The Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the fourth annual CSUF Business Plan Competition and Innovation Fair on April 7. The event featured startups founded by CSUF students from throughout the campus competing for cash and in-kind prizes to provide financing for their ventures. Innovative businesses and projects conducted by CSUF students, alumni and community members were also exhibited at the event.
The annual CSUF Business Plan Competition and Innovation Fair is designed to identify and reward the best entrepreneurial concepts developed by current CSUF students. Appearing before a panel of judges, the top three winners receive cash and in-kind prizes to assist them in making their concept a reality with the first-place finisher receiving $2,500 in cash and $3,000 in in-kind funding.
“An important aspect of the Mihaylo mission is to help students become the next generation of entrepreneurs,” Travis Lindsay, coordinator for the Center for Entrepreneurship says. “When we do competitions such as this, we believe we are training the next generation of innovators.”
Lindsay says that engineering students often have creative technology concepts while business students are more creative when designing workable business models. Combining this knowledge is invaluable in creating innovative products and services. “Bringing engineering and business students together makes for a thriving business concept,” Lindsay says.
More than 100 people attended the event, including CSUF students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. Anaheim middle school students participating in the Center for Entrepreneurship business and science-based STEM mentoring were also present.
Business concepts displayed at the event included unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, created by Titan UAV, a collaboration of engineering students seeking to produce aircraft for use in student competitions; and the Titan Rover, a model Mars rover created by engineering and business students for the Mars Society competitions.
Casey Farmen, owner of the Rescuewares startup, which aims to create emergency jackets that can be used by first responders and the public during emergencies and disasters, credits the CSUF Startup Incubator with the development of his plan. “Because of the incubator, I have met contacts that I would have never met otherwise,” he says. “To me, business is about talking to people and networking; otherwise, entrepreneurship just becomes developing a concept without a way to make it a reality.”
The three business concepts judged by the panel were:
- OneMessageID, a messaging app for homeowners and residents that would provide local health and safety information and relevant messages from businesses and community organizations.
- Arrow Cone, a line of arrow-shaped sports cones designed to minimize confusion over direction of play among children and youth learning soccer and other sports, designed and presented by CSUF physics major and business emphasis Phillipe Rodriguez ’16
- The EX01 Easy Carry by Exo Assistive Technologies, a no-electronics, spring-driven, backpack-like device designed for the disabled, the elderly and workers that regularly lift heavy objects, which assists in lifting loads of up to 20 pounds, presented by a team of CSUF engineering and business students
The judges selected OneMessageID as the first-place winner, with Arrow Cone coming in second and Exo Assistive Technologies taking third place.
A video with highlights of the business plan event is available online. For more on the events, activities and opportunities offered by the Center for Entrepreneurship, visit them online or stop by SGMH 3280.For more on the CSUF Startup Incubator, visit them online or contact John Bradley Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 657-278-8413. The incubator provides facilities for brainstorming, networking opportunities with mentors in the community and the expertise of CSUF business faculty.