Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

CSUF Entrepreneurship Students Pitch Investors

Last Friday was the culmination of a lot of work on the part of CSUF Entrepreneurship students. They pitched their startups to an august group of judges. Read more in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider.

At the end of every semester our entrepreneurship students get the opportunity to present their startups to a panel of investors, entrepreneurs, bankers, and professionals of all stripes. These presentations are the culmination of at least a semester’s worth of hard work on the part of the students, their mentors, and professors and these presentations are not just academic exercises; they can be a pivotal step towards creating a sustainable business or nonprofit.
The latest presentations occurred last Friday and while it’s still too soon to tell I think that some of the startups have a good shot at becoming real businesses. And this isn’t just me talking, many of the judges felt the same way and, more importantly, many of our students have expressed to me that they have every intention of moving forward as well.
As these students progress we will definitely keep you informed about their progress but, right now, I would like to thank everyone who is involved in this process from day one to now. This list includes my colleagues at the Center for Entrepreneurship and professors Jack Mixner and Jeff Longshaw, both of whom have done excellent jobs teaching the next generation of entrepreneurs. The mentors in the classroom selflessly give of their time every week to help the students forge stronger startups; many thanks to all of you. Of course, the judges from Friday deserve a tremendous amount of kudos as well; some of them may even end up investing in some of the students they heard from.
And I also want to thank the students. Majoring or minoring in entrepreneurship is not an easy road to take. There are many long nights behind them that they spent developing their startups and I’m sure that there will be many long nights ahead of them as well as they work on the next big thing.
But that is the point, right? We are all endeavoring to do something that we love, something entrepreneurial. Maybe none of the startups pitched on Friday will get launched (but I think some of them will); the point is that an entrepreneurial education at Cal State Fullerton uniquely prepares our students for whatever path they decide to take. And they know that the CSUF Entrepreneurship community will be there for them along the way.
Sincerely,
John Bradley Jackson
Director and Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator
 

Continue reading

CSUF Home Stretch for 2017

CSUF Startup Incubator Irvine Open House (11)

2017 is almost over but there is still a lot of work to be done! Check out this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider and let us know what you have left to accomplish this year.

With December starting later this week there is not much time left in 2017. I hope that your year has been as productive and enjoyable as the year CSUF Entrepreneurship has had so far. And we have more things to accomplish before we turn the calendar over to 2018!

One of our recent milestones was launching our second CSUF Startup Incubator office on the CSUF Irvine campus. More than 200 people showed up to take a look at the new space and to network with other members of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community. Earlier this morning, we posted some of the pictures that we took at the event and if you were one of the people who attended (or are just interested in getting involved at our Irvine office) please connect with me so that we can explore options. We are always looking for guest speakers, coaches, and entrepreneurs who are eager to start their businesses.

While we do not have any events scheduled in Irvine for the rest of 2017 we will be hosting office hours there and at our Placentia office. If you are working on an idea for an innovative startup make sure to check out these office hours because they are a great way to get some valuable feedback from startup experts in a one-on-one setting. And if you are actively starting a business and would like the expert assistance of the CSUF Startup Incubator and its coaches please get in touch with me and we can discuss how we can help you go from concept to launch.

What do you have left to accomplish in 2017? I’d like to hear about it.

Sincerely,

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

Continue reading

CSUF Startup Incubator Irvine – Featured in OCBJ

CSUF Startup Incubator staff with MBA consulting team

CSUF Startup Incubator staff with MBA consulting team

Earlier this week, the Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ) featured a story on the CSUF Startup Incubator’s imminent expansion into Irvine (we will be hosting an Open House on November 15; come and join us!)

We are definitely excited about adding on a second office for the CSUF Startup Incubator (with the first office being the one in Placentia, of course) and while we will be doing all of the same things we are currently doing in Placentia (i.e. coaching entrepreneurs on how to go from startup to launch, hosting events for entrepreneurs, providing meeting space for alumni and student groups, etc.) we plan on being able to do things a little differently at our CSUF Irvine campus office.

And one of those things that we anticipate being different is that we will be working with more startups that are tech-based. As you will read in this excerpt from the OCBJ we already have our first client lined up and their concept is a comprehensive business collaboration suite. After reading the excerpt, you can read the whole thing on this PDF.

