Category Archives: Business Plans

Business Plan Competition 1st Boot Camp on January 15, 2014

“Business Plan Competition
1st Boot Camp”
SGMH 1307, 1:00 – 3:00pm
January 15, 2014

The purpose of the Business Plan Competition is to promote entrepreneurship amongst CSUF students from every college. No prior business plan writing experience is needed; all the information you will need to compete will be discussed at the Boot Camps or can be found here. For more resources to help you with the CSUF Business Plan Competition please go here.

Since the inaugural year of the CSUF Business Plan Competition we have seen a wide variety of business ideas make it to the finals. Whether your idea is a barbershop or a tech company your idea has the ability to go far in our competition if you make a compelling enough case for its success.

If you are interested in this competition please sign up for our CSUF Business Plan Competition Newsletter so that you will be kept up-to-date on all the latest information.

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch – TCVN Event

Our friends at the Tech Coast Venture Network are hosting an event to help people perfect their elevator pitches in preparation for their Survivor 8 competition. The preparatory event will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2013 from 8:00am to 10:00am at the following location:

Haynes and Boone, LLP
18100 Von Karman Avenue
#750
Irvine, CA 92612

If you are a CSUF student and would like to attend this event please email Travis at tlindsay@fullerton.edu and I will get you comped for this important event. Details below:

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch:

How to win $25K @ Survivor 8 On November 8th

Click image to go to event page

Learn the effective techniques needed to create a winning “Elevator Pitch” to win it all at our upcoming November 8th 2013 Survivor event. This pitch will also be helpful to raise money for outside early stage investment scenarios.

We will have a contest for all participants to have their pitch reviewed by a group of serial entrepreneurs and TCVN board members. One winner will get a free ticket to Survivor 2013!

Why is this important regardless of how much money you’re raising? 

The first thing every investor wants to hear is your elevator pitch. Without it; you will likely not get the right attention to get you capital.

Host Workshop :

Ash Kumra (Chairman of TCVN & DreamItAlive.com Co-Founder)

You can also click this image to go to the event page

Ash Kumra is an award winning entrepreneur, author and public speaker recognized twice by the White House as an entrepreneur making an impact. Ash is currently co-founder of DreamItAlive.com; an online community empowering users to achieve dreams in all areas of life using Dreamboards, visualization, community, helpful products & content.
Ash is also a public speaker specializing conscious entrepreneurship, law of attraction & social media. Ash has also spoken to over 10,000 people on entrepreneurship, social media and branding for many colleges, institutions, and organizations including the White House & TEDX.

In 2006; Ash co-founded digital content distribution agency DesiYou; the 2010 recipient for “Best Digital Media” company by the Irvine Entrepreneur Forum.

Register Today!

The Importance of Financial Literacy

Student learns about personal finances

Being financially literate isn’t something you are born into or passively acquire as you get older. It is something that you have to actively learn. And it’s better to start now then to wait until it’s too late.

Everyone knows that the literacy rate is not where it should be but people do not usually stop to consider the problems associated with a lack of financial literacy. Think about it, if you do not understand the differences between a savings account and a CD then you will probably be met with some financial difficulties in the future (to put it mildly).

Unfortunately, far too many people graduate from high school without even the slightest bit of training in this area (according to a recent study, only 14 states require courses on financial literacy to be taught at the high school level). Not preparing for the future can hamstring your life in so many ways and the longer you wait to do something the less impact it necessarily has. In our recent post, Why Your Twenties Matter, we showed that your twenties are crucial years in your life because, statistically speaking, the choices you make in your twenties have more of an impact on your personal, professional and financial lives.

For example, according to Bankrate.com, if you start investing $2,000 per year starting when you are 25 then you will have about $560,000 in the bank once you reach 65 (assuming an 8% rate of return). However, if you don’t start saving $2,000 per year until you are 35 then you will only end up with about $245,000 at 65 (assuming an 8% rate of return again).

So, what are we really talking about here? I think the best way to answer that question is by quoting PBS’ quality site on this subject:

The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy defines personal financial literacy as “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.” (2008 Annual Report to the President)

Personal financial literacy is more than just being able to balance a checkbook, compare prices or get a job. It also includes skills like long-term vision and planning for the future, and the discipline to use those skills every day.

The PBS site is a repository of great information on the subject that can be useful to everyone. Within that site there are resources such as:

  • Help on planning for retirement
  • A wide array of financial calculators
  • Definitions of common words found in the financial sphere
  • There are even quizzes to test your absorption of the material

Another site you can look to for information on this subject is MyMoney.gov. From their site:

MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from more than 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.

