8 Hour Business Challenge

Young entrepreneurs working on the next big thing. Ready to join them?

Young entrepreneurs working on the next big thing. Ready to join them?

One of the greatest pleasure of working with young entrepreneurs is getting the chance to hear their ideas; it’s amazing learning how creative these future founders are. That is why I’m excited to let you know about an upcoming competition that Cal State Fullerton’s co-ed entrepreneurship fraternity, Sigma Epsilon Mu, is holding. In their own words:

Are you a passionate entrepreneur willing to challenge yourself to develop a business in 8 hours? Want to compete against students from Southern California for a chance to earn up to $1000 dollars in winnings.

If so, then you should participate in Sigma Upsilon Mu’s 8 hour business challenge. In 8 hours, students will form teams, brainstorm innovative business ideas, conduct cost/profit analysis, conduct market research, validate a business concept, create a website, develop a commercial, and pitch that idea to a panel of judges.

Are you the best? Then Prove it and sign up to compete against the best! Join students from all over Southern California to build your business concept, and then pitch to a room full of business professional, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Due to limited space, contestants are chosen by first come first serve basis. Sign Up Today!

Obviously, this is a very quick competition but this is how brainstorming works. It’s probably true that no fully formed ideas will come out of this competition but the germ of the next startup sensation might grow out of this competition.

From 8am to 8pm on September 5th you have the opportunity to plant the seeds for the next great startup success.

Click here to start something amazing!


CSUF Entrepreneurship Client Recruiting Season is now Open

CSUF Business ConsultingEvery business has, or at least should have, a leader. This is the person who is responsible for the company’s strategy, who makes the tough decisions, who is the person that is ultimately responsible for the business’ success or failure. And this person, at least the good ones, know that they cannot do it alone. They realize that the people who are working for the company are assets.

But can you honestly say that you are getting the most out of your assets? Do you know a leader who thinks he is but is really squandering a lot of that value? That’s where we come in. Our program has done hundreds of consulting cases dealing with organizational development issues.

Time and time again, we’ll get a client who will, after spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on self help books and do-it-yourself programs will finally relent and engage with one of our teams. They almost always come away from one of our semester-long consulting engagements happy because they now have a more effective strategy for properly aligning their organization so as to get the most value out of all their assets.

What our program offers is a semester-long project completed by a team of Student Entrepreneurs, their professor, and a mentor from the professional world that will create a thorough leadership strategy for any business. Our program has a long history of success, which is punctuated by our many National Consulting Awards.

Here is a perfect example of our excellent consulting program:

Our recruiting seasons for the 2015 Fall Semester is open and we are still looking for a couple more clients for our program. In particular, we are looking for entrepreneurs who are wise to know that they can improve their leadership strategies.

It’s an amazing thing to see and be a part of and if you have any questions, comments or inquiries about our program please contact Client Project Specialist Ms. Charlesetta Medina, either at cymedina@fullerton.edu or (657) 278-8243. She is very passionate about this program and will happily answer all of your questions. If she is not immediately available please leave her a message with your contact information and she will get back to you as soon as possible.

Small Business & Diversity [EVENT]

Small Business and DiversityHave you ever wondered about what kind of impact diversity can have on a small business? How much value does diversity add? How do you manage in a diverse working environment?

Click to RSVP For this event

Click to RSVP For this event

Answers to these questions and many more can be had at our upcoming Small Business & Diversity panel event. Taking place on Thursday, August 13 at 6pm in the O’Brien Center the Small Business & Diversity panel discussion will be hosted by Critical Mass for Business’ Richard Franzi. We co-hosted an event earlier this year with them, which was a huge success, and we have every reason to believe that this event will be a success as well. This event will be recorded and aired as a radio show at a later date.

On the panel are the following innovators:

Mr. John Bradley Jackson, Director, Cal State Fullerton Center of Entrepreneurship & CSUF Startup Incubator

Ms. Cecile Bereal, President/CEO, RMA Management Alliance, Inc.

Ms. Summer Sepulveda, Community Liaison Coordinator, WBEC-West

Mr. Christian Valencia, CEO/Co-Founder of HIIT Bottle

Mr. Dalip Jaggi, CEO of Technology & Co-Founder at Eva Smart Shower


Come to hear the lively discussion, ask questions of the panelists, network with your peers. This event is free (parking is $8) and there will be light appetizers.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Job Posting: National Retail Accounts Manager

Are you smart, creative, and entrepreneurial minded?

