Category Archives: John Bradley Jackson

Financing the Startup – CSUF Startup Incubator Event

Click to RSVP For the Financing the Startup Event

Click to RSVP For the Financing the Startup Event

Whenever we host an event at the CSUF Startup Incubator our goal is to educate all in attendance. After working with entrepreneurs for years I can safely say that the area of raising investment capital is one of those areas that entrepreneurs need the most education on.

Many of the entrepreneurs I have talked with think that they need to get funded by an Angel or a VC before they can start their company. That’s absolutely true for some companies and other companies will need investments along the way to fund growth. But the vast (vast, vast, vast, vast, vast…) majority of companies do not receive funding from Angels or VCs. As Director Jackson would put it, “That’s rarefied air.” That’s certainly true.

So, what is a budding entrepreneur to do? Fear not, we’re hosting an event this Wednesday at 6pm at the Incubator in Placentia that deals with this subject. Titled “Financing the Startup” (I think someone thought that it sounded like the movie title “Romancing the Stone” and that similarity was funny), Director John Bradley Jackson will give an overview of the financing landscape for startup entrepreneurs and provide some insights into how best to raise money.

This event, like all of our others (so far… we have to put that little bit in there for legal reasons, I think) will be free. Come and join us and maybe you’ll learn how to fund your startup! What do you have to lose?

#CSUFEntrepreneur

More info on CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship

#CSUFStartup

More info on CSUF Startup Incubator: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

More events: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvent

CSUF Campus Authors Recognized

150226 Socially Close - Book CoverAnd one of those authors was none other than Director John Bradley Jackson. Last year, Director Jackson published Socially Close: Social Media Marketing for Small Business, which is about how businesses should be using social media in their marketing campaigns.

Here’s a description of the book from Director Jackson’s website:

  • Frustrated with social media at your small business?
  • Confused by the stampede of new social networks and their ever-changing features?
  • Not getting the return on investment that you expected?

If that sounds familiar, then this is the book for you. For most small businesses, the promise of social media is to get found on the web, build brand awareness, create a dialog, nurture relationships, establish trust, and encourage people to buy your products and services. Making that promise a reality requires a vibrant social media strategy, an intimate knowledge of the brand, and a disciplined social media effort.

The title, “Socially Close”, describes the desired end-game of using social media. With so many choices on the web today, buyers are increasingly sophisticated and need more than a succinct description of your products and services. While it is true that the web provides some customers an auction like atmosphere with low price and quickest delivery, this type of customer relationship is short-lived since there is always a lower price or a quicker lead-time offered by a competitor.

It is my opinion that many customers prefer to establish a trust-based relationship with their providers. The customer who trusts your business is much more likely to do business with you again and to recommend you to others. This is the type of customer that you want to have a close relationship with and keep for the long term. This nurturing of relationships, whether they are new or sustained, is how social media can help the small business.

Unlike the large business which may have substantial resources for managing social media, the small firm may have few resources. Yet, the small firm may receive the best return on investment due to the scaling impact of social media. Thus, social media can greatly accelerate the relationship growth rate between customer and small firm which this book describes as being socially close.

For a full list of the authors honored at the event click HERE.

Event Highlights: Successful Women and how they Think about Business Differently

IMG_0254The other day we posted the full audio of our recent panel titled: “Successful Women and how they Think about Business Differently.” It’s a great listen and while we do recommend listening to the whole panel discussion we now also have video highlights from the event. Enjoy!

Event: Think Globally, Act Locally

The Department of Marketing and the Centers for Entrepreneurship and International Business would like to invite all of you to the “Think Globally, Act Locally: Building Local Roots for America’s Small Business” event. At this event you will get the opportunity to hear from Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson and and Center for International Business Director Jeff Williamson.

This event will be held in the Titan Student Union Theatre on Wednesday, February 11 from 1pm to 2pm. Space for this event is limited so please make sure to RSVP to cib@fullerton.edu or you can also contact the Center for International Business at (657) 278-8264 or you can even visit their offices in SGMH 3357. Continue reading

Startups + Incubators = Good Sense

Vincent Yancoskie '10 - CSUF EntrepreneurshipFor many startups, joining an incubator can make good sense. Yet, incubators are not all alike; this requires the startup to do some homework and ask some basic questions.

The first question to address is for the startup itself. What type of help does your startup need? Most startups will answer this question saying that they need help finding investor capital. An infusion of cash may well help the fledgling business, but the “ask” of the investor can be a waste of time if the startup is not prepared for the “due diligence” process. Many seed investors have very specific requirements for their prospective startup investments. The list can include proof of concept, intellectual property, a full management team, documented customer development, prototypes, etc. My experience is that few startups have these essentials.

Readiness for funding is a key criterion for the startup looking for funding. The investors also want to see a “pitch” via PowerPoint, an executive summary, a business model canvas, and a business plan. Thus, this is how the incubator can help.