When a London-based startup that developed an all-in-one tool for communication,
collaboration and employee engagement was looking to move its North American headquarters from Toronto to Southern California, it chose a new incubator in Irvine. The startup is Appoon LLC. The location is California State University-Fullerton’s second startup incubator, which stages its grand opening in Irvine on Nov. 15.

“CSUF’s incubator will give us a huge opportunity to work with … the finest talent in the country,” co-founder and Chief Executive Niaz Panhwar said. “The mentors are excellent, and the resources in the shape of talented student teams … will help us grow much faster.”

CSUF chose Irvine for its second incubator because it already owned two buildings in the city and because of a deep “gene pool” of entrepreneurs here, said John Bradley Jackson, director of its Center for Entrepreneurship, founder of its first startup incubator and a professor of entrepreneurship.

Plus, there’s a professional services support network of accountants, consultants and law firms, he said. Irvine is “real tech-savvy. Biomedical, as well. And this makes for a really attractive startup community.”

I think I speak for all the CSUF Startup Incubator staff and coaches when I say that we are all very excited about working with the Appoon team and that we are also very excited about launching our second CSUF Startup Incubator office at the CSUF Irvine campus. If you are available during the evening of November 15, we will be hosting an Open House at the CSUF Irvine campus for this second office. We hope to see you there!


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

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

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

 

CSUF Business School Popular for Minority Students – OC Register

One of the many things that I think separates Cal State Fullerton from most every other school is the amount of diversity that I see in every class. And here’s an article from the OC Register confirming that (read full article here):

More than 2,500 Asian students and 2,800 Hispanic students — making up nearly 60 percent of the college’s enrollment — studied in CSUF Mihaylo College of Business and Economics in the Spring 2017 semester.

This year, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education ranked CSUF No. 1 nationally in producing Asian and Hispanic graduates in business administration, management and operations. Hispanic Outlook in Education ranked CSUF No. 6 nationally in producing Hispanic graduates in business management/marketing….

Many international students also come from Asia, with CSUF having a student exchange agreement with universities in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries.

Anh Le, a fourth-year student in business administration, came from Vietnam six months ago. He had heard friends talking about CSUF and its business school.

He plans to study entrepreneurship as well and go back to Vietnam to start a business. He said he needs a lot of help, but CSUF’s tutoring center has been very good for him.

“So far, so good,” he said.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

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

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider: Titan Fast Pitch Recap

Titan Fast PitchIn this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider Director Jackson gives thanks to all those that helped make the Titan Fast Pitch a great success this year!

The Titan Fast Pitch was Saturday and we have a recap up right now; make sure to read it!
One of the many things about this Titan Fast Pitch that I am very proud of were the wide range of students who competed. As a small example of this, the top four university students who competed in the final (Lightning Round) all go to different universities (and, yes, one was from Cal State Fullerton). Wow!
And I would be remiss if I did not give a special thanks to everyone who helped make this event as special as it was. There were many people who worked on this event behind the scenes including Dr. Radha Bhattacharya from the Center for Economic Education and Will Taormina from the National Startup League. We had more than 50 members from our CSUF Entrepreneurship community give up their Saturdays to be judges. And I cannot forget about our Lightning Round judges, most of whom donated not only their time but money so that we could host this competition.
Speaking of donors, I want to take a moment to thank all of them for without their contributions we could not host events like the Titan Fast Pitch or do many of the other programs that we do for entrepreneurs during the rest of the year.
Entrepreneurship is what drives you and I to do what we do and I saw that same kind of drive in over 100 students at the Titan Fast Pitch on Saturday.
Sincerely,

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

PS: Phillip Stinis, Entrepreneur in Residence at the CSUF Startup Incubator, is an entrepreneur and a hiking evangelist who has just launched a wellness program at Cal State Fullerton. If you are a CSUF professor, staff member, or student who is looking to get healthier Phillip will be hosting a seminar on campus about how you can take advantage of his amazing program, the 52 Hike Challenge. For more details on this free event, please go here.

Continue reading

Titan Fast Pitch 2017 Recap

One of the winners of the 2017 Titan Fast Pitch accepting her award from Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson for a pitch well done!

The University track winner of the 2017 Titan Fast Pitch, Sierra Levanto from Chapman University, accepting her award from Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson for a pitch well done!

The sixth Titan Fast Pitch has come and gone and it was a great success! We had an estimated 400 people in attendance with more than 150 students competing. This year, we had students from multiple universities including Cal State Fullerton, CSULA, Chapman, UCLA, Cal Poly Pomona, and probably a couple of others that I missed.

