Company: Y Athletics Location: Los Angeles Year Founded: 2013 Status: Currently developing new products Inventor: Waiz Rahim, Sam Mazumdar
Y Athletics is a men’s athletic apparel startup created by USC alumni based in Los Angeles. Their first product, SilverAir raised over $145,000 in just three weeks (over four times its original Kickstarter goal). SilverAir is a premium athletic shirt knitted with silver fibers that fight odor-causing bacteria.
Company: California Pizza Kitchen Location: Beverly Hills, CA Year Founded: 1985 Status: Sold to Golden Date Capital (2011) Co-Founder: Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax
California Pizza Kitchen opened its first location in Beverly Hills in 1985 thanks to a pair of attorneys who were unsatisfied with practicing law. Larry Flax, USC Law Class of 1967 and his partner, Rick Rosenfeld, saw an opportunity to capitalize on the emerging trend of “California-style” pizza—individually sized and loaded with toppings that, at the time, were unusual. The chain now consists of more than 300 locations around the world.
Company: Oakley Location: Los Angeles, CA Year Founded: 1975 Status: $2B Founder: Jim Jannard
Jim Jannard, who began his collegiate career at USC but never finished, started Oakley as a motorcycle parts distributor out of his garage in 1975, eventually making the unorthodox transition to eyewear five years later. Once he did begin selling all varieties of goggles and sunglasses, though, he built his business into a $230 million public company in 1995 before selling off his shares—all $2 billion worth—in 2007.