Are you self-motivated with unlimited energy?

Are you interested in making a difference in this world?

Then this is the job for you!

Sandy Spin Slade, Inc. is an amazing company that makes physical activity fun by creating products that provide a social, group game experience for all ages and abilities to enjoy. Our educational division includes Skillastics®, a series of oversize board games that develop children’s fitness and sport skills. Skillastics was introduced in 2002, and currently over 10 million students in approximately 25,000 schools and after-school programs are enjoying Skillastics.

FitivitiesThe company has recently entered the retail market by introducing Fitivities™, an award-winning physical activity game that brings families together in a fun, physically active environment. Fitivities is not just a product, it’s a rapidly growing movement! Our mission is to change the way society views physical activity, and by making it simple, fun and affordable, we are creating this transformation, one family at a time.

We are seeking a responsible, organized and self-motivated individual to join the Sandy Spin Slade, Inc. team and help grow our newly established retail division. This position is only suited for a motivated, tenacious, successful professional with a true passion for results.

This position will allow you to:

  • Contribute to achievement of national sales targets for Fitivities
  • Grow brand awareness nationally
  • Achieve individual sales and activity based goals nationally
  • Provide product demonstrations and trainings as required
  • Support and implement marketing programs
  • Proactively develop and implement national sales plan
  • Establish and enhance business relationships with key distributors and major end user accounts nationally
  • Promote Fitivities by traveling throughout the country attending Trade Shows and various events
  • Be a part of a movement from the ground floor
  • Work within a successful and collaborative team environment

This successful individual will have:

  • Proven sales experience with strong motivation to follow up leads and take advantage of business or sales opportunities.
  • Experience working with retail, specifically the Toy and Game Industry will be highly regarded.
  • Ability to demonstrate expertise of product(s), customer segments and their needs, competitive products, prices and policies.
  • Exceptional communication and rapport building skills.
  • Great time management skills and be a team player that is self-motivated.
  • Has a passion for physical activity and believes in the value of health and wellness.

Don’t miss this opportunity!!!

Salary: Entry Level: $35,000 + commission

Please send resume to info@fitivities.com. Only individuals who are serious about making a difference in this world need apply.

Brand New Course to assist Transfer Students to CSUF

Mihaylo Students in ClassroomChances are that you or someone you know has transferred to CSUF. It was a challenging transition, wasn’t it? Or course it was! Transfer students always take some time to find their bearings at a new school but what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that way?

Starting this fall, Cal State Fullerton will start offering Business Administration (BUAD) 300: Professional and Career Development. Dr. David Obstfeld, who is one of the designers of this course and an Entrepreneurship Professor, had this to say about this new course:

“The creation of BUAD 300 was the result of assembling student and faculty talent, supplemented with some of the most effective managers and executives in Orange County and the country,” says Mihaylo Management Associate Professor David Obstfeld, who helped design the course. “We recognize that there are some stumbling blocks that prevent undergraduates from crystallizing their professional vision, developing the knowledge and social skills to progress rapidly through their years at Mihaylo, and graduating with good jobs.”

This sounds like a very smart idea to me and would be immensely helpful to any new CSUF students.

The course will discuss business advising, tips for organizing one’s personal and academic lives, goal setting, time management, social network management, career development and planning and strategies for selecting the best Mihaylo major and concentration for the individual’s long-term goals. University policy and procedures will also be offered. Students will be able to connect with faculty and members of the college’s business network. Three course sections will be available: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2:15 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30-3:45 p.m. and Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-5:15 p.m. Obstfeld will teach one of the sections.

For more information, visit the Business Advising Center at SGMH 1201 or call them at 657-278-2211.

And if you would like to talk to someone about majoring in Entrepreneurship please get in touch with Travis Lindsay at tlindsay@fullerton.edu.

Are you Looking to work with Entrepreneurs?

TriTech SBDC LogoOne of the Center for Entrepreneurship’s great partners is the TriTech Small Business Development Center. They do a number of awesome things to help entrepreneurs and they are looking to add someone onto their team so that they can help strengthen our entrepreneurial community.

If you are looking for a way to work with entrepreneurs then I strongly suggest you consider working for TriTech. They are looking for someone with knowledge of entrepreneurial activities and technologies. The deadline to apply is August 10.

