Category Archives: CSUF Startup Competition

CSUF Startup Competition Results are in

We have been working on the CSUF Startup Competition for a few months now and we have a winner!

You’ll find that information out, below, in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider along with links to our news and upcoming events/office hours. Make sure to click the link above to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

The results are in and the winner of this year’s CSUF Startup Competition is Apprentice Builds!

Founded by Alan Cerna and Branden Wells, Apprentice Builds’ mission is to get at-risk youth off the streets and into the shop to work on hot rods and learn skills that can lead into productive careers.

For a full rundown on the rest of the competition, including pictures from the Finals, please go to our CSUF Startup Competition Results post on our blog.

I’d like to give a special thanks to our sponsors: Dan Black and Karl Freels of the Black Family Trust and Royal Business Bank, represented by David Morris. They all have been longtime supporters of the Center and its mission of advancing entrepreneurship in our communities. Thank you!

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

Continue reading

CSUF Startup Competition Results

First off, we want to thank all of the students, mentors, judges, and donors who participated in the CSUF Startup Competition this year; we could not have done this without all of your efforts!

As has always been the case, having the opportunity to host a competition like the CSUF Startup Competition and see the dramatic improvements that the students make over the course of a mere few weeks is amazing. The mission of this competition is to challenge students to come up with innovative concepts that can improve humanity and I think that the crop of competitors this year ably acquitted themselves with aplomb.

Before going into who won the competition, I need to thank the donors whose support made all of this possible. Dan Black and Karl Freels of the Black Family Trust have been longtime supporters of our Center’s mission and their support has enabled us to grow our community in powerful ways. Royal Business Bank, represented by David Morris, is another longtime supporter of our Center and our activities. These contributors have been extremely generous patrons of ours and we are eternally grateful for their support.

We would also like to thank our judges for the finals. Karl Freels, David Morris, Mima Ransom, Per Welinder, Andrew Bermudez, and Dr. Deb Ferber. They all asked tough questions of our finalists and drew out insightful answers from our students.

Without further ado, here are the winners from this year’s CSUF Startup Competition:

6th Place: Justin Lotz and Micah Herman

Their concept for a cryptocurrency fund intrigued our judges and their presentation impressed.

Justin Lotz and Micah Herman Sixth Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Justin Lotz and Micah Herman, Sixth Place in CSUF Startup Competition

5th Place: Vanessa Ganaden and Rachel Herzog

This team took a risk by pivoting their concept to a children’s book subscription model before the finals but their passion for finding solutions definitely came through.

Rachel Herzog and Vanessa Ganaden Fifth Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Rachel Herzog and Vanessa Ganaden, Fifth Place in CSUF Startup Competition

4th Place: Vanessa Wiebach

Autism is a condition that afflicts far too many people and Vanessa’s concept that empowers people with autism through music education resonated with our judges.

Vanessa Wiebach Fourth Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Vanessa Wiebach, Fourth Place in CSUF Startup Competition

3rd Place: Arshya “Ary” Sharifian

The real estate business is very competitive and Ary’s concept for an algorithm that will more accurately value property would give investors a distinct advantage over the competition.

Arshya "Ary" Sharifian Third Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Arshya “Ary” Sharifian, Third Place in CSUF Startup Competition

2nd Place: Jordan Au and Simran Gaglani (and Itzayana Leal who could not attend the Finals)

The infant and parenting industries are currently booming and their concept for a portable device to keep bottles warm resonated with the judges.

Jordan Au and Simran Gaglani Second Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Jordan Au and Simran Gaglani, Second Place in CSUF Startup Competition

1st Place: Alan Cerna and Branden Wells

This year’s winner of the CSUF Startup Competition was Alan Cerna’s and Branden Wells’ Apprentice Builds. Apprentice Builds’ mission is to get at-risk youth off the streets and into the shop to work on hot rods and learn skills that can lead into productive careers.

Alan Cerna and Branden Wells First Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Alan Cerna and Branden Wells, First Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Congratulations to all of the winners! We know how much work you all put into this competition and we are here to help you launch your innovative concepts.

Here are some pictures from the competition.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Prizes for the Winners of the CSUF Startup Competition

  • First Place: $2,500 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Second Place: $1,000 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Third Place: $750 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Fourth Place: $500 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Fifth Place: $250 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Sixth Place: $150 Scholarship plus in-kind services

In-kind Sponsors

  • LegalZoom
  • Rudy Chavarria – College Web Media
  • Karla Amador – Thrive Financial
  • Austin Bonderer – Law Office of Austin Bonderer, PC
  • Lorenzo Santos and Boomer Baker – Think 66
  • Jim Cooper – Braid Theory
  • Chris DeCaro – Kneadle
  • Guy Knuf – Moss Adams
  • Justin Sanders – Entralta, PC

Additionally, a big thanks to the people behind the scenes who made this competition happen, they include:

  • Dr. Atul Teckchandani
  • Professor Tom Miller
  • Professor Jack Mixner
  • Professor Jeff Longshaw
  • Charlesetta Medina
  • Phillip Stinis

Continue reading

CSUF Startup Competition Finalist Prizes

Vanessa Weibach CSUF Startup Competition

Will you be there to see the finalists, including Vanessa Weibach pictured above, at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals this Friday from 1pm to 4pm? We will be at the Titan Student Union on the CSUF campus and we hope to see you there!