You need to ask the prospective incubator to describe what they do. Some incubators specialize by industry or category such as food, biotech, clean-tech, or even agriculture. Other incubators may be non-profit in nature and may focus on a geographic region with the hopes of local economic development and job creation. Still other incubators may have a decidedly aggressive investment posture with a trade of cash for a significant equity slice.

CSUF’s Startup Incubator is adjacent to the University in downtown Placentia. The Incubator provides promising and coach-able startups access to technical advice, assistance in the hunt for seed capital, a place to meet and work, a large network of veteran entrepreneurs, and expert guidance concerning patents, technology transfer, licensing, royalties, contracts, and new venture formation.

The CSUF Startup Incubator will function as a “hatchery” for innovation; the goal would be to commercialize resident startups within 180 days. Many traditional business incubators coddle new ventures and make money from renting the facility and providing professional services to them. In contrast, the CSUF Startup Incubator will aggressively challenge its residents to “succeed quickly or fail fast.” The Incubator will achieve this through stringent feasibility testing, thorough market research, verified proof of concept, and rigorous beta testing of products and services. An experienced team of content experts, innovators and entrepreneurs will optimize the commercialization process by helping innovators avoid mistakes and lost time.

Are you ready for this challenge? If so, you can learn more at http://business.fullerton.edu/centers/cfe/StartupIncubator.htm. Better yet, apply now!

John Bradley Jackson
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship
Professor, Entrepreneurship
jjackson@fullerton.edu

Why Should a Startup Consider a Business Incubator?

Sadaf SaloutBusiness incubation is not new.

While most people recognize the dotcom era as the birth of business incubation, startups have received support from service organizations, large corporations, universities, and government agencies for decades. All have had a similar mission of helping the fledgling startup survive and become company with a viable business model, more or less.

For the record, a business incubator is an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial firms through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections (source: Entrepreneur.com). Be advised that many incubators specialize by industry, technology, startup maturity, or location. Some charge rent and offer administrative services, while others take equity for their support. All offer the hope of a success transition from a company wannabe to successful entity with a viable business model.

Making that happen is no easy task since startup success statistics are pretty grim. Bloomberg recently reported that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. What causes startup failure? There are many factors, but the list includes things such as ill-conceived business concepts without customers, lack of capital, bad management, poor market timing, lack of experience and, oddly enough, unexpected growth.

So why should an early stage startup consider getting help from a business incubator? While incubator expertise can vary greatly, here are a few reasons for considering the help of an incubator:

  1. Mentors – Most incubators offer the assistance of cagey veterans who have started and successfully managed companies. While some advice may be technical, much is wisdom earned from making tough decisions and living them.
  2. Access to Funding – Savvy investors prowl incubators with the hope of finding the next big thing. This early stage seed funding is expensive money but may be the difference between success and failure.
  3. Like Minded People – Incubators provide a watering hole for innovative startups that have similar visions of business success. Often the incubator environment is stimulating and fun. The camaraderie can be contagious.
  4. Mistake Repellent – OK, I invented that term. Look at this way, an incubator can provide a road map of how to start up a startup. This includes what to do and what pitfalls to avoid. This counsel can save time and money. Big time.
  5. Introductions to Professional Services – This can include intellectual property attorneys, CPAs and bookkeepers, insurance agents, and sources for manufacturing prototypes. Once again this can save time and money.
  6. Accountability – Some incubators are run like boot camps with daily intellectual aerobics; others softly coach and prod the founders forward, but all hold the startups to well defined goals and milestones. This may be the most important factor to consider.

Starting up a business is unbelievably exhilarating and perilous. While you can go at it alone, business incubation can provide a safer and quicker path to success.

John Bradley Jackson

Director of the CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship and Founder of the CSUF Startup Incubator

 

Two Part Time Paid Student Mentors Needed

Bryan Duncan gives a Science on a Sphere presentation at the Beautiful Earth (Bella Gaia) program for Middle school students from Annapolis Middle, Goddard French Immersion School. You might not be doing something as cool as teaching with holograms but you will definitely be making a difference in kids' lives. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Bill Hrybyk

Bryan Duncan gives a Science on a Sphere presentation at the Beautiful Earth (Bella Gaia) program for Middle school students from Annapolis Middle, Goddard French Immersion School.
You might not be doing something as cool as teaching with holograms but you will definitely be making a difference in kids’ lives.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/Bill Hrybyk

The University has secured a grant which provides an after school program at 4 middle schools in Anaheim. This after school program will teach the children science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and the principles of entrepreneurship, which includes the lean startup philosophy.

We will need two CSUF Business students who will work 4-8 hours a week at the middle school with hours of approximately of 3 – 6 pm. This program begins in early October.

Please contact John Bradley Jackson at the Center for Entrepreneurship at jjackson@fullerton.edu or 657 278 8413.

This will look great on your resume! and it will pay $12.00 per hour.

flickr | NASA Goddard Space Flight Center