Category Archives: CSUF Entrepreneurship Community

CSUF Students Working To Bring More Innovation To Campus

Vanessa Ganaden and Lorenzo Santos, UIF Fellows

Vanessa Ganaden and Lorenzo Santos, UIF Fellows

Vanessa Ganaden and Lorenzo Santos, seniors at Cal State Fullerton, spoke with university administration and staff from around the globe at the 103rd Annual Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Conference held in San Francisco last month. The annual meeting served as a forum to discuss more effective approaches to rebuilding public trust in higher education.

During the three-day conference, Vanessa and Lorenzo had the opportunity to address a reception of over 2,000 higher education leaders about their work on campus as University Innovation Fellows (UIF), a nation-wide program that empowers students to become leaders of change at school. This is the second time in which Cal State Fullerton students have been accepted into the program, consisting of 776 current fellows at 164 global institutes.

The duo also had the opportunity to attend a sold-out workshop at Stanford University’s d.school, where the UIF program is based.  While there, the two went on a tour of the campus and talked with others during a workshop about design thinking; a skill they picked up through training with UIF.

AAC&U members attended a multitude of panels, workshops, and sessions ranging from campus activism for LGBTQ Rights to the causes and costs of faculty turnover. Of the 12 students who spoke on the panel Wednesday evening, Vanessa and Lorenzo were the only ones from California. California State University, Fullerton’s own President Garcia (pictured below) was also present at the conference.

CSUF President Mildred Garcia (Center) in between UIF Fellows Vanessa Ganaden and Lorenzo Santos

CSUF President Mildred Garcia (Center) in between UIF Fellows Vanessa Ganaden and Lorenzo Santos

“We definitely felt more heard. We were the only students,,” said Vanessa, 25, who is perusing a business administration degree with concentrations in marketing and entrepreneurship. “[I loved] being able to discuss education with actual change-makers in their respective colleges and universities and bring my perspective [to the conversation].” Continue reading

A New Semester Begins at CSUF

center-for-entrepreneurship-csuf-startup-incubatorA new semester begins at Cal State Fullerton! Take a look at what is in store in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider.

For most of Cal State Fullerton the spring semester begins today and there are many things to look forward to during the semester at CSUF Entrepreneurship.

Over the next couple of weeks our students will begin their consulting projects for local businesses. These projects are tremendous opportunities for our students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real world situations and they offer a great value to our clients as well. We are still recruiting clients for this semester and if you know of a company that could benefit from working with a team of CSUF students please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at (657) 278-8243 or at entrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.

At the CSUF Startup Incubator we have many events and office hours already scheduled and there are more in the works. This week startup specialist Jim Cooper will have office hours on Friday and this Wednesday I will be hosting a seminar titled How to Pitch to an Investment Panel. We have some big things in the works for the CSUF Startup Incubator that we will be announcing in the near future!

For current CSUF students we will be hosting the CSUF Business Plan Competition. Many CSUF students have great business concepts but they are trepidatious about taking the leap into entrepreneurship and the CSUF Business Plan Competition is a powerful way to help them take that first step. More details about how to enter will be available shortly but, for now, you can view our post on last year’s competition.

As the semester unfolds I will make sure to keep you up-to-date on all of the interesting and inspiring events and stories that happen in the CSUF Entrepreneurship community.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director & Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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A CSUF Startup Incubator Resident Launches!

aidtreeBen Yip is the Resident from the CSUF Startup Incubator who has now launched the alpha platform for his company Aidtree and he is aiming to revolutionize philanthropy! It’s a great story and we hope there will be a lot more to come from him in the near future. You can read more about Aidtree, see upcoming events and office hours, and other ways to get involved in the CSUF Entrepreneurship community in this week’s CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider.

I’m looking forward to the start of the semester in a couple of weeks because with the metaphorical ringing of school bells chiming across campus once again comes a lot of activity. Students will fill classrooms once again, CSUF Consulting projects will start shortly thereafter, and student clubs will get into full swing. The beginning of every semester is an exciting time because you don’t know what exactly will happen over the next four months but you can be certain that a lot will happen.