Six unique concepts will be presented this Friday at the CSUF Startup Competition (we hope to see you there!) and one of the questions that I get about this competition goes something like: “What exactly can the finalists win?”

It’s a great question, our finalists and everyone else who entered the competition have dedicated a good deal of time preparing their concepts and the finalists deserve some kind of award for doing so well. Here is a summary of what the individuals or teams for each concept will win:

  • First Place: $2,500 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Second Place: $1,000 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Third Place: $750 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Fourth Place: $500 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Fifth Place: $250 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Sixth Place: $150 Scholarship plus in-kind services

The scholarships are funded by generous donations from Dan Black and Karl Freels from the Black Family Foundation and David Morris from Moss Adams.

In-kind services take a couple of different forms, from business formation services (LegalZoom), a ticket to Ignite22 (Jim Cooper), or an hour of consulting services/mentoring:

  • LegalZoom
  • Rudy Chavarria – College Web Media
  • Karla Amador – Thrive Financial
  • Austin Bonderer – Law Office of Austin Bonderer, PC
  • Lorenzo Santos and Boomer Baker – Think 66
  • Jim Cooper – Braid Theory
  • Chris DeCaro – Kneadle
  • Guy Knuf – Moss Adams
  • Justin Sanders – Entralta, PC

We are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors, we could not host competitions like the CSUF Startup Competition without them!

If you’re available this Friday from 1pm to 4pm the CSUF Startup Competition Finals will be in the Titan Student Union Pavilion and attendance is free. Also, there will be opportunity drawings available to those in attendance.


Continue reading

CSUF Startup Competition Finals this Friday – CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider

Simran Gaglani Itzayana Leal and Jordan Au CSUF Startup Competition

Attend the CSUF Startup Competition Finals to see what this team and the other competitors have in store for the future.

The big event is coming this Friday! Register now to attend the CSUF Startup Competition. It will go from 1pm to 4pm in the Titan Student Union and we hope that everyone who reads this CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider will be there to network with and see what the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders can do.

One of the highlights of the year for the CSUF Entrepreneurship community is this Friday when we will have Cal State Fullerton students present their innovative concepts at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals. This promises to be an exciting event and the students competing in the finals will all walk away with a part of the more than $10,000 in scholarships and in-kind services.

The competition starts at 1pm this Friday in the Titan Student Union Pavilions on the Fullerton campus and should conclude around 4pm when the judges decision is announced. Attendance is open to all and is free. To register, please visit the event page.

Earlier today, we announced the finalists and the judges for the finals. While I am certainly grateful for the judges support I do not envy them their task as the finalists all have exciting concepts and it will be tough to decide which is best. Whatever ends up happening, it will be fun to watch!

We hope to see you there!

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

Continue reading

Meet the CSUF Startup Competition Finalists

One of the many things that I like about Cal State Fullerton’s students is that they are extremely creative individuals who never fail to impress me with their innovative ideas. I hope that you are available this Friday afternoon to witness some of these ideas at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals (register here).

The concepts created by our gifted students are wide ranging covering everything from cryptocurrencies to foreign aid. In no particular order, here are the finalists:

Justin Lotz and Micah Herman

Justin Lotz and Micah HermanTheir startup is focused on leveraging their expertise in cryptocurrencies with the launch of an investment fund.

Rachel Herzog and Vanessa Ganaden

CSUF Startup Competition Semifinals Vanessa Ganaden and Rachel HerzogA healthy lifestyle subscription box with a mission; with each box sold a donation will be made to aid people living in poverty.

Vanessa Wiebach

Vanessa Weibach CSUF Startup CompetitionAutism education will be revolutionized with their innovative music-based educational curriculum.

Alan Cerna and Branden Wells

Alan Cerna and Branden Wells Apprentice Builds CSUF Startup Competition SemifinalsShop class is back with Apprentice Builds, which will create a program that will enable at-risk youths to work on cool hot rods.

Arshya Sharifian

Arshya Sharifian CSUF Startup CompetitionDisrupting the real estate world with an algorithm that will price properties more accurately than the best professionals.

Simran Gaglani, Itzayana Leal, and Jordan Au

Simran Gaglani Itzayana Leal and Jordan Au CSUF Startup CompetitionA portable heating compartment for the parent on the go who must have a warm bottle ready for their baby at any given moment.

Those are the finalists. We wish them luck!

