marketing communications plan for innovative not for profit pediatric oncology organization
April 2012 - August 2012
(5 Months)

MBA Women International

Lead | Engage | Advance | Develop.Working with a dynamic launch team to stand-up a National Association of Women MBA Professional Chapter in San Diego. Lead | Propel more women into leadership positions in San DiegoEngage | Network with like-minded businesswomen and give back to the San Diego community in effective waysAdvance | Purposeful professional development programing to strengthen your skill set with meaningful mentoring opportunitiesDevelop | Smart opportunities to enhance your professional and personal life through developing a strong platform for growth … see more
October 2011 - December 2015
(4 Years and 3 Months)


San Diego Fellow
Silvia is jettisoning her passion for start-ups, business strategy & market analysis allows for impacting the launch, growth, and sustainability of businesses to lead our San Diego program expansion. Connecting with innovation hubs like CONNECT and Founders Institute and local San Diego high schools with the help of Otter Cares will enable the modularized labs to be implemented with ease in San Diego classrooms and after school programs. Students will learn how to problem solve with local startups to really learn the dynamic process of entrepreneurship. … see more
October 2014 - July 2015
(10 Months)

WIT- Whatever It Takes

Teach social entrepreneurship to teens (freshman to seniors in High School) through active participation, project-based learning, discussions, and service learning. Facilitated project management instruction leads to social enterprises being created by the students for needs in their community.
October 2013 - December 2014
(1 year and 3 Months)

University of California San Diego

Partnership Sustainability Lead / Project Manager
The Process of commercializing university discoveries needs a robust venture network of mentors, talent, expertise, and funding. Formerly the commercialization analyst at the von Liebig Center for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, my current focus (and passion) is fostering strategic partnerships to sustain the ongoing success of the vonLiebig Center for entrepreneurship and Commercialization (37 start-ups formed in 10 years). Securing funding for early-stage technologies and university entrepreneurs is my goal in order to enable new ventures to be formed or licensing agreements to be effectively negotiated. … see more
March 2013 - June 2013
(4 Months)

University of California San Diego

Commercialization Analyst - von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement
*Manage the operations of the vonLiebig Center's commercialization objectives, from sourcing projects to paying of startup advisors*Develop curriculum around commercialization of university discoveries*Reinforce the strategic relationships in the San Diego innovation ecosystem, within the university and in the business/venture community. … see more
August 2012 - February 2013
(7 Months)

Rady Children's Hospital

Management Intern
Management intern in the Information Services department at Rady Children's Hospital working on a discovery project in telemedicine.
April 2011 - October 2011
(7 Months)

University of California San Diego

Consultant / Education Coordinator - von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism & Technology Advancement
• Evaluate and develop a revamped certificate program for entrepreneurship education.• Modeling revenue projections through scenario planning through educational program and collaborations.
September 2008 - January 2010
(1 year and 5 Months)

University of California San Diego

TIES (Teams in Engineering Service) Program Director / Academic Coordinator
*Develop a program for service learning within the Jacobs School of Engineering, UCSD*Build relationships with not for profits in the San Diego community in order to bring innovative projects for consideration of cross-disciplinary engineering teams to solve.*Teach team engineering leadership course at UCSD.
June 2005 - August 2007
(2 Years and 3 Months)
August 2004 - May 2005
(10 Months)

University of California San Diego

Marine Biology
- Scripps Institution of Oceanography - PhD
Thesis on the molecular and biochemical analysis of species-specific proteins in sea urchins.

Escuela Campo Alegre

Graduated 1991
High school