Four months is a long time in the life of a startup as well. One such startup, a former Resident of the CSUF Startup Incubator, is Aidtree. Last week, we published a story explaining how Aidtree’s goal is to revolutionize philanthropy through the purchase of coupons. The founder, Ben Yip, is a passionate member of the community and saw many worthy causes struggle to stay afloat for a lack of funds. He knew that causes like student clubs or local schools could accomplish so many more great things if only they had more resources.

One day he had an epiphany: Why not create a virtuous circle connecting businesses, individuals, and worthy causes through the sale of coupons on an easy-to-use online platform? On Aidtree’s alpha platform you can now purchase coupons to some of the establishments you already frequent and the really cool part is that up to 90% of the amount you pay for a coupon goes to a worthy cause.

The platform is simple to use. All you have to do is go onto the Aidtree platform, pick a cause (the Center for Entrepreneurship is currently listed and many more causes, including student clubs at CSUF, will be added over time), browse the available coupons (Titan Shops currently has a number of fantastic ones available), pick the ones you want to purchase, and complete your order. The price you pay for each coupon is usually half of the value of the coupon so if you purchase a $10 coupon you will only pay $5.

What Ben is attempting to accomplish with the Aidtree platform is the creation of a virtuous circle. Causes receive a continuous flow of funds from the purchase of coupons from businesses who have a desire to create a closer relationship with their customers who get a discount from the purchases they would normally make while also supporting the causes that are near and dear to their hearts. It’s a win-win-win scenario.

It’s exciting being a part of a startup like Aidtree and you too can join Aidtree by adding your business or cause to the platform or by purchasing coupons there. I look forward to a time when many more worthy causes have the resources they need and I believe Aidtree can help make that into a reality.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director, CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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How A CSUF Entrepreneurship Alumnus Follows His Passion

Geoff Pascual '16 creating art and a business

Geoff Pascual ’16 creating art and a business

Happy New Year everybody! As you will read in this week’s CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider the New Year is the perfect time to make this resolution: Do something you are passionate about every day. This may only lead you to starting a hobby that you thoroughly enjoy or, as was the case with Geoff Pascual ’16 it can lead you into creating a business that you are thoroughly passionate about. Either way, your life will be enriched.

Happy New Year!

Since this is the time of the year for resolutions let me make one simple recommendation: Resolve to pursue something you are passionate about every day. Even if you only have a few spare moments during a day you will be astonished to find out how all those small actions can become something much bigger in just a few weeks, let alone months.

Geoff Pascual ’16 is the embodiment of this ethos. From a young age he had a passion for creating art. He diligently honed his craft over the years and became quite good. Family and friends would frequently make glowing comments about his creations and painting was a fulfilling part of his life.

His passion for water color sustained him artistically but with some encouragement from his sister and the lessons he learned as a CSUF Entrepreneurship student his passion compelled him into taking the risk of selling his paintings to the public. That has proven to be a good move as Geoff has realized a good deal of success as a commercial artist and as a Resident of the CSUF Startup Incubator it is my hope that we can help him achieve even more.

We recently published an article titled Pop Art for a New Generation that goes into a lot more detail about Geoff’s background and how he has become an entrepreneur. And, even though the giving season is behind us, you should go to his site, Pascual Productions, if only to see the amazing pop art pieces he has already painted. (You can also see a number of Geoff’s prints at the CSUF Startup Incubator!)

Geoff’s passion for art drove him to create a burgeoning art business and it all started with small but consistent actions. Doing something you’re passionate about sounds like a pretty good resolution to me.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director, CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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Pop Art for a New Generation

Geoff Pascual '16 creating art and a business

Geoff Pascual ’16 creating art and a business

Children are taught to embrace life and experience different activities and hobbies like art. For most most people, art is a hobby and for those who pursue art as a vocation many find commercial success elusive. Cal State Fullerton alumni Geoff Pascual ’16 has already had some commercial success with his company Pascual Productions through which Geoff sells his pop art originals and prints online and at conventions. Earlier this year, Geoff entered the CSUF Startup Incubator where, with the help of Incubator staff and mentors, Geoff explored new avenues to promote and sell his creations, one of which is close to coming to fruition (more on this on a later date!).