And what would be a competition without a distinguished panel of judges? Fortunately, we have five excellent judges waiting to get their chance to listen to these pitches, ask probing questions, and decide who will win the CSUF Startup Competition.

CSUF Startup Competition Judges

Karl Freels, Director of the Black Family Trust

David Morris, SVP and CFO of Royal Business Bank

Dr. Deb Ferber, Angel investor and professor at Brandman University (Chapman)

Mima Ransom, Vice President at Ransom Group and Founding Chair of the FIDM Museum Fashion Council and CEO of Dynamic Source

Per Welinder, Investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Welinder & Shi Capital

Andrew Bermudez, CEO and Co-founder of Digsy AI

We are looking forward to hearing from each of our finalists and we hope to see you there as well! The competition will go from 1pm to 4pm this Friday in the Titan Student Union on the Fullerton campus. To register (it’s free!) please go to our Eventbrite page.


Continue reading

CSUF Entrepreneurship Students Working on Philanthropic Startup Interviewed by VoyageLA

Alan Cerna and Branden Wells Apprentice Builds CSUF Startup Competition Semifinals

Branden Wells (left) and Alan Cerna at the CSUF Startup Competition Semifinals. They and their business, Apprentice Builds, were recently covered in VoyageLA and you can see them on Friday, April 6 at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals as they vie for a share of the more than $10,000 in scholarships and in-kind services.

We tell people this all the time: Entrepreneurship is rarely about raising millions of dollars and launching a tech company. Rather, entrepreneurship is about innovating and working on solutions that will make the world a better place and that is exactly why two of our Entrepreneurship students, Branden Wells and Alan Cerna, were recently interviewed by VoyageLA.

Pictured above, Branden and Alan have been working on the launch of their startup, Apprentice Builds, since last fall both in the classroom and at the CSUF Startup Incubator. Apprentice Builds’ mission is to teach teenagers the skills and responsibilities that come along with working on cars, especially hot rods. As you probably already know all too well, most schools have been dropping classes like the ones that Apprentice Builds are creating for decades now and that has left a hole in the educational fabric.

You can see Branden and Alan compete in the upcoming CSUF Startup Competition Finals on April 6 as they vie for a share in the more than $10,000 in scholarships and in-kind services available to the finalists.

Here’s a small bit from the article, I strongly recommend that you read the remainder on the VoyageLA website:

Apprentice Builds is a non-profit organization program that serves all high students in the low income or at-risk areas by providing knowledge and an opportunity to participate in an apprenticeship. Apprentice Builds works to reduce gang membership, drug use, and dropout rates by providing an outlet where the youth can learn valuable skills needed in today’s workforce. Students gain hands on skills building hot rods with experience mechanics and fabricators.

What makes the organization unique is not only the fact that students get to work on cool hot rods and cars but are taught responsibility taking the apprenticeship as a job and not a program anyone can be a part of. One of the biggest goals of the organization is to help these students leave the program with a second chance at knowing they’re better people than what they’re taught to be. With a mentor by their side, every student will have the proper guidance to stay on track with their life goals.

Branden and Alan continue to diligently work on Apprentice Builds and, as a reminder, you can see them at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals on Friday, April 6 from 1pm to 4pm at the Titan Student Union. There, they will be vying for a portion of the more than $10,000 in scholarships and in-kind services with their Apprentice Builds concept.


Continue reading

From Fear To Courage by American Idol’s William Hung – CSUF Startup Event

You have seen him on American Idol and now you can meet him at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Irvine this Wednesday at 6pm!

Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone to gain success? What does it take to get? William Hung, became world famous after his debut on American Idol, he has used fear to accelerate his growth and now he will teach you how to harness this for the positive. His presentation has 7 steps, where he will discuss standing by your values, abundance mindset, the urgency of now and power of having the right mindset for success.

Meet William Hung:

Hi, this is Will Hung. You may know me from my failed audition on American Idol. What looked like a humiliating failure turned out to be the greatest opportunity for success. I worked in the entertainment industry for a long time but I realized I had a bigger mission beyond myself. What if I could leverage my American Idol story to inspire people to go for their dreams? What if I can help other thought leaders and service providers become celebrity authorities so they can work less, earn more, and live the lifestyle they always wanted?

After 13+ years of learning, studying and practicing effective sales, marketing and communication, I figured out a way to use my coaching and business skills to help you see your true value. You can do this. You have amazing potential. You just need to find your inner courage to take your next steps.

Directions and Parking

Parking is available on the Irvine campus for a fee. For more information about parking on the CSUF Irvine campus, please go here: http://www.fullerton.edu/irvinecampus/about/campusmap.php


#CSUF

Keep in touch with the weekly CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider:
bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurInsider

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
bit.ly/csufentrepreneurship

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

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
bit.ly/csufconsulting

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

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship:
bit.ly/CSUFknowledge