Monthly Archives: February 2015

CSUF Campus Authors Recognized

150226 Socially Close - Book CoverAnd one of those authors was none other than Director John Bradley Jackson. Last year, Director Jackson published Socially Close: Social Media Marketing for Small Business, which is about how businesses should be using social media in their marketing campaigns.

Here’s a description of the book from Director Jackson’s website:

  • Frustrated with social media at your small business?
  • Confused by the stampede of new social networks and their ever-changing features?
  • Not getting the return on investment that you expected?

If that sounds familiar, then this is the book for you. For most small businesses, the promise of social media is to get found on the web, build brand awareness, create a dialog, nurture relationships, establish trust, and encourage people to buy your products and services. Making that promise a reality requires a vibrant social media strategy, an intimate knowledge of the brand, and a disciplined social media effort.

The title, “Socially Close”, describes the desired end-game of using social media. With so many choices on the web today, buyers are increasingly sophisticated and need more than a succinct description of your products and services. While it is true that the web provides some customers an auction like atmosphere with low price and quickest delivery, this type of customer relationship is short-lived since there is always a lower price or a quicker lead-time offered by a competitor.

It is my opinion that many customers prefer to establish a trust-based relationship with their providers. The customer who trusts your business is much more likely to do business with you again and to recommend you to others. This is the type of customer that you want to have a close relationship with and keep for the long term. This nurturing of relationships, whether they are new or sustained, is how social media can help the small business.

Unlike the large business which may have substantial resources for managing social media, the small firm may have few resources. Yet, the small firm may receive the best return on investment due to the scaling impact of social media. Thus, social media can greatly accelerate the relationship growth rate between customer and small firm which this book describes as being socially close.

For a full list of the authors honored at the event click HERE.

Event: CSUF Entrepreneurship Town Hall

Teaching

Town Hall meetings are part of the fabric that is America and we are honored to be able to add a little to it on March 2 from 10:00am to 11:00am. Director Jackson will facilitate a Town Hall meeting for Mihaylo College that day focusing on engagement in High Impact Practices (HIPs).

Some of the issues that Director Jackson will discuss include:

  • What motivated him to develop courses that contained elements of a High Impact Practice (HIP)?
  • What is the impact on students who participate in courses with a HIPs emphasis?
  • If there are any students present (and we sure hope there are) what has been their experience with courses that have a HIP emphasis and what value did the experience add to their academic development? What was their “aha” moment?
  • What co-curricular or external resources does our program provide to the development of HIPs?

If you would like to attend this Town Hall in person or even watch the stream of this event please RSVP here and select the Mihaylo College Town Hall.

CSUF Business Plan Competition – Sign Up Now!!!

Amerika Bernal of BliviO Technologies accepting award for the Ed Huizinga Innovative Idea Award from Dorota Huizinga and John Bradley Jackson

Amerika Bernal of BliviO Technologies accepting award for the Ed Huizinga Innovative Idea Award from Dorota Huizinga and John Bradley Jackson

The 2015 CSUF Business Plan Competition is underway; are you on board yet?

For the past few years we have hosted the premiere business competition on the CSUF campus. The CSUF Business Plan Competition is open to all current CSUF students, all you need is a business idea.

If you are interested in joining the CSUF Business Plan Competition please sign up no later than February 27 – SIGN UP HERE.

Also, by February 27, you will need to complete a short questionnaire – FOUND HERE – about your business idea and email it to Travis at tlindsay@fullerton.edu

From this pool of submissions we will decide who will advance to the Semifinals. People/teams that reach the Semifinals are required to give a presentation (we recommend using PowerPoint). After that, the top three teams advance to the Finals where they will give a somewhat longer presentation to a few more people.

But those are merely details to consider in the future, right now we want you to think about your business idea. Your idea doesn’t have to be predicated on groundbreaking science or the next billion dollar startup (although either would help…). Our competition is open to all current CSUF students with a passion for Entrepreneurship and the ability to answer (and submit to tlindsay@fullerton.edu by February 27) answers to our Business Concept Questionnaire. Some of the questions include:

  • What’s new or different about what you’re making?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What are your different revenue streams?
  • Who is your target customer?

Including those four questions, competitors have to answer 21 simple questions. The point of this exercise is to help us understand your business more thoroughly and based off of this understanding we decide which concepts move forward.

If you have any questions about this competition please get in touch with Travis at tlindsay@fullerton.edu and he will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.

2015 CSUF Entrepreneurship Scholarships Announced

For many years, Jerry Conrey (left) has supported the Conrey Insurance Brokers & Risk Managers Entrepreneurial Scholarship. This year, the scholarship went to Sam Cisneros (right).