The way to Apply:

  1. Go to: https://jobs.rcc.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1438219160571
  2. Click on “Search Postings”
  3. Go to the “Department” drop-down list and select “Econ and Comm Dvlpmnt (D)”
  4. Click “VIEW” under the job titled: “Business Development Administrative Specialist (Economic & Community Development) – District

Once you get to the job page there is a lot of information about what the job is about, what the qualifications are, how much the job pays, etc. In particular, here’s how they describe the position:


Under the supervision of the Director of the TriTech Small Business Development Center (SBDC), is responsible for, but not limited to: marketing and community outreach, training programs, social network marketing, public relations, the center’s contract administration, general office administration (coordination of office services such as purchasing, budget reports, & payroll), independent judgment in the resolution of administrative duties, delegation of routine duties and special projects to clerical personnel, as well as providing administrative assistance to the SBDC Director; to include other work as required.


Short-Term employee(s) and/or Work Study student(s).

This looks like an exciting opportunity for a young entrepreneur; definitely a great way to start working with a wide range of entrepreneurs. If you are interested in applying for this job please follow the directions as listed above and make sure to submit all your documentation before the deadline at 8pm on August 10.

Good luck!

The Growth Mindset [VIDEO]

A couple of months ago I was chatting with the founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Dr. Michael Ames. As happens when you talk with a bright individual like him the conversation quickly shifted into one about ideas, which is fine by me. By the end of our talk, Dr. Ames recommended a couple of books that I should read, including Carol Dweck’s “The Growth Mindset”.

While I haven’t read the book yet (Dr. Ames, I promise I will read it!) I have watched the Google Talk she gave about her book from earlier this year. Dr. Dweck is an engaging speaker and she eloquently conveys her ideas and findings during the course of her talk. Here’s how Google summarized her talk:

“You’re so talented!”, “You are gifted – a natural!”, “You’re doing so well in school, you must be really smart!” – children receive these messages (or their negative counterparts), along with many other messages on a daily basis from their peers, parents and teachers. Are these just words or do they mean more? How are children affected by the words we use to praise, coach and criticize them?

Meet Stanford University’s Professor Dr. Carol S. Dweck to learn more about her fascinating research into “self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behavior”, and how you can apply a Growth Mindset at home, at school and in your career.

The talk is a little over 45 minutes but I think it is well worth watching.

Financing the Startup – CSUF Startup Incubator Event

Click to RSVP For the Financing the Startup Event

Click to RSVP For the Financing the Startup Event

Whenever we host an event at the CSUF Startup Incubator our goal is to educate all in attendance. After working with entrepreneurs for years I can safely say that the area of raising investment capital is one of those areas that entrepreneurs need the most education on.

Many of the entrepreneurs I have talked with think that they need to get funded by an Angel or a VC before they can start their company. That’s absolutely true for some companies and other companies will need investments along the way to fund growth. But the vast (vast, vast, vast, vast, vast…) majority of companies do not receive funding from Angels or VCs. As Director Jackson would put it, “That’s rarefied air.” That’s certainly true.

So, what is a budding entrepreneur to do? Fear not, we’re hosting an event this Wednesday at 6pm at the Incubator in Placentia that deals with this subject. Titled “Financing the Startup” (I think someone thought that it sounded like the movie title “Romancing the Stone” and that similarity was funny), Director John Bradley Jackson will give an overview of the financing landscape for startup entrepreneurs and provide some insights into how best to raise money.

This event, like all of our others (so far… we have to put that little bit in there for legal reasons, I think) will be free. Come and join us and maybe you’ll learn how to fund your startup! What do you have to lose?


More info on CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship


More info on CSUF Startup Incubator: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

More events: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvent

CSUF Startup Incubator Presentations


We just finished another exciting round of investor pitch walkthroughs today with three of our CSUF Startup Incubator‘s residents. Each of these residents have been incubating here for about half a year now and they have made some amazing progress. Each of these presentations followed the basic investor pitch formulation: 15 minutes presentation, 15 minutes of Q&A, PowerPoint presentation, etc.

Some pictures of today’s events can be seen below and if you are looking for a way to jumpstart your business take a gander at what the CSUF Startup Incubator has to offer by going here.