We also had many high school students competing including Troy High School, Western, and many others. For the first time, middle school students competed as well.

There were two tracks, one for university students and another for high school and middle school students. The competition started off with an introduction from the hosts of the competition. John Bradley Jackson, the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the CSUF Startup Incubator, kicked off the competition with a welcome message. He was followed by Dr. Radha Bhattacharya, the Director for the Center for Economic Education, and Will Taormina, the founder of the National Startup League and an alumnus of CSUF Entrepreneurship.

The first round, which we called the Bullpen Round, had all of the students competing. Remember, there were more than 150 students competing so the Pavilions at the Titan Student Union were packed with students pitching their creative ideas! To hear these pitches we assembled about 50 judges, made up of entrepreneurs and professionals from our communities, including the active and generous CSUF Entrepreneurship community.

After fifty minutes the Bullpen Round came to a close. The energy in the room was electric! The students were still bubbling with excitement while we tabulated the judges’ decisions in another room. While the tabulations were going on, a few lucky attendees won some opportunity drawing prizes! These included Amazon gift cards donated by Dr. Atul Teckchandani and CSUF Entrepreneurship Ambassador and Titan Fast Pitch Finals Judge France Dixon Helfer. Some lucky people also won books to advance their entrepreneurial education.

Once the tabulations were complete, we announced the four finalists for the high school and middle school track (more on them later!).

Now that the finalists were announced, Director Jackson kicked off the Lightning Round. During this round, the finalists presented their ideas in sixty seconds to our Lightning Round judges and then they were each asked up to three minutes worth of questions from our judges. The questions were tough but they helped the competitors more fully explain their ideas and got them thinking about their concepts in new ways.

Our Lightning Round judges included:

  • Karl Freels, Dan Black Family Trust
  • Vijay Raman, Vasur Ventures
  • David Morris, Royal Business Bank
  • My-Ngoc Allred, Wells Fargo
  • Michale Sawitz, FastStart.studio
  • France Dixon Helfer, TinyKicks

The Lightning Round is a crucible for these competitors. You will remember that the audience numbered more than 400 so the finalists were not only presenting in front of our august judges but also hundreds of people they have never met before. And they had to answer those tough questions from our judges! Thankfully, the finalists were up for the challenge and they comported themselves extremely well.

Once the Lightning Round finished, the judges retired to another room to deliberate while everyone else had some fun! There was a lot of networking, getting to hear other’s innovative concepts, and we even had the Cal State Fullerton improv club perform. One lucky attendee also won a pair of Laker’s tickets donated by CSUF Entrepreneurship alumnus Sue Mehta! I’m sure they will enjoy those seats.

After a few minutes, the Lightning Round judges made their weighty decisions. For the university and high school/middle school track finalists there were scholarships on the line. The finalists for the university track stood to win:

  • 1st Place: $1,500
  • 2nd Place: $1,000
  • 3rd Place: $500
  • 4th Place: $250

And the finalists in the high school/middle school track stood to win:

  • 1st Place: $400
  • 2nd Place: $300
  • 3rd Place: $200
  • 4th Place: $100

And, the moment you have been waiting for, the winners were:

University Track:

  • 1st Place: Sierra Levanto, Chapman University
    • Synopsis: Bamboo fiber lined diapers that are more sustainable than current options
  • 2nd Place: Parastoo Delgoshaei, University of Maryland and James Wratten, UCLA
    • Synopsis: Innovative brace design that aligns teeth individually, eliminating the current problem inherent with traditional braces where teeth move when neighboring teeth move
  • 3rd Place: Lauren Horgan, Cal Poly Pomona
    • Synopsis: Virtual staging software that will make listings much simpler for realtors
  • 4th Place: Daniel Cazares, Cal State Fullerton
    • Synopsis: Good Neighbor is a QR code pasted on windshield of vehicles that allows people who pass by a car with a problem like a broken windshield or flat tire to notify them that there is a problem

High School/Middle School Track:

  • 1st Place: Hayley Amo, Troy High School
    • Synopsis: Tricourt is a gym concept that gets people to work out together
  • 2nd Place: Savannah Gutierrez, El Dorado High School
    • Synopsis: Germs are everywhere in public restrooms, including door handles. Her concept is to create a sensor that will automatically open the door when someone is nearby
  • 3rd Place: Stephen Nguyen and Lyle Lalunio, Troy High School
    • Synopsis: Feed to Seed is an app that aims to solve the tremendous food waste epidemic
  • 4th Place: Angel Perez, Katella High School
    • Synopsis: Clothing company that enables loved ones to track children

Congratulations to all those who competed, they may have just taken their first steps into becoming entrepreneurs at the Titan Fast Pitch! I can’t wait to see what is in store for this competition in the future!