For many years, Jerry Conrey (left) has supported the Conrey Insurance Brokers & Risk Managers Entrepreneurial Scholarship. In 2014, the scholarship went to Sam Cisneros (right). Who will win it this year?

Every spring semester we are proud to offer at least one scholarship to our Entrepreneurship students. This semester we have two scholarships. Key info for each scholarship is below followed by instructions on how to submit a scholarship application.

Conrey Insurance Brokers and Risk Managers Entrepreneurial Scholarship sponsored by Jerry Conrey

Amount: $3,000

Established by:
This scholarship was established by Conrey Insurance Brokers and Risk Managers on behalf of the Entrepreneurship Program in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, Cal State Fullerton.

Open to:
This scholarship is open to full-time students in their junior year, entering their senior year in the upcoming fall semester—all applicants must be majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.

Criteria:
2.5 GPA (employed and/or extracurricular activities)
3.0 GPA (unemployed or not involved in extracurricular activities)

– Thrive Financial & Bookkeeping Services Entrepreneurial Scholarship sponsored by Karla Amador

Amount: $1,000

Established by:
This scholarship was established by Thrive Financial & Bookkeeping Services on behalf of the Entrepreneurship Program in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, Cal State Fullerton.

Open to:
This scholarship is open to students majoring or minoring in Entrepreneurship and enrolled during the Spring 2015 semester.

Criteria:
2.5 GPA

Scholarship Application Process

The online application will be available February 1. To access the application, go to your CSUF portal (be sure to use the new portal) and click on the “Scholarships” icon. Follow the onscreen instructions and be sure to answer all questions.

All applications are due by March 6.

CSUF Entrepreneurship Mentor Bob Kreisberg Rediscovers his love for the Saxophone

PHOTO: CINDY YAMANAKA, OC REGISTER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

PHOTO: CINDY YAMANAKA, OC REGISTER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

As a mentor in our program, Bob Kreisberg has helped hundreds of students understand the importance of how different personalities affect entrepreneurial ventures. As the founder of Opus Productivity, Bob counsels companies on how to hire people with the highest likelihood of fitting in with a company’s culture and how to get the most out of new and existing employees. Bob has a great mind for business and is a very valuable member of our entrepreneurial community.

But that’s not the point of this post. For those of us who know Bob personally we know that he is a kind and generous person. Having beaten cancer Bob is also a fighter. One thing many people, even some of his closest friends, didn’t know is that Bob used to love playing the saxophone and it was that love of this instrument that recently got him profiled in the Orange County Register.

In the story Villa Park man rediscovers saxophone 46 years after illness I learned about Bob’s sojourn to find the perfect saxophone that he last played decades ago:

Kreisberg remembered clutching the raw brass relic for the first time. He was standing beside an orchestra’s worth of forgotten instruments and between the shelves of power tools and sharp-toothed handsaws, and he held the sax next to his heart.

He was reunited with an instrument – no, not the same instrument, but one just like it – that he hadn’t played in 46 years.

“This was a magic,” he said of the new/old sax. “This had to have been played by a musician.”

You really should read the whole article to learn about this personal pursuit of one of our mentors.

Event: CSUF Business Plan Competition’s Second Boot Camp

CSUF Business Plan CompetitionIt’s the spring semester, which means that it’s time for the annual CSUF Business Plan Competition! For a few years now the Center for Entrepreneurship has held this competition for all current CSUF students who have an entrepreneurial heart. If you have the slightest inkling of an idea you owe it to yourself to test it out in this competition because you will get valuable feedback and you might be sitting on an idea that has serious potential.

Last year the team of White Light Medical took home the top honors with their idea that assists surgeons performing back surgeries, second place went to Eagle Eye Engineering with their invention that helps archers train more effectively off season, and third place went to Cordomi Rentals with their idea of helping match up pet owners with the right rental property. As you can tell there are a wide range of ideas submitted each year and these ideas came from competitors representing 23 different majors/concentrations; it really is anybody’s competition to win!

Each year we have sponsored non-mandatory Boot Camps for people who are interested in entering the CSUF Business Plan Competition. The second (and final) Boot Camp for the CSUF Business Plan Competition is set for Tuesday, February 10 in University Hall (UH) 246. Come to learn about the CSUF Business Plan Competition, get your questions answered by Dr. David Obstfeld and Travis Lindsay, network with others (and maybe find like-minded teammates), and have a general good time.

Please RSVP for this event by going to HERE.

You don’t have to attend a Boot Camp in order to compete but you do have to sign up – Found Here – for the CSUF Business Plan Competition by February 20 and submit a completed Business Concept Questionnaire – Found Here – by February 27 (dates subject to change).

The PowerPoint used by Dr. Atul Teckchandani for the first Boot Camp can be found HERE.

General information about the CSUF Business Plan Competition can be found HERE.

#CSUFBizPlan