Category Archives: Innovation

Innovation At Cal State Fullerton – It Starts With You

CSUF students Lorenzo Santos and Vanessa Ganaden are working to bring more innovation to Cal State Fullerton

In this week’s edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider we focus on how innovation starts with you. Everyone has the ability to improve things and the seed of all innovation is an idea. Successful innovators are the ones who work every day to make those ideas into something real.

Over the past few weeks the CSUF Entrepreneurship community has been busy. A couple of our intrepid students attended a national conference along with CSUF President Garcia to learn how to bring more innovation to campus, and they have already begun acting on what they learned; many students have entered their innovative business concepts in the CSUF Business Plan Competition; and more of our CSUF Startup Incubator Residents have brought their innovations to market, one of them focusing on bringing joy to his customers and another on teaching his customers how to play the piano better.

Innovation, the lifeblood of entrepreneurship, comes from individuals and teams taking actions to create a better world. The Center for Entrepreneurship and the CSUF Startup Incubator innovates as well but what we excel at is working with individuals and teams to make them better innovators and better entrepreneurs.

What all of these stories have in common is that these innovators started small. Theirs is no overnight success story; they started from an idea and worked to grow it day after day. You can do this as well. We are here to help.

Sincerely,

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

Continue reading

CSUF Business Plan Competition Application Due Tomorrow: Tips for Creating a Great Concept Fast

CSUF Student-Entrepreneur leader Vanessa Ganaden shares her tips on how to quickly come up with a great business concept for those who are thinking about applying for the CSUF Business Plan Competition but not sure what business concept to submit

Applications for the CSUF Business Plan Competition are due this Sunday (March 12) at 11:55pm but it’s definitely not to late to come up with a winning concept!

CSUF student-entrepreneur leader Vanessa Ganaden, hosted an “Innovation Rush” workshop to get students prepared for the CSUF Business Plan Competition and here are some of the key takeaways that you can use to come up with a concept for the competition fast.

  • Create a list of words that relate to business ideas and skills that you have or about things that you are interest you; this helps to get your creative juices flowing.
  • Pick two or three of these words and get to work developing a concept. For example, if your words are “bike” and “app” you can start developing your concept for an app that will tell people where there are good biking trails.
  • Now that you have your concept give some thought to what your market is, how you will reach this market, how you will create your product or service, and who your competitors are.
  • If you can, work on the concept with a team or at least try to get some feedback on your concept. Being able to work with people to develop your concept will make it stronger and improve your odds of advancing in the competition.
  • Now that you have your concept, don’t forget to fill out and submit your application!

The purpose of this process is to “show them you can think of ideas no matter how different they are and you can try it out,” according to Vanessa.

In addition to having the opportunity to win a share in the more than $5,000 of scholarships and expert mentoring, Vanessa sees the competition as a way “to validate their product and see if it could be an actual business.” Feedback is important for every startup.

“I do recommend it for students to try it. I’m a huge proponent of students stepping outside of their comfort zone and doing something they wouldn’t normally do. It is scary to be judged, but it helps you see a perspective and see if this is something you would be able to do.”

What do you have to lose? Make sure to submit your application and you might be on your way to creating a business that will benefit the world and yourself for years to come!

Written by Traci Muldoon. Edited by Travis Lindsay.


#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

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

CSUF Startup Incubator Entrepreneur Brings Joy To Customers

A Dead Ringer for Success

CSUF Startup Incubator Resident James Farr

CSUF Startup Incubator Resident James Farr

For over 11 years, James Farr has been helping those in need as an ER nurse at the Los Alamitos Medical Center. For the past three years, however, Farr has become an inventor and entrepreneur by night with the creation of My Fingerbell.

James first got the idea for My Fingerbell when rollerblading along the Long Beach pier. While dodging between people, bikes, and dogs, he began thinking of a voiceless way of alerting those around him that he was coming through.

“I had this little dream,” said James, “to let people know in a nice way [that] I’m present.”

Recalling cherished childhood memories when he would ring a bell on his bicycle while speeding through his neighborhood, he had an epiphany: If the bell were on a finger he could effortlessly alert people of his presence in any situation. Energized by his flash of inspiration, he drew a design on a napkin and decided to make one.

What started out as a little dream has turned into a big reality; Farr has created his own product, My Fingerbell. My Fingerbell is a rubber ring with a finely tuned bell that cuts through the din of any crowd. In addition to selling his bell on his website he is also selling it on Amazon.

What makes My Fingerbell so unique is its many applications. Its use doesn’t just stop with activities like running on busy trails or (even busier) city sidewalks. The bell can be used for just about anything. Whether it’s to train your puppy, for a teacher getting their students’ attention, or as a little trinket for weddings to celebrate the happy couple; My Fingerbell can cater to any need. And it’s just fun!

My Fingerbell comes in two colors, blue and red, pink and white

My Fingerbell comes in two colors, blue and red, pink and white

James has had help along the way from the CSUF Startup Incubator. After meeting with CSUF Startup Incubator staff and explaining his vision, he was accepted into the Incubator as a Resident. During his time at the Incubator, James was able to draw on the experience and advice of staff and his dedicated startup coach to help him craft a custom launch plan for his product.