CSUF Entrepreneurship Teaches Kids STEM and Lean Startup

Amerika Bernal CSUF Student

CSUF Entrepreneurship student, Amerika Bernal, along with a consortium of CSUF executives, directors, professors, and other students helped teach middle school children about Entrepreneurship and STEM.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson, CSUF Entrepreneurship students Amerika Bernal and Monica Mercado, along with other contributors from the CSUF community have been teaching seventh- and eighth-grade students students STEM and entrepreneurial lessons. These students recently completed their year long program where they learned the technical and emotional skills necessary to succeed in a startup and in the executive suite.

Over the course of the school year these students learned many things, including:

  • How to develop a minimal viable product (MVP)
  • The iterative lean startup methodology for starting a business or project
  • How to give a compelling fast pitch; a one minute long talk that sells your business concept to an investor/partner
  • Why failing fast and being able to pivot are so important for all businesses

This year’s program culminated in a massive, district-wide event that was part celebration, part inspirational talking, and part science/business fair. Many of the students who participated in this program were in attendance showing off their business ideas to the gathered masses. A few of the more intrepid students even gave sixty second fast pitches, or, more informally, a short exegesis about about their business idea. Certificates were awarded and everyone in attendance seemed to really enjoy themselves.

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Amerika Bernal, one of the student-teachers in this program, had this to say about her experience:
Continue reading

CSUF Entrepreneurship Alumni Wins Fast Pitch Competition

CSUF Entrepreneurship Alum, John Chi, accepting his prize at a recent fast pitch competition. Good job John!!!

CSUF Entrepreneurship Alum, John Chi, accepting his prize at a recent fast pitch competition. Good job John!!!

This story is a bit old but we’d still like to take the time to recognize John Chi for yet another great achievement. Earlier this year, he participated and won the Funding the Big Idea 2015 competition. Hosted by TriTech, Funding the Big Idea is part competition and part symposium on how startups can raise capital. John faced 40 tough challengers at this competition. From John:

Funding the Big Idea definitely lived up to its name! It was a tremendous opportunity to interact directly with experienced investors and experts in alternative funding sources and to be able to learn from them.  It’s so inspiring to meet so many fellow entrepreneurs sharing their passion, ideas and stories all in one place – and to reconnect with familiar faces still going strong!  Everyone was so helpful and supportive.  I’m so grateful to leave FTBI with so many new friends and connections.  Many many thanks, TriTech!

John’s business is called Synova Life Sciences and he has wowed entrepreneurs and investors with his idea. Synova Life Sciences is a biotech company that is in the process of developing adult stem cell therapies to help people with arthritis and other chronic illnesses. Finishing in first place at the 2013 Business Plan competition and in second place at the first Titan Fast Pitch competition John has steadily developed his idea into the startup that it has become.

Here’s a video chronicling some of the talks at the Funding the Big Idea 2015 event (sorry, it doesn’t look like any of the fast pitches made it into the video but there’s still a lot of quality content there):

Job Opening: Snap Fitness

Snap Fitness logoClub Manager

(15 – 20 hours per week)

We are seeking a high energy, trustworthy, personable individual with a passion for fitness, sales, and member support.

Position will be responsible for all club related activities during shift hours and selected outside events. Duties to include giving tours, sales presentations and signing up memberships; handling all calls, emails and social media; keeping club clean and organized, helping members with questions at club, assigning new members to personal trainers, performing minor equipment maintenance, and developing leads and relationships with local businesses. (Candidates will be subject to background check and drug testing)

To apply for this position, please send your resume to orange@snapfitness.com or call Tom at 949.709.3736

CSUF Entrepreneurship Director on what Cities are best for Startups

CSUF Director John Bradley Jackson Teaching

Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator Director John Bradley Jackson recently spoke about what is important for startups. Based off of the title of this post, the answer shouldn’t surprise you in the least.

“Geographic location is vital to entrepreneurs, for access to investors, talent, advisers and the presence of other startups, which act to stimulate one another,” Jackson says. Yet while location is an important factor for success, Jackson contends that the entrepreneur’s personal characteristics are the greatest predictors of success. “The character, ‘coach ability’ and commitment of the entrepreneur trump everything else,” he says.

To read more about what Director JJ has to say please go to the original story here: http://bit.ly/1AwMx8H

I should also note that if you are thinking about starting your own business you should seriously consider applying to become a resident in our CSUF Startup Incubator. You’ll get access to many wonderful mentors, one of which will be specifically assigned to you, get the chance to participate in many talks, and, after about six months, you should be much further along your entrepreneurial journey than you were when you started.