Starting from a young age, Geoff was a skilled artist and received compliments from teachers and students who admired his work. “I started to see my identity as an artist form in elementary school. After getting a lot of positive feedback of my artwork from my friends, I wanted to get better. My classmates would ask me to draw them stuff and I would basically draw whatever they wanted.”

As he continued to grow and increase his skills, Geoff began to branch out and test various mediums for his art. Through a process of trial and error, he found his niche after working with water colors. While water colors are difficult to master, the challenge that it provided for Geoff only helped to make him a better artist.

“I first tried a bunch of different mediums: oil, acrylic, tattooing, markers, spray paint, sculpting, etc. and watercolor was the medium I decided to stick with. I enjoy watercolor because it’s the most difficult. You have to manipulate it to do what you want it do. Traditional art in general has a very alive feel to it,” said Pascual.

As a young artist just entering college, Geoff continued to improve his work while adding more pieces to his ever growing portfolio. With the knowledge attained from his classes, and the support of his sister, Geoff decided to follow through on the next step of his dream and began selling his artwork online. Unbeknownst to him at the time, selling his artwork online was the best move that Geoff could have made.

“I wanted to start selling my artwork online using Etsy. It prompted me to have to think of a store name, so with the help of my older sister I came up with Pascual Productions. At that time, I hadn’t intended to or even expected Pascual Productions to be where it is today, and I’m glad I stuck with it,” said Pascual.

By using the knowledge he attained from his entrepreneurship classes at CSUF, Geoff was able to make his work stand out from the competition. These tactics became invaluable as Geoff continued to build Pascual Productions so that his work reflected the lessons and ideals he was taught as a business major.

“Being a business major in and of itself sets me apart as an artist. It’s a decision I made for myself that worked for me, and I’m positive that my time in business school has contributed to the success of Pascual Productions. From inventory management to business communication situations, I see myself using the skills I learned at Fullerton every day,” said Pascual.

With his continued success online and at local conventions, Geoff was accepted into the CSUF Startup Incubator as a Resident entrepreneur. Looking back at this, Geoff felt that working with the Incubator was the most beneficial move he could have made for business.

“The Incubator has great mentors from all walks of life that I can go to for any questions I have. I would say the networking and information shared at the Incubator is very valuable. It’s opened a lot of opportunities for me in improving my business. It helps to get another person’s perspective,” said Pascual.

Currently, Geoff continues to be met with success as he continues to sell his artwork online and at conventions like Comic-Con.

“The fun part happens when I get to interact with customers and meet a bunch of artists and people in the industry. It’s also a great place to network and get your name out there. You have professionals from the comic, video game, and movie industries just walking the convention floor seeking new talent. If you haven’t been to a convention before, you really need to just experience it for yourself. I’ve meet some of my best friends at these conventions and it’s a close knit community that I’m glad to be a part of,” said Pascual.

By creating a successful business, Geoff has blazed a path for future entrepreneurs in the pop art industry at CSUF. While Geoff’s love of art started out as a hobby, Geoff’s passion and dedication in creating his own business has made him into the success he is today. In terms of those looking to start a business like Geoff, he suggests that students do anything they can to make it work: perseverance is critical. While struggle and hardships are to be expected in the initial stages, the passion and drive of a person has for their idea is much more likely to lead them to success as long as they continue to believe in themselves.

“Use the talents and skills that you’ve been given in a way that works for you. There’s a lot of wasted talent because people get stuck thinking there’s only one way of doing things. You have to make moves. If something isn’t working change it up. There’s always another way. Connect with others because you can’t do it alone. No matter where you’re going there will be people out there willing to help you if you let them.”