Recently, Center for Entrepreneurship Director and Professor John Bradley Jackson participated in a seminar hosted by the Center for Economic Education on campus to help people become more financially literate. Talking about how to formulate a business plan, Professor Jackson explained to those in attendance what the purpose of a business plan was, how to develop one and resources that they could use to help them in their business endeavors.

Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson lectures on the importance of business plans to a group of people who are hard at work improving their financial literacy skills.

Center for Economic Education Director Dr. Radha Bhattacharya oversaw a full slate of presentations like Director Jackson’s. “Teaching Economics,” “The Stock Market Game and Personal finance” and “Future Financial Life” were just three of the other presentations given through this day of financial literacy bolstering. If you would like to know when the next event like this is going to happen please follow the Center for Economic Education and the Center for Entrepreneurship as well.

CSUF Business Plan Competition 2013 Finals

After months of hard work by our student entrepreneurs we have a winner! But before we get ahead of ourselves here let us first talk about the Finals.

It was a morning event and, unlike the first CSUF Business Plan Competition Finals, we had good weather, which was nice. The three finalists – Synova Life Sciences, NixFix Chasers and The Edge – were all in top form during their presentations and each team impressed our judges and the crowd. It was a close competition (very close actually) and in the end Synova Life Sciences won the day with NixFix Chasers taking second place and The Edge third.

(Watch this video summary of the event for some more depth about the Finals)

Synova Receiving 1st Place Award
From L to R: Thomas Flores, Bryan Trivedi, Cesar Enchante, John Chi & John Bradley Jackson

This competition is a rigorous event that forces all entrants to address the important aspects that face every new business such as:

  • How will you market this business?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Who is on your team and what holes do you need to fill in your founding team?
  • What is the competitive landscape?
  • How much funding do you need to successfully launch this business?
  • How will your company fair financially over the coming three years?

NixFix Receiving 2nd Place Award
From L to R: Nick Ajluni & John Bradley Jackson

And so on with these probing questions which elicit much more circumspect plans from our students. These are the kinds of questions that every entrepreneur must face while launching a business and being able to put forth these questions to students before they take their first steps on this journey is invaluable to their growth as a student entrepreneur.

What is really impressive about many of the plans that we saw during this competition is that they are in the process of launching these businesses or will soon launch them (included in this group are all three finalists). Of course, some of the student entrepreneurs won’t end up launching their ideas but some will, which is what is important.

The Edge Receiving 3rd Place Award
From L to R: Mayra Figueroa & John Bradley Jackson

In the future we plan on doing some posts on the individual teams that participated in this competition so make sure to check back from time to time.

CSUF Business Plan Competition 2013 Finals

You are all invited to the CSUF Business Plan Competition 2013 Finals

Who: All Students are welcome – an Opportunity Drawing will be held for all students in attendance, prizes include: iPad Mini, Angels Tickets, concert tickets, lodging at a resort and more (student ID must be shown in order to enter Opportunity Drawing)

Faculty, alumni, staff and everyone else who is a friend of entrepreneurship is welcomed to this event as well (sorry, you will not be eligible for those wonderful prizes however)

What: CSUF Business Plan Competition Finals. The Top 3 CSUF teams will present their business concepts to a panel of distinguished judges and one team will be crowned the winner.

When: this Wednesday, April 17 from 9:30am to noon

Where: TSU, Pavilion A

CSUF Business Plan Competition Boot Camp 2013 Summary

*****NOTE: FOR RESOURCES YOU CAN USE PLEASE CLICK HERE *****

The CSUF Business Plan Competition 2013 is a CSUF competition that aims to help stimulate entrepreneurial activities amongst its students. In an effort to help foment some of this activity we have been hosting some Boot Camps over the last couple of weeks and we will be hosting two more. Both of the remaining Boot Camps will take place on Wednesday, February 6 2013; one will be held on the main Fullerton campus and the other on the CSUF Irvine campus. Here are the details:

Wednesday, Feb. 6 Third Boot Camp (with Raffle Prizes)
Fullerton Campus: 10:00am to 11:00am in SGMH 3230
Irvine Campus: 6:00pm to 7:00pm in rooms 123/124

If you are unable to make it to either of these Boot Camps nor have you attended either of the previous ones that does not mean you cannot enter this year’s competition. All you have to do to enter is sign up for the competition through TITANium (directions found in the GUIDE) by Friday, February 15 and meet the deadlines for all further steps (again, directions and information can be found in the GUIDE). However, it is helpful if you are able to attend one of the upcoming Boot Camps. Here’s a taste of what you can expect.