The application process is simple and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me (I’m Travis by the way and you can email me at tlindsay@fullerton.edu) or any of the other members of the CSUF Startup Incubator, like Director Jackson or Phillip Stinis.

Phillip Stinis – CSUF Startup Incubator Entrepreneur in Residence

Phillip Stinis '11 MBAIn January 2015, California State University Fullerton (CSUF) opened the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia. As the Entrepreneur in Residence, I have the pleasure of working with our startups firsthand while growing the Incubator as a startup itself. For those who haven’t heard yet, the CSUF Startup Incubator is looking to take highly scalable, early stage startups with innovative business models to their next phase within their 6 months of residency. Once accepted, residents are assigned a mentor and together we develop a custom road map, making sure we provide excellent value and services to our residents. The mentors are usually veteran entrepreneurs who have had experience in raising capital and selling off their business, which is the ultimate goal for our Incubator. The best parts of what makes the CSUF Incubator an excellent choice will become obvious soon, but first it is important to understand why and how CSUF does this.

The College of Business and Economics is home to the nation’s second largest undergraduate enrollment in business, according to the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. CSUF is the largest school in Orange County by student body population and the graduate program in Information Technology is ranked No. 5 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. These are some impressive statistics that make having an Incubator the next logical step for the school’s top quality graduates. While stats are not enough, the culture at CSUF is ripe and forward thinking; most professors I spoke with wanted to get involved and they also encouraged their current students to apply.

Outlining these impressive credentials is important for understanding the big value proposition – Incubator residents are able to leverage the University’s resources. That means world-class student consulting teams can be utilized to do market research, the mechanical engineering lab space and 3D printers can be used to make prototypes, and some of the brightest University professors are either mentoring or overseeing the process. Our Incubator is led by Professor John Jackson, Director for Center for Entrepreneurship and the Small Business Institute at CSUF. In addition to being a 13 year Professor of Entrepreneurship, he is a veteran entrepreneur himself with several years of industry experience from Silicon Valley. Delivering his presentation on Business Plans at the Incubator in an intimate setting was definitely a great value for our residents; however, the teaching doesn’t stop there. Every week we have guest speakers come down and talk to our residents – from Business Attorneys to Angel Investors and Bankers, we are doing everything we can to give our residents the best preparation for success.

As a former Electrical Engineer who has over 10 years of Aerospace and Defense experience and an MBA from CSUF, I really enjoy cultivating the startup environment because it brings out a burning passion in the entrepreneur to create a business from just a simple idea. Now that we have all the elements aligned for success, I am excited to create a culture of inclusion where the best ideas can be fostered and developed. Since we are an after-hours Incubator versus a traditional Incubator (meaning our residents still can work on their startup business while keeping their day job), we are going to be creating a fun atmosphere where creativity can thrive. Stay tuned for night time activities that will attract talented students to both help our residents and come up with their own ideas through our stimulating environment. I can’t disclose our future plans just yet, but I can tell you we are making the Incubator a place I would love to be a part of as an entrepreneur and you should come down to check it out for yourself, it’s guaranteed to be a stimulating experience!

For additional information on how to apply, please contact Phillip Stinis at phstinis@fullerton.edu or visit the Incubator’s website at http://bit.ly/csufstartup

A CSUF Student-Entrepreneur’s Charitable Startup

Garage GainsLast week I had the pleasure of meeting Kaylyn Donohue ’16 at one of our CSUF Startup Incubator events. Kaylyn is one of our bright student-entrepreneurs and she recently tested out her minimum viable product (MVP) for her concept Garage Gains.

Unlike other garage sales, Garage Gains did not put price tags on any of their items being sold. Instead, business and entrepreneurship students in charge of the sale, told people to pay what they wanted to donate to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

“We really just encouraged people to pay the price that they felt was justified to give back to children’s hospital,” said Kaylyn Donohue, 21, pursuing a minor in business entrepreneurship. “At first we were thinking about giving set prices but a lot of people were actually willing to pay a little bit more through that donation request.”

As part of a community outreach project, seven Cal State Fullerton students worked to partner with the children’s hospital to develop a non-profit organization—based on the concept of a garage sale. Now, with the help of generous donations and a unique pricing system, Garage Gains is working to help communities around the nation.

Source: A Garage Sale for the Community and Charity

Click on the link above to read the rest of this story and go to Garage Gain’s Facebook Page to see when they are planning on bringing their charity garage sales to your neck of the woods.