As Pascual Productions continues to grow, one thing is abundantly clear. Through the help and support of the CSUF Startup Incubator, anything is possible for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Kevin Emery wrote this article, Travis Lindsay edited it.


#CSUF #CSUFEntrepreneur #CSUFStartup

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For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

Attend one of our entrepreneur events or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Happy Holidays from CSUF Entrepreneurship

CSUF Startup Incubator staff with MBA consulting team

CSUF Startup Incubator staff with MBA consulting team

This is the last CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider of 2016 and we want to thank everyone who contributed to the CSUF Entrepreneurship community! Without all of you we could not have accomplished nearly as much as we did.

2016 is winding down and we sincerely hope that you are finding some time to spend with family and friends.

I know that this is a busy time of year for everyone but I wanted to take some time to highlight a couple of recent activities at CSUF Entrepreneurship.

First off, we have accepted our 21st Resident at the CSUF Startup Incubator: a current CSUF student majoring in Entrepreneurship, Jonny May. Jonny is an exceptional student and budding entrepreneur and you can learn more about him and our entrepreneurship classes by reading this article.

As part of a university, our primary mandate is to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs but our efforts do not stop with students like Jonny. Every year, we host dozens of seminars aimed at helping the broader CSUF Entrepreneurship community and we publish videos of many of these talks. One recent talk that I think will resonate well with everyone who is thinking about starting a business was given by serial entrepreneur and author Damon Brown, titled: Why You Can And Should Start Your Side Hustle Immediately. Clicking on the link in the previous sentence will take you to the video of his talk and I hope that it inspires you to start something innovative in 2017.

All of our events can be found by going to our Eventbrite page and they include talks by entrepreneurs and subject matter experts in a wide range of fields as well as office hours hosted by mentors from our program and staff. This week, Entrepreneur in Residence Travis Lindsay will be hosting office hours from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday at our CSUF Startup Incubator office in Placentia to help with any startup or business related questions attendees have. (No promises, but I might also be at his office hours on Wednesday.)

For members of our community that already have businesses we have the CSUF Consulting program. Every semester the CSUF Consulting program works hand in hand with businesses large and small to identify powerful new opportunities that they would have otherwise missed out on. One shining example of this is the work we did with Hilton Hotels to help them identify substantial cost savings by doing a deep dive into their operations.

No matter how you contribute to the CSUF Entrepreneurship community I just want to say Thank You. None of this would be possible without the contributions of thousands of individuals like yourself.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director, CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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Ask an Entrepreneur!

ask-an-entrepreneurAs you will read in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider, we are launching Ask an Entrepreneur! We hope that this will become a great way to answer questions that many people in our community have and that these answers will help people become better entrepreneurs.

One trait I frequently witness in the entrepreneurs I work with is that they are curious. They want to understand the “why” of things and while they do not question everything (because that would be exhausting!) they do not shy away from asking questions.

That is why I am happy to announce “Ask an Entrepreneur!” Ask an Entrepreneur! is your chance to ask our Entrepreneurs in Residence (these are our mentors and startup experts) questions about anything business-related. Maybe you want to know the best way to market your new product or how to deal with a capable but under-performing new hire. Or maybe you are curious about what one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence thinks about a particular niche you’ve been researching. The sky is the limit.

Our goal with Ask an Entrepreneur! is to publish an answer to at least one question a week either in a written article or video and that these answers prove to be valuable to the CSUF Entrepreneur community at large.

If you have any questions, please go to the Ask an Entrepreneur! form and submit your questions. We look forward to answering your questions soon!

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director, CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
& CSUF Startup Incubator

PS: Happy Holidays! I hope you are able to enjoy some time with your loved ones this year and share in the optimism of the season.

Creativity is the life blood of business and our consulting teams are filled with students brimming with creative solutions in a wide range of areas. Now is the perfect time to inject some creative solutions into your business by working with one of our CSUF Consulting teams.

To find out how we can tailor a project to fit your business’ needs contact our Client Project Specialist, Charlesetta Medina at (657) 278-8243 or to request an application email entrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.

We look forward to working with you!
 

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