“[The program at Cal State Fullerton] helped catapult me into a mindset of how to make my invention operational. You can take an idea, but to see it through and understand every aspect of it, from legality to marketing to manufacturing, sales distribution, retail and funding; they [teach] those components.”

There was so much to learn while perfecting the product and he relied on the lean startup methodology that informs the CSUF Startup Incubator’s launch strategy. Working with a student team from Cal State Fullerton, James developed a clear and comprehensive understanding of his market. While at the CSUF Startup Incubator, he also honed his operational plan and developed a pitch that he uses when meeting with investors or partners.

Although James’ has graduated from the CSUF Startup Incubator, the lessons he learned will help him grow My Fingerbell and will help him with all his ventures in the future.

“I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it is having the [entrepreneurial] mindset.”

Written by: Arianna Ford and Travis Lindsay


#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

CSUF Students Become Innovation Fellows

Lorenzo Santos (L) and Vanessa Ganaden (R) are working to bring more innovation to the Cal State Fullerton campus as University Innovation Fellows

Lorenzo Santos (L) and Vanessa Ganaden (R) are working to bring more innovation to the Cal State Fullerton campus as University Innovation Fellows

Three CSUF students were recently named University Innovation Fellows (UIF). As fellows, the students become part of a national group of other innovation-minded students who are learning how to bring techniques to foster innovation back to their universities.

This is the second group of CSUF students to become Innovation Fellows. The first pair of University Innovation Fellows were Amerika Bernal and Cristian Sanchez. They brought back what they learned from the UIF program at Stanford University and help to start the co-ed fraternity Sigma Upsilon Mu and were involved in many other innovative projects on campus. One such initiative was fostering closer relations between business and engineering students that continues to this day.

Vanessa Ganaden, one of the current UIF participants, has big goals in mind for bringing innovation to Cal State Fullerton.

“Our goal for participating in this program is to learn different frameworks for promoting innovation within the university,” said Vanessa. “We were able to do that with Student Innovation Collective [SINC is a student club that promotes innovation on campus]. Our next goal is to leverage what we learned from University Innovation Fellows to create a makerspace on campus where students can come together to work on ideas and projects.”

From the OC Register:

Cal State Fullerton students Lorenzo Santos, Vanessa Ganaden and Steven Debolt have been named University Innovation Fellows.

The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, provides fellowships for students worldwide who aspire to and advocate to create change at their schools. It is managed by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. The students were chosen from students in 49 higher education institutions in four countries.

Vanessa and Lorenzo are already hard at work bringing innovative initiatives to Cal State Fullerton by helping to promote and lead student groups preparing for the CSUF Business Plan Competition and through SINC. And they recently returned from a conference at Stanford where they were able to learn many valuable techniques for promoting innovation on campus and they also had the opportunity to work with many key CSUF influencers, including CSUF President, Mildred Garcia. We will be publishing a more in-depth story about that soon.


#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

“HOW TO LICENSE YOUR GENIUS IDEA!” Featuring Stephen Key

Steven Key

Steven Key

RSVP TODAY FOR
“HOW TO LICENSE YOUR GENIUS IDEA!”
Featuring Stephen Key
AT CAL STATE FULLERTON

DATE: TUE 3/7/17

TIME: 7:30-9:30PM


Stephen Key is the renowned author of
One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work.  He is the founder of Stephen Key Design and inventRight, and shows audiences all over the world how to turn even the smallest idea into a long-term stream of cash.

Stephen has many successful ideas in the licensing world to his credit – toys, music products, even manufacturing processes.  His most celebrated and profitable idea is the Rotating Label called
Spinformation®, which has been manufactured and sold worldwide for years.

Countless companies like
Disney, Applause, Dakin, Ohio Art, Rexall, Lawry’s Seasonings and Nescafé Coffee have paid to use Stephen’s ideas.  His licensing successes have been used to promote brands like Hannah Montana, Michael Jordan, Taylor Swift, the Cars movie, and his products have been sold worldwide in Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven & many others.

Register NOW at:
v.ht/license
to receive exact location!

LIMITED SEATING!


#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

What Green Tech Inventors Need To Know – CSUF Entrepreneurship Event

green-energy-csuf-entrepreneurshipThis Wednesday at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator (Placentia) we welcome green tech inventor Dan Schuephach to talk about his experiences in the green tech industry. Since he is an inventor we think he will be able to provide an interesting viewpoint that is valuable to you whether you are an inventor, entrepreneur, or investor. We hope to see you there! Details are as follows:

Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-green-tech-inventors-need-to-know-csuf-startup-incubator-tickets-31824799833?aff=blog

Dan Schuephach is a veteran inventor in the green technology industry and he will be visiting the CSUF Startup Incubator to discuss the many lessons that he has learned over the years. If you are an inventor in this area or would like to work with or invest in green tech investors then this talk is meant for you.

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