Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Work with the CSUF Entrepreneurship Team this Fall

In this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider we talk about how every entrepreneur needs a team and how one of the teams from our CSUF Consulting program can help you get new things done.

We recently published a post called The “Three T’s” of Starting a Business and one of the the “T’s” is Team. Having a great team is something that every entrepreneur should develop and nurture from startup to established business. Entrepreneurs cannot do everything and empowering others to work with you to build something better is how to really get great things done.

But every team, no matter how much it excels, needs a boost every now and then; an injection of fresh ideas and a strategy for how to do things more efficiently and effectively. That is where CSUF Consulting teams come in. Our teams work with new and existing businesses over the course of a semester to develop innovative strategies for our clients.

These strategies can focus on improving synergies with strategic partners, conducting market research for new products or services, and many other facets of a business. Chances are, most of the entrepreneurs who are reading this have thought about improving a part of their business but have not had the time to do it. Now is always the right time to improve and please contact us at (657) 278-8243 to find out how we can help.

Sincerely,

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

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The “Three T’s” of Starting a Business

Travis Lindsay, Entrepreneur in Residence, Cal State Fullerton Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator

Travis Lindsay, Entrepreneur in Residence, Cal State Fullerton Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator

What is it, exactly, that separates successful entrepreneurs form those that are less successful?

It’s a loaded question and any honest answer comes replete with a healthy amount of caveats but it’s still a very valid question as well. And this was the question that Chris McCarthy, the Social Media Specialist for Mihaylo College, asked me. He was kind enough to videotape my answer, and it is below, but if you like reading more then here’s the short answer.

Based off of my experiences of working closely with entrepreneurs and business owners for years now is that three of the most important factors that determine an entrepreneurs success are:

  • Tenacity
  • Team
  • Timing

As Chris and I discussed, the importance of those three factors fluctuates depending on the situation but those factors keep on popping up in all of the examples I can think of.

Tenacity is pretty self explanatory. Either you have the drive or you don’t. And tenacity is different from passion. Passionate people can end up having a lot of tenacity as long as their amount of passion does not wane. But it inevitably does wane; it at least fluctuates. People who have the tenacity to work hard consistently have a higher chance of being successful entrepreneurs than those that do not have that quality.

Team is another one that some people, especially first time entrepreneurs, overlook. I’m not going to go into the psychology of why people overlook the importance a strong team can make but the best explanation I have ever heard about why teams are important goes something like this: If you, as the founder, can create $1,000,000 worth of value a year that is the most you will ever make if you continue on as the sole person in the company. As you add people into your company’s capacity for creating value increases as well; which will hopefully end in higher revenues and, fingers crossed, more profitability as well. Regretfully, I cannot remember who first made this argument to me but it has stuck with me since and it does make a whole lot of sense to me.

Timing is tricky and it’s unforgiving. If your timing is too early your market will never materialize; if you’re too late then somebody else will grab hold of the market and won’t want to give it up without a fight. There are things that you can do to time the market, and you should absolutely do things like researching potential markets, understanding who your competitors are and what substitutes for your product and service already exist, etc. And these are things that the CSUF Consulting program and the CSUF Startup Incubator works with clients to figure out. But you can never be sure that your timing will be perfect. At a certain point you have to trust in your plan and launch.

There’s obviously more to it than that for each of those “T’s” and there are many other factors that go into the success or failure of an entrepreneurial endeavor. In fact, if you have any you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. I’m interested in finding out what you think about this.


#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

Getting New Things Done with CSUF Entrepreneurship

In this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider (sign up to get this newsletter delivered to your email box every week) Director John Bradley Jackson highlights the new book by Professor David Obstfeld: Getting New Things Done. Getting new things done requires people to work together towards a common goal and for businesses that means developing new ideas and creative solutions. The CSUF Consulting program is designed to help business do this and we are currently accepting applications from businesses now for the fall semester. Read ahead to find out how to apply.

Getting New Things Done is CSUF Entrepreneurship Professor David Obstfeld’s new book published by Stanford University Press. In this book, David lays out a framework for how new things are accomplished and he cites many examples of this process in action. It’s a thoroughly researched work and it definitely has value for anyone who wants to have a better understanding of how innovation happens.

One of the key insights from David’s book is that innovators do not operate in a vacuum. Innovations need support to take hold and that support can come in many different ways. Take, for example, the CSUF Consulting program. We work with dozens of businesses every semester to help them develop innovative solutions for their toughest problems. Whether the difficulty lies in their marketing plan, operations, accounting systems, or their company’s culture, our teams of students are able to create actionable solutions for our clients.

We are recruiting clients for the fall semester right now and if you or a business that you know could benefit from working with one of our CSUF Consulting teams please give Project Client Specialist Charlesetta Medina a call at (657) 278-8243 for more information on how one of our consulting teams can help you get new things done.

Sincerely,

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

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Fall 2017 Course Recommendation for CSUF: Startup Business Class for non-Business Majors

Student at WorkStarting a business is a goal for many people and not just those who major in business. In fact, many entrepreneurs did not major in business but they all needed to learn how to start a business. At Cal State Fullerton we have a class built for the specific needs of innovative non-business majors who want to start their own business: BUAD 410 – Starting and Managing a Professional Practice/Small Business.

In this class, students are walked through the process of how to create an actionable business plan for any concept they can come up with. Previous students have developed plans for:

  • An emotional skills building card game to help people overcome disabilities (which finished second in the campus-wide CSUF Business Plan Competition earlier this year!)
  • A toy store designed to engage kids with STEM-related projects and activities
  • Trend setting restaurants and pubs

The kind of businesses that students can start after taking this class are only limited by their imaginations.

What will you learn by taking BUAD 410?

Every student in this class learns the fundamentals of a business plan. This includes topics like:

  • Marketing your product or service
  • Implementing appropriate accounting principles
  • Funding your business
  • Developing a team
  • And everything else that goes into creating a successful business

And here is a video featuring testimonials from students who have previously taken this course that highlights what students can expect to learn by taking this course.

How does BUAD 410 operate?

At the beginning of the semester, every student will be asked to pitch, or give a short presentation, their concept. It’s a sixty second exercise where students will have the opportunity to explain what it is their business is and why it would make for a good venture.

From these presentations the class will decide which concepts will be pursued. Even if a student’s idea isn’t picked they will learn those invaluable skills that were outlined in the previous section through their work on the creation of a business plan for the concept that their group works on during the semester.

Once the groups have been decided it is time to get to work on creating the plans. Each team will have the benefit of working with the professor, Jeff Longshaw, as well as a mentor from the private sector. The combined experience and knowledge of the professor and the mentor helps these teams develop actionable business plans and the professor and mentor also engage with the students in a way that helps them learn and internalize the lessons from the class. Lessons that can be used to start any business a student wants.

By the end of the semester each student will have the skills and knowledge that are needed to start a business. It’s a challenging course but for those students who are interested in starting their own business but are not business majors it is a course that they should definitely take.

Who is the professor?

This course is taught by Professor Jeff Longshaw. He earned his MSBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, has been a business management and communications consultant for decades, and is an entrepreneur. He punctuates his lessons with anecdotes from his experience in the private sector as well as from his time in the armed services. These stories bring to life the difficult concepts that are taught in this class and give students a better understanding of how those lessons relate to the real world.

How do you take this class?

Enrollment for the Fall 2017 at Cal State Fullerton is still open and you have an opportunity to take this class and to take your first steps in becoming an entrepreneur. For more information on this class please contact the Center for Entrepreneurship at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu for more information.


#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 CSUFConsulting 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’s High Impact Practices

There are many ways to get an education but in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider Director Jackson discusses how our program uses intensive projects with real world implications to enrich our students’ education and increase graduation rates.

CSUF Entrepreneurship students will tell you two things about their education at Cal State Fullerton: 1. Majoring in entrepreneurship was a challenge and 2. It was the most rewarding experience of their education.

Why is majoring in entrepreneurship at Cal State Fullerton such a challenge?

Every Entrepreneurship Major must complete four classes that feature consulting projects with real businesses and they must also take a pair of classes where they are required to develop a business plan for a concept they come up with and then work on the launch of that business. All of these projects require of our students a great deal of effort and forces them to actively apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world situations with real world results.

These projects are called High Impact Practices and, as discussed in our article titled CSUF Entrepreneurship Students Get Hands On Experience, these classes do increase student engagement and lead to higher graduation rates.

In addition to our professors and mentors, these projects make an entrepreneurial education at Cal State Fullerton a very rewarding experience.

Sincerely,

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

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Getting New Things Done – A New Book on Innovation with Stanford University Press by CSUF Professor David Obstfeld

Cal State Fullerton Professor David Obstfeld has published a book called "Getting New Things Done"

Cal State Fullerton Professor David Obstfeld has published a book called “Getting New Things Done”

Cal State Fullerton Professor David Obstfeld has just published a new book called “Getting New Things Done” with Stanford University Press.

New things get done all the time. But how do new things actually get done?

Cal State Fullerton Entrepreneurship Professor David Obstfeld tackles this question head on. Drawing on his extensive research into social networks and how people coordinate around innovation and entrepreneurship, David articulates a theory of how managers make innovation happen through the skillful orchestration of knowledge and networks.

In Getting New Things Done, David illustrates how innovation takes place based on extensive field observation in a Detroit car company (identified as NewCar). While at NewCar, David saw how three socially adept employees artfully navigated the bureaucratic landscape of the company to get a new, superior manual shifter implemented into new models of their cars. David provides many other examples of this ranging from how entrepreneurs succeed, to how the famous ballet company Ballet Russe revolutionized dance, and the Arab Spring in Egypt.

Innovation is a field that is open to everyone but the process of how innovation takes place has certain identifiable characteristics. David captures these properties in his BKAP model of innovation, which stands for Brokerage, Knowledge Articulation, and Projects. As was the case with NewCar, all innovation includes these three elements.

You can purchase the book on Amazon or at the Stanford University Press. If you purchase through Stanford University Press you can use the code “NEWTHINGS” to get a 20% discount on the book.


#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 CSUFConsulting 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 Students Get Hands On Experience

Professor John Bradley Jackson uses High Impact Practices to engage his students in an entrepreneurial education at Cal State Fullerton

Professor John Bradley Jackson uses High Impact Practices to engage his students in an entrepreneurial education at Cal State Fullerton

One of the critical components of the CSUF Entrepreneurship program that we are very proud of is that our curriculum features many projects with real world implications. We have the CSUF Consulting program where students work in groups to help develop comprehensive strategy reports for existing businesses and startups. We also have a pair of classes where students develop business plans for a concept of their own and then, in the next semester, actively work to launch that business.

In academic literature, these kinds of projects are called High Impact Practices (HIPs) and they benefit students in many ways. According to a study by the Association of American Colleges & Universities they found that HIPs encourage student engagement and increase graduation rates, especially among underrepresented students, among other positive results.

Cal State Fullerton is conducting its own study on HIPs and is documenting the impact that it is having on our students. This study includes more than 300 courses that prominently feature HIPs. One of these classes is Professor John Bradley Jackson’s Management 465A and early results from the CSUF study show that the students in this class are the most engaged students in the sample. This is the class that has students form teams to develop a business plan for a concept of their own making.

Our project was exciting.,” said Chad Armstrong ’17, who was one of the students to take this course. “During the semester, I could see and believe that this could become a real product. This gave me energy. I liked the people on my team, all of them, even though we disagreed and disappointed each other at times. The project was stressful and at times we didn’t like each other but this is normal in any healthy relationship. Developing a respect for each other’s abilities and strengths early in the project helps get me through the stressful times later in the project. You can’t learn that from a book.

“As a student becomes more engaged, they do projects, they do breakout groups, they think about the topic; that increased engagement increases learning, [and] retention,” says Professor Jackson.

HIPs are an important part of the CSUF Entrepreneurship program. We believe that the intensive projects that we have our students do makes a profound difference on our students’ education; a difference, like Chad says, that “you can’t learn from a book.”

We welcome every student that is ready to take on the challenge of an entrepreneurial education at Cal State Fullerton. For more information on how to become an Entrepreneurship student please go to this page.

And this kind of educational experience would not be possible without our clients from the CSUF Consulting program and the CSUF Startup Incubator, as well as our hundreds of mentors who work with our student groups every semester to enrich students’ education and understanding of business and entrepreneurship. For more information on how to become a client or mentor in our program please email us at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.

Zach Barajas contributed to this article


#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