Monthly Archives: October 2013

Ten Thirty One Productions Valued at $10 Million

Halloween has become big business and the latest example of that was when Ten Thirty One Productions, which operates the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride was valued by Mark Cuban at $10,000,000 (in all actuality, he probably values it at something more than that due to his extremely quick draw on the deal, but he invested $2M for 20% of the business and that works out to the aforementioned $10M valuation). That’s a lot of money for seventeen nights of thrills and chills!

But that’s really not fair; they are expanding into different markets and they will be unveiling new experiences at different times throughout the year. With Mr. Cuban’s help who knows how many more people they will be able to scare (and get paid to do so!).

I guess this should just go to show you that if you do something fun that you love you can make a business out of it if you work your butt off and make some smart moves. But before you get started, take some time to enjoy Halloween and, if you can’t make it to the last night of the Haunted Hayride, take a look at the video below that documents the experience.

Do you think this is a good business? What kind of problems can you see this company facing in the next year? How about over the next five years?

(You can watch the episode for the time being on ABC’s site and you can also read a short synopsis of the company there as well.)

CSUF Small Business Bash

The CSUF Entrepreneur Society will be holding its second Small Business Bash on Tuesday, November 12 in the Central Quad. This is a great opportunity for local businesses to promote their products/services to a large group of upwardly mobile young adults (if you want your business to participate in this event please contact them by sending an email to escsuf@gmail.com – Applications are due by this Friday, November 1). It’s also a great opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members as they will get the chance to network with each other and find out about the newest products on the local market.

From the Entrepreneur Society’s Facebook Event Page:

Small Business Bash is where we invite local businesses, vendors, and entrepreneurs to come out to sell their product or market their product/service at Cal State Fullerton. This is a great way to market towards students and to also see if your product will sell!

Last year we had over 15 vendors and want to make it even bigger this year! Some vendors last year included Zelaz Phone Accessories, Photo Booth, Joe’s Italian Ice, Ninjas With Appetite, Zume Print, Programme Skate/Sound, Super Inflated, Quickly, Small Peeps, Quickly’s Fullerton, West Side Annex, Photography company, Casetagram and more!
*** If you’re a local business or student with a business and would like to participate in the Small Business Bash, please contact our representative at escsuf@gmail.com ***

And if you would like to browse around and shop, make sure you bring some extra money for some cool vendors that will be here!

The event is from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Central Quad area on the CSUF campus and, if you intend on attending, go to their Event Page to RSVP. I know that members from the Center for Entrepreneurship will drop in from time to time and you should too.

How I beat a Patent Troll – Drew Curtis

On January 22, 2014, the Center for Entrepreneurship will host a panel that will address the pernicious affects that patent trolls can have on small business.  The panel will be made up of a range of people who will be able to give attendees a clear view of what patent trolls and other IP trolls can do to your small business and how to combat them. Our Patent Troll event will take place in the O’Brien Center located on the third floor of the Mihaylo Building during the evening and it will be an excellent opportunity to learn something new and network with other businesspeople.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to attend this event but, until then, check out this great video detailing how Drew Curtis, the founder of the revolutionary website fark.com, beat a patent troll.

Check back for more information on Patent Trolls and how to RSVP for this event.

[Note: Drew Curtis does not have any connection to our event.]

Orange County Business Statistics

Over the weekend, Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson headlined an all day workshop for a group of visiting Chinese businesspeople. It was an educational experience for all those in attendance as they learned about how entrepreneurial Orange County is through Director Jackson’s workshop as well as through a visit to the FastStart.studio business incubator. We hope to have pictures of that shortly but, for our purposes right now, I’d like to go over some of the business statistics that Director Jackson presented to our distinguished guests.

What follows are four charts about the state of the economy in Orange County from 1998 through 2011. All of this data can be found on the Census website’s County Business Patterns page. Please click on the graphs below to make them larger for easier viewing.

Total Establishments in Orange County, CA

By looking at the chart it is fairly easy to see that Orange County, at least as of 2011, has not recovered from the most recent recession. The total number of establishments (that is any non-farm business of any size) has shrunk by nearly 5,000 since 2007. Furthermore, what is not shown in this graph is the fact that the ratio of smaller businesses to the total number of businesses has gone up while the ratio of large businesses to total businesses has gone down. This could be caused by professionals, having been laid off, opting to start their own small businesses versus working for a much larger company or, more likely, not working at all. (Also of note, there was a noticeable uptick in the number of establishments with no employees, i.e. sole proprietorships, after the recession.)

This next chart, titled “Total Establishments for Orange County, CA 2011,” shows the breakdown of establishments by the top 11 industries. The tech industry, especially in the medical field, is the largest industry by number of establishments in Orange County during 2011. The health care and social assistance industry is the second largest (by total number of establishments) and will most likely only increase in size as the population of Orange County (and America at large) gets relatively older compared to our current situation. Tourism is probably the driver for some, if not most, of the next three or four largest industries.

Employment Situation in Orange County, CA

While the total amount of money being paid to Orange County employees in 2011 was nearly back to the same amount as before the recession hit, the number of people employed was still about 175,000 off from its high and is barely higher than the number of people employed in OC during 1998. According to the California Employment Development Department, in August 2013 the total number of non-farm jobs was 1,426,800; that number would still be about 50,000 shy of the high reached in 2007 though.

Employment Opportunity: Opus Productivity

Our friends at Opus Productivity Solutions are looking for a couple of part time workers that can bring in some new business.

But before we get into the details about that opportunity here’s some information on the company:

OPUS Productivity Solutions is a management consulting firm that specializes in products and services that are geared towards helping our clients make more informed, and ultimately better hiring decisions, and then assist them in maximizing the productivity of their new and existing people. Our expertise in knowing how to recognize and manage different personalities as well as our ability to teach our clients on how to utilize the information contained in personality profiling assessments helps them make the most effective hiring decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Clients range in size from small, entrepreneurial led companies of less than ten people to corporations with revenues in excess of one billion dollars. To learn more about personality trait assessments, candidate assessment tools, and developing successful corporate team building workshops…

Here are the details for the position:

Compensation – hourly pay and commission

Hourly pay – $10 per hour

20% commission on first $1,000 generated for any individual new client

10% commission on next $10,000 generated for any individual new client

At “plan” a person would earn $2,000 for 80 hours of work per month, but there is no limit on the upside – if they bring in more business they make more money

Opportunity to work in the fast growing “Software as a Service” business

Opportunity to work any time of day that meets the needs of busy students (who may already be working)

Opportunity to work for a locally run Entrepreneur who is well established in the field

Other relevant factors

New website is up and running – (http://opusproductivity.com/)

Ongoing social media marketing

Career advancement is a potential for employees that show an aptitude for the business

They will look to expand the opportunity as the results warrant it.

If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity please contact Bob Kreisberg at bob@opusproductivity.com for more information.

Event: Sales Symposium and Career Fair @ CSUF

Did you know that 50% of Undergraduate Business Majors begin their careers in sales?

Our partners at the CSUF Sales Leadership Center, invite you to an informative evening to learn more about various industries and the job opportunities available for students interested in exploring a professional sales career. Professional salespeople play a critical role in today’s global marketplace. Supporting nearly all industries, salespeople help consumers and businesses define their needs, understand and evaluate options, make effective purchase decisions and build enduring relationships.

The workshops, panel discussions and career fair will provide students with the opportunity to listen to informative presentations and discussions from a wide variety of industry executives. The evening will provide students with insight into what jobs may look like in an industry, company goals and culture, types of jobs available, training programs, a day in the life on the job, what defines success and potential career paths. The day will also provide students with an opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions and network with various industry representatives.

Here are the details:

Mihaylo Magazine Fall 2013 – FastStart.studio and Bolzmann

As many of you know, this semester we are running a pilot Student-led Business Consulting program in our Management 461 class (Entrepreneurial Management) in conjunction with FastStart.studio, a business incubator. Six of FastStart.studio’s resident companies are our clients this semester and the early results are great. They are doing so good, in fact, that this experiment is featured in the Fall 2013 Mihaylo Magazine.

Dr. Obstfeld (L) and FastStart.studio founder Michael Sawitz (R) are doing some great things for our Management 461 students. Click on picture to read more about it!

The aforementioned article also focuses on the emphasis that Dr. Obstfeld is putting on lean startups as an overarching new venture strategy. It’s a really fascinating article and you should read it.

Our own Daniela Bolzmann ’10 was featured in this magazine as well. If you recall, Daniela has prospered in Chicago with the creation of her own tech company: WeDeliver. The article in the Fall 2013 Mihaylo Magazine can be found here.

Daniela Bolzmann and Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel sharing a fist bump – Click on image to go to the article about her in the Fall 2013 Mihaylo Magazine