For more information on this competition’s schedule please refer to this page. More information will follow during the next couple of days and if you want to keep up-to-date please follow us in one or more of the following places:

Also, we will be using the hash tag #CSUFBizPlan2013 to identify all of our posts about the competition.

The Next Big Entrepreneur

What it is

The Next Big Entrepreneur is an opportunity for young aspiring entrepreneurs to take their business idea or active business to the next level. This is your opportunity to show us why your business or business idea is ready to expand or launch. Young aspiring entrepreneurs from all around California are tasked with showing us what your business or business idea is all about and what it brings to the table. Participants will submit a 2-minute fast pitch video. If you are chosen among the top competitors, you will:

  1. Qualify to compete for free at the statewide competition for a chance to win up to $5,000 to fund your business!
  2. Have free access to LivePlan, an online business plan development software, to launch your business.
  3. Get free 1 on 1 consultation services from entrepreneurs and business professionals to build and expand your business.
  4. Be prepared to compete effectively against aspiring entrepreneurs from around the state of California

How to Participate

Participating in the Next Big Entrepreneur is easy! All you need to do is:

  1. Meet eligibility requirements:
    1. All participants must be between the ages of 14 to 27.
    2. Your business may range in development from concept/idea to active businesses in early stage of development.
    3. The business must be or will be based within the state of California.
  2. If you meet the eligibility requirements, then here is what you need to do next!
    1. Attend the “The Two-Minute Video Pitch” in December. Date and time: TBD
    2. Create a 2-minute video pitch. When you start planning your video, consider the following:
      1. Your video does not need to be elaborate to be competitive. We are looking at how you pitch your business or business idea not fancy graphics or effects, although you are welcome to use them.
      2. The video must be (2) minutes or under in length.
      3. Talk about your company! Make sure to mention the basics:
        1. What is the name of your company?
        2. What product or service does your company offer? What do you do?
        3. Identify the demand/need your product or service fills
        4. Who is your competition? What does your target market look like?
        5. How are you different? How will you differentiate yourself from the big players in your industry? What competitive advantage do you have?
        6. Where do you anticipate your company will be in 3 years? What are your projections for a return on investment?
        7. What makes you and/or your team qualified to lead this company to success?
  3. Submit your two-minute video to the Next Big Entrepreneur Submission Page (Link active from January 1st, 2013 – January 31st, 2013). When submitting your video, you will need to provide all requested information on the online form for consideration in this competition.

How to Advance in this Competition

  1. Our panel of judges, profiles coming soon, will go through the entire list of submissions and identify the businesses with the greatest potential for success.
  2. Our panel of judges will be asked to choose up to 30 participants that will move forward and receive the additional services mentioned above. Although there are 30 slots available, please note that we will not necessarily accept 30 participants. The final number accepted will depend on the quality of submissions and the resources available.
  3. Those chosen will be notified privately and announced publicly on Friday February 15th, 2013 via the YEP website.
  4. If chosen, you will be asked to commit to the free YEP coaching program in preparation for the statewide competition in the spring. Please note that participation in the state competition, for free , is contingent on completing the freeYEP coaching program that will prepare you for the competition. This coaching program consists of the following:
    1. Complete a Business Plan via the LivePlan online system.
    2. Attend YEP 2.0 Seminar Series in the Spring of 2013. The YEP 2.0 Seminar Series will be held at Rancho Santiago Community College District Offices in Santa Ana, CA. Please ensure you can attend these sessions.
    3. Participate in 1 on 1 consultations with experienced local entrepreneurs that will serve as mentors for you and your business. (Optional)

California “BEC Boost” Business Plan Contest

We are planning on hosting the Second Annual Business Plan Competition next year but, in the meantime, you can get your feet wet with this competition put on by Palo Alto Software. Here’s the LINK and some key information follows:

THE DETAILS

The contest is open for entries on Oct 1st, 2012 @ 12PM (PT) To enter, you must be a current LivePlan user. Plans must be shared through the LivePlan app before noon on May 1st, 2013

Winners will be announced via LIVE WEBINAR on May 22, 2013

What can you win?

  • Track #1: 14-17 years old:
    Grand Prize Winner: $5,000 cash prize & a “Boost Your Business Package” from our sponsors

    2nd & 3rd Place: A “Boost Your Business Package” from our sponsors

  • Track #2: 18-27 years old:
    Grand Prize Winner: $5,000 cash prize & a “Boost Your Business Package” from our sponsors

    2nd & 3rd Place: A “Boost Your Business Package” from our sponsors

  • Track #3: 28 years & older:
    Grand Prize Winner: $5,000 cash prize & a “Boost Your Business Package” from our sponsors

    2nd & 3rd Place: A “Boost Your Business Package” from our sponsors

Key Dates:

Oct 1, 12pm (PT): contest kicks-off

May 22, 10am (PT): Webinar to announce the winners!

FREE WEBINARS:

Oct 24, 1pm (PT): Writing a Winning Business Plan (open to everyone)

Jan 23, 10am (PT): Writing a Winning Business Plan (open to everyone)

Feb 7, 4:30pm (PT): Introduction to Business Plan Writing (14 – 17 yr old track)

May 1, 12pm (PT): Contest deadline

******

Check out this LINK for more details and to find out how to enter into this competition.

The CrashRespond Challenge (Part 2) – New Marketing Channel

This post was republished with permission from the BDEC, Irvine. For the first post please read The CrashRespond Challenge – Build an App that Sells while in School and Working Full-Time (Part 1).

The app that they are in the process of developing would alert up to three predetermined contacts whenever the person who owns the app is involved in a car accident.

Progress Report
Since our last report, we’ve met with Mr. Robert Stahl, current President of the Driving School Association of California (DSAC) and owner of Dollar Driving School, to discuss potential marketing opportunities with his organizations.

Mr. Stahl loves the CrashRespond concept, and we discussed various ways by which his company and other driving schools could act as a marketing channel for our app. We also learned some encouraging facts about the driving school industry:

  • There are approx. 500 driving schools in California, in sizes that range from sole proprietorship and one car, to national corporation with a fleet of cars.
  • There are 250,000 new drivers per year in California.
  • There are approximately 3 million new drivers per year in the United States.

This means that among our target audience, CrashRespond has a yearly revenue potential of between $112,500 – $187,500 in California, and between $1,350,000 – $2,250,000 nationwide. Here’s how we calculated these projections:

  • Selling price of between $3-$5
  • 30% smartphone adoption rate among teens * 250,000 * 50% Android market share = 35,000 potential customers (based on the smartphone adoption research we discussed in our previous post)

By creating marketing partnerships with Mr. Stahl and the driving schools, we’ll gain a marketing channel that extends directly to the consumers we need to reach: parents of new drivers. We plan to use this channel by launching a sales competition among the driving schools and instructors, with prizes going to the individual or group with the most sales in a 3-6 month period. The details of this competition will be worked out as we get closer to launch.

The only cost to CrashRespond for this marketing opportunity is the $3-5 thousand in contest prizes and the approximately $0.25 per sale cut that the driving school association would earn for their cooperation.

What do you think about this opportunity? Do you believe it is as exciting as we do? Would you do something differently? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to get your feedback!

CSUF MBAs needed for Competition

Time is running out to enter this competition so I will be brief. CSUF needs three MBA students who would like to enter a competition. If you are interested please email me: tlindsay@fullerton.edu. Here’s the information:

About the I2P Student Challenge-CSUPERB Research Scholars Award

CSUPERB is pleased to kick-off this year’s system-wide early-stage biotechnology commercialization challenge!

Expected Award Amount: $5000

Program Description

The CSUPERB Idea to Product (I2P®) Competition is an early-stage biotechnology commercialization plan competition for CSU students. The I2P® Competitions were designed and pioneered at The University of Texas at Austin by engineering professor Dr. Steven Nichols and colleagues.  As they explain it, “the phrase Idea to Product refers to applying creative thought to a technology (“Idea”) and developing a market application (“Product”) for that technology.” This year’s I2P® competition will culminate at the 25th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium (January 4-5, 2013).

One hallmark of the I2P® program is that scientists and engineers with no previous experience in technology commercialization can be competitive.  Competition CSU teams pair science/engineering students with business students.  Symposium registration, lodging, meals and travel reimbursements for finalist teams and two faculty mentors will be provided by CSUPERB.  At least $5000 in awards will be made to finalists at the symposium.

CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION

Sounds like a really good opportunity to sharpen your skills, network with motivated individuals and, who knows, you might actually win some money as well. Remember, if you are interested please get in touch with me at tlindsay@fullerton.edu.

Thanks