If you aren’t already, make sure that you have signed up to be a CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider to keep up to date on all that we are doing. Our next big event is on November 15 when we will be hosting an Open House for our second CSUF Startup Incubator location. This one will be on the CSUF Irvine campus and we couldn’t be more excited about it! We hope to see you there!


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

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

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

52 Hike Challenge – CSUF Wellness Program

52 Hike ChallengeDid you know our very own CSUF Startup Incubator staff member, Phillip Stinis, has started a global movement called the 52 Hike Challenge, which empowers you to take a personal journey to discover the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits gained through hiking? This virtual challenge can be taken by anyone, and now our campus has adopted it as part of their Corporate Wellness Program!

If you would like to learn more, visit www.52HikeChallenge.com

If you are a CSUF Staff or Faculty member, come to their Wellness Program kick-off on campus.  Details below:

JOIN THE 52 HIKE CHALLENGE WELLNESS PROGRAM – A PROGRAM THAT STARTS WITH A 1 MILE WALK 
Facilitator: Phillip Stinis, CSUF Startup Incubator, MCBE Lecturer & 52 Hike Challenge Co-Founder
Come learn how you can join the 52 Hike Challenge community, find well-being, and empowerment through hiking. With the 52 Hike Challenge, you will explore new places, bond with family/friends, meet new friends, gain mental clarity, a sense of accomplishment/ build confidence, and achieve better physical fitness. Join us for the program kick-off on Wednesday, October 25th • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. • CP-730

Phillip’s Story

Phillip was 80lbs overweight, to make a positive lifestyle change he
took to the trails to get in shape, eventually losing and keeping off
the weight by progressing his hiking capabilities. After going through
a difficult divorce, Karla was inspired by Phillip to begin her own
hiking journey; challenging herself to a hike per week as a means to
get in shape. Once her challenge was complete, Karla couldn’t believe
the positive impact that the outdoors had on her mind, body and soul.

Motivated by their own personal accomplishments, the pair created the
52 Hike Challenge to encourage others to begin their own hiking
challenge and journey. In over 2.5 years, over a quarter million images have been
shared under their hashtags on Instagram alone from participants of the challenge.
The stories from finishers have been so impactful, they started offering
more opportunities for people to take on the challenge, including facilitating city wide efforts
and corporate wellness programs.

Take the story of Elizabeth Labor, from San Diego as an example: “My friend and I from work decided to start going hiking once a week after work. We are middle school teachers in San Diego and wanted to enjoy the vast range of hikes in our own backyard and relieve some stress after the workday. Our hikes together slowly turned in to more teachers joining us, and now we have an official hike club at work. A group of teachers gets together at least once a week after work to try new trails in the area, or stick to our old favorites. This group of women kept me constantly motivated because we all came together with a range of backgrounds and physical abilities, and we were able to connect over a shared interest that I truly believe became a shared passion for all of us. We became support systems for each other on the trails and in the classroom.”

Teachers aren’t the only one’s interested in hiking, college students enjoy spending time outdoors too! Here’s a story from a California State University Student, Rachyl Matis who took the challenge: “I am a 23 year old college student that had no idea how much the 52 Hike Challenge would influence my life. The 52 Hike Challenge was the first time I have ever set a new years resolution/ goal, that I am actually passionate about, and completed! It was such a fulfilling moment when I finished my 52nd hike on the last week of 2015. I am thankful for the dedication this challenge required of me, and the constant encouragement along they way I received from friends, family and other challengers on social media.
Hiking brought a sense of community and encouragement into my life. Not only did hiking create a space for me to meet new people, but also gave people who wouldn’t normally hike an opportunity to join in on the fun! The excitement of hiking with people who had never been before was a way for me to share my passions with others.”

Students are encouraged to sign up on the website at www.52HikeChallenge.com
and get in on the fun as well!


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

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

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge