Monthly Archives: February 2014

CSUF Student-led Business Consulting Program Wins National Competition

CSUF Undergrad Team takes first prize in National Small Business Institute Competition for their Student-led Business Consulting Project for The Ticket Group.

Congratulations are in order for two of our hardworking Student-led Business Consulting Teams! Professor John Bradley Jackson’s Undergraduate team took home the national title and Dr. David Leibsohn’s MBA team took home second place in their respective categories at the Small Business Institute‘s National Project of the Year Competition. To put this into perspective, these teams beat out the other 125 or so consulting projects that were completed by CSUF teams last year as well as a commensurate number from dozens of other schools. Doing some rough math, the odds of winning, or even being in the Top 10, are very small; close to zero actually.

Professor Jackson’s Undergraduate team did their consulting report for The Ticket Group. The Ticket Group is an online destination for people looking for tickets to large events. Working on this project were Heather Annette Castner, Erica Nicole Saunders, Zach Turner, Kayla Donohue, Max Lubliner and Rex Noreen.

2013 SBI National Champion Undergraduate Student-led Business Consulting Team from California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Leibsohn’s MBA team worked on a consulting project for Loutech, a company that does CNC machining for many industries in Southern California. Working on this project were MBA candidates Omar Besiso, Simona Crisan, Jennifer Davalos, Erik Hayes and Silvia Liu.

CSUF MBA team takes second place in the Small Business Institute’s National Project of the Year Competition for their work in their Student-led Business Consulting Project for Loutech, Inc.

For those of you who are uninitiated in our Student-led Business Consulting Program, let me give you a brief overview. Every semester CSUF students taking Entrepreneurship classes in Operations, Marketing, Finance, Human Relations and in a select number of MBA courses take on a semester-long business consulting report. These reports are not based off of cases taken from a book but, rather, based off of the real life situations that our clients (real businesses) are facing.

Throughout the semester, each team meets with their client at least half a dozen times in person and more so through phone calls and email. At the end of the semester our Student-led Business Consulting Teams present their clients with a substantial strategy report accompanied with a lengthy presentation outlining actions that the team believes their client should take. In turn, our clients implement our teams’ strategies as they see fit. Our students are making real decisions that can have a real impact on the health and growth of a business.

These projects are not for the faint of heart as the written reports regularly exceed 100 pages in length and the number of hours spent developing a unified strategy can number 500 hours or more over the course of the semester. Sure, each team has four to six members but that is still a great deal of effort that these students are putting forward.

Twenty-eight CSUF Student-led Business Consulting Teams have placed in the Top 10 in this competition over the last 22 years, including 11 National Championships. This was the first National Champion since back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.

For information on how to become a client of this award winning program please check out this page to find out how you can benefit from our services.

For some background on what the CSUF Student-led Business Consulting Program is about please watch the video below.

CSUF Business Plan Competition Sign Up Extended

Due to some problems we had with our TITANium Community we have decided to extend the sign up for this competition through Sunday, March 9 at 11:59:00pm PST. Since this date is after our original due date for the Business Concept Questionnaire we are also extending the deadline for that to Sunday, March 9 at 11:59:00pm PST.



If you would like some help on this please get in touch with Travis at Travis can help you with questions regarding how the competition operates and can also give help on your business concept itself.

For a little inspiration you will find a playlist of all the videos we have about the CSUF Business Plan Competition below. Enjoy and good luck!


CSUF Patent Troll Seminar – Full Video

At this seminar, panelists Roger N. Behle (IP litigator at Foley, Bezek, Behle & Curtis, LLP), Jerry Conrey (Principal at Conrey Insurance Brokers) and Dr. Robert Kovacev (Professor of Finance at CSUF) discussed:

  • The role of a patent troll and how to identify one
  • Other intellectual property threats
  • Current and pending legislation designed to address patent trolling
  • Legal steps business owners should take when encountering a troll
  • Candidates for insurance protection

For more info, you can get in touch with us directly at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton­.edu

Center for Entrepreneurship
Facebook Page:
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Student Consulting:

CSUF Business Plan Competition:


CSUF Student-Entrepreneur Project – Nissan GT-R

Every semester in the Marketing 450 Visual Marketing course students are tasked with creating a short film about something that they love. One of the students in the class this semester is Evan Ewing and he has decided to do his project and the Nissan GT-R. But he needs some help to pull this off. Here’s the info:

This film is by fans and enthusiasts, for fans and enthusiasts. The goal is to create the most epic film showcasing the Nissan GT-R. Our team is going to capture incredible aerial footage with the use of drones and airplanes. The film will take place throughout Southern California, mainly in the Los Angeles area. We’re hoping to stretch our goal so we can film some shots in San Diego, Anza-Borrego desert, San Gorgonio Mtn, and other beautiful places.

The Story

“Starving students” often have great ideas for projects that are never pursued simply because of budget constraints. For Evan’s visual marketing film project, he wants to create an incredible piece that truly captures the engineering & aesthetic beauty of the GT-R. With the support of Kickstarter and car enthusiasts, we can create a film that celebrates one of the greats.

Nissan GT-R

Where will your money go?

– Drone for aerial footage

– Airplane rental for aerial footage

– Car rental

– Professional equipment

– Travel/Locations

– Sustenance


Risks and challenges

(Learn about accountability on Kickstarter)

Dealing with equipment/location issues that are inherent in the filming process. We have multiple location backup scenarios if unforeseen events transpire. One of the greater challenges is sifting through thousands of video clips and producing a seamless edit. This will be conquered by extreme attention to detail & precision during the editing process.

Backers will be updated with progress during the funding period.
If production setbacks should arise, backers will be notified if it affects rewards delivery times. Everything should be on time as of now.

Thanks for your support!


CSUF Business Plan Competition – Boot Camp Highlights


The CSUF Business Plan Competition is under way (SIGN UP NOW if you are a CSUF student). If you are unfamiliar with how we operate this competition please take a look at this highlight video from our first Boot Camp for 2014 and don’t forget that our final Boot Camp will take place on Friday, February 14 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in SGMH 1308.

If you encounter problems playing video go here:

SIGN UP NOW if you are a CSUF student


CSUF Fast Pitch Business Competition 2014

Last Saturday I witnessed an amazing display of business acumen from both university and high school students that I wasn’t expecting. Presented by Wells Fargo, the Black Family Trust and the Guchereau Company, the CSUF Fast Pitch Business Competition was structured so that each contestant, 50-plus in total, presented a business idea in 60 seconds or less and did an amazing job at it too. I heard business ideas of all kinds including: a heads-up-display for motorcycle helmets, a build your own bra service, stem cell kiosks, cleaning equipment for makeup brushes and many others. Some of the ideas were a bit out there but, even then, I think that if the presenter worked at their idea for a while even those ideas could become something that was worth growing.

Actually, We do have video of the stem cell therapy business (after this paragraph). John Chi is the owner of that business, called Synova Life Sciences, and he gave an excellent presentation. Also, if you are familiar with our program, you will know that John previously won our CSUF Business Plan Competition in 2013. Since then he has gone on to becoming a member of the business incubator and is currently shopping his business to investors. John’s presentation on Saturday was good enough to net him second place in the competition.

The first round consisted of presentations following the same structure as John’s above. Each participant was given sixty seconds with which to convince the judges on our panel and the crowd that their idea was the best. At the end of that sixty seconds a buzzer would sound and that was that. In total, more than 50 people presented their business ideas during the first round with nearly equal numbers presenting in the university and high school tracks.

Our judges (Dan Black, Saimah Chaudhry, Jerry Cheng, Mathew Gallizzi and Vas Arora) ended up selecting two finalists for both the university and high school tracks while the audience was able to select one finalist for each track using a voting system developed by Entrepreneur Elympics. Once the voting was completed, we moved on to the finals where each finalist was subjected to a tough round of questioning from our moderator, William Cosmo, and our panel of judges while they sat on the “Hot Seat.”

Hannah Keith and Kavita Galal, founders of Build-A-Bra, answering questions from our panel at the CSUF Fast Pitch Business Competition 2014.

After the finals were completed the judges went through some really tough negotiations to finally decide who the winners were. And they were:

HIgh School Track

  1. Hannah Keith, Kavita Galal: Build-A-Bra
  2. Emma Skinner, Andrea Garcia: Long Beach Eco-Scholars
  3. Lucy Lu: Solar Panel Roof Tiles

University Track

  1. Geneva Acholonu: Brush Tech
  2. John Chi: Synova Life Sciences
  3. Ethan Chow: Vaster

Geneva Acholonu, a UC Riverside student, presenting her idea called Brush Tech. This idea eventually went on to win first prize in the University Track.

For the high school winners first place won $350, second place took home $250 and $150 to third place. For the university track the first place winner got $1,000, second place $750 and $500 to third.

During the competition we were lucky enough to have both Freeman LeFleur and Matthew Gallizzi give short talks about what entrepreneurship means to them and how the contestants can realize their entrepreneurial dreams. Fortunately, we do have video of Freeman’s presentation, which is below.

Ken Guchereau (center), CSUF Fast Pitch Sponsor, Center for Entrepreneurship supporter and Guchereau Company owner

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

  • The Black Family Trust
  • The Guchereau Company
  • Wells Fargo Financial Literacy Lab with the Center for Economic Education


Dan Black (center) talking with Matthew Gallizzi (left) and a student. Dan sponsored the CSUF Fast Pitch Competition, is the supporter of the Center for Entrepreneurship and many other organizations at CSUF.

Nor could we had done it without our judges:

  • Dan Black, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist
  • Saimah Chaudry, President of CookiePages and CSUF Alum

  • Jerry Cheng, Principal at One Tri

  • Matthew Gallizzi, Leader of Notix Tech and CSUF alum

  • Vas Arora, Mentor at SCORE

  • Norm Bour, Founder of VapeMentorS (backup judge)

High School Participants at CSUF Fast Pitch Business Competition 2014

More pictures from this competition available on Flickr

CSUF Fast Pitch Business Competition Roundup

***Full Writeup***

On Saturday, we hosted our first CSUF Fast Pitch Competition in conjunction with the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneur Elympics. With over 100 people in attendance and about 50 presentations our first foray into this format of business competitions was a major success. University students from Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Irvine and UC Riverside as well as a like number of high school students competed.

And now here’s a roundup of the stories about the competition and how it came to be:

Synova Life Sciences’ John Chi was the lone representative of Cal State Fullerton to reach the finals. Watch his pitch below:

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