Category Archives: Mission and Purpose

Building a For-Profit Mission-Driven Culture @ CSUF Startup Incubator

Jeff Scott will be speaking at the CSUF Startup Incubator this Wednesday at 6pm. We hope to see you there!

Jeff Scott will be speaking at the CSUF Startup Incubator this Wednesday at 6pm. We hope to see you there!

A startup’s culture is its destiny. That is why it is incredibly important for entrepreneurs to set the tone at their startups from day one and do things that strengthen that culture. Jeff Scott is an expert at this in his own right with one of his successes being the creation of Software Anywhere, a for-profit company that develops software solutions that also has a sincere focus on philanthropic activities. Through its high school technology internship program that awards full college scholarships to interns that stay on full time at the company, Scott and his company has had a $10,000,000 positive impact for the local community in less than a decade!

Come listen to his story and to learn how you to can develop a strong culture for your business! Get your ticket here.

Entrepreneurs face many challenges when creating a corporate culture that fosters innovation and retains the talent required to create a successful exit. The Power of 10 is Software Anywhere’s living case study of how companies can achieve for-profit success while giving back at an extreme level. Jeff Scott is going to share his model and approach on how a team of 10 people achieved a goal of providing $10M in community impact in less than 10 years.

Jeff Scott’s Bio:

For Jeff Scott, “embracing life” is not just a lofty ideal; it is his way of life. Jeff has been building innovative tech startups in Orange County since 1995. Software Anywhere, Scott’s mission-driven for-profit software company is proving that companies can incorporate extreme philanthropy, while still achieving their for-profit goals. Scott leads the company as the CEO and lead technical architect developing applications on the platform.

Inspired by the Salesforce Foundation, Scott and his team spend over 33% of their time working on community projects. Software Anywhere has also launched a cutting-edge high school technology internship program that extends to a full college scholarship for students who stay on full-time. December 2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of giving and by the end of July his team of 10 full-time employees will have achieved their most significant milestone yet — providing over $10,000,000 of sustainable community impact since the program started in 2007.

While working hard, Jeff’s “embracing life” mantra also drives him to play hard. He is an accomplished musician and sailing fanatic. With his strong commitment to family, Jeff considers his role as devoted husband and father of three the most rewarding of all.

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CSUF Entrepreneurship Mentor Bob Kreisberg Rediscovers his love for the Saxophone



As a mentor in our program, Bob Kreisberg has helped hundreds of students understand the importance of how different personalities affect entrepreneurial ventures. As the founder of Opus Productivity, Bob counsels companies on how to hire people with the highest likelihood of fitting in with a company’s culture and how to get the most out of new and existing employees. Bob has a great mind for business and is a very valuable member of our entrepreneurial community.

But that’s not the point of this post. For those of us who know Bob personally we know that he is a kind and generous person. Having beaten cancer Bob is also a fighter. One thing many people, even some of his closest friends, didn’t know is that Bob used to love playing the saxophone and it was that love of this instrument that recently got him profiled in the Orange County Register.

In the story Villa Park man rediscovers saxophone 46 years after illness I learned about Bob’s sojourn to find the perfect saxophone that he last played decades ago:

Kreisberg remembered clutching the raw brass relic for the first time. He was standing beside an orchestra’s worth of forgotten instruments and between the shelves of power tools and sharp-toothed handsaws, and he held the sax next to his heart.

He was reunited with an instrument – no, not the same instrument, but one just like it – that he hadn’t played in 46 years.

“This was a magic,” he said of the new/old sax. “This had to have been played by a musician.”

You really should read the whole article to learn about this personal pursuit of one of our mentors.

Event: Successful Women and How They Think Differently in Business

Women on Building & Thriving in Business - CSUF Entrepreneurship EventOn January 14, 2015 the Center for Entrepreneurship is proud to host the Critical Mass for Business program as they discuss the topic “Successful Women and How They Think Differently in Business.” Richard Franzi, the CEO for Critical Mass for Business, will moderate a panel comprised of the following people:

John Bradley Jackson (Director, Center for Entrepreneurship)

France Helfer (Entrepreneur & CEO Hal Healthcare, Inc.)

Darcie Harris (Trainer & Speaker for Women Entrepreneurs)

Tomilee Gill (President Executives Unlimited)

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Why I Majored in Entrepreneurship at CSUF: Sam Lee ’14

CSUF Entrepreneurship alum Sam Lee '14 accepting an award from the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship John Bradley Jackson

CSUF Entrepreneurship alum Sam Lee ’14 accepting an award from the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship John Bradley Jackson

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling, but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it” – Albert Einstein

“There is only one road to human greatness: through the school of hard knocks” – Albert Einstein

“For without struggle, there is no progress” – Frederick Douglas

With these three quotes, I have described our entire Entrepreneurship program. Instead of memorizing or simply regurgitating lectures and textbook business theories, students in our program have the opportunity to face the real business world in a hands-on, yet safe learning environment.

The real business world is tough. One must deal with many different types of individuals and situations, so learning to embrace uncomfortableness becomes imperative to success. This could mean overcoming the uneasiness of giving presentations to a panel of businessmen, approaching strangers, or simply making cold calls to sell your product or service. Continue reading

Why Your Twenties Matter

Starting to make something out of your life in your twenties may seem like a daunting task but it would be even more so if you waited until your thirties to really start trying to make something out of your life.

Once upon a time it was typical for a college graduate to secure a high-paying job, buy a home, find your life partner and begin a family all by the time you were in your mid to late twenties. This bit of conventional wisdom seems to have expired about a decade ago.

Indeed, Millennials are keenly aware of the challenges associated with coming of age in the aftermath of the great recession of 2007. While difficult, this doesn’t mean you should spend your twenties twiddling your thumbs.

If you are “twenty-something” you face a different set of challenges than the preceding generation, but your twenties remain a pivotal point in your own timeline and its significance should not be underestimated. Early adulthood may feel inconsequential, but the decisions you make now will serve as the foundation upon which the rest your life is built, both personally and professionally. No pressure.

Thirty is not the new twenty. In her TED talk, Why 30 is not the new 20, clinical psychologist Dr. Meg Jay underscores the impact this period of early adulthood has on subsequent decades.

If you are having problems viewing this video click HERE.

You might not get married in your twenties but it’s highly probable that you’ll meet your future partner during this time. Moreover, you learn about yourself within the context of your relationships. The kinds of relationships you have as a twenty-something set the tone for future relationships. Dr. Jay suggests that, “The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one.”

The internships you take and the jobs you seek in your twenties can pave the way for future career opportunities. The experience you gain and the skills you acquire before you are thirty can propel your professional life forward. Envision your work life as an interconnected series of events with the past jobs and internships enabling future opportunities.

Twenty-somethings have many advantages in the new workplace. One is that you haven’t spent decades reinforcing poor working habits. Young adults generally have more stamina and more flexibility than older workers. Growing up as native PC users, Millennials greet new technology with a glee that older workers can only admire.

In this special decade of your twenties, it is up to you to make your own luck. Here are a few suggestions:

Discover your purpose. You are not on this planet by accident and it is your job to figure out what you must do. Once your purpose is found, go forward and live your life with intention.

Don’t follow the crowd. Celebrate your uniqueness regardless of what it might be. Successful people are remembered by their unique achievements and not for their sameness.

Network your brains out. The overwhelming majority of life’s most important opportunities are going to come from contacts with a couple degrees of separation. Don’t hesitate to expand your network by reaching out to someone with whom you share a mutual friend.

Consider the creation of your own personal board of directors. Made up of mentors who have skills and wisdom that you don’t have, these trusted advisers can give you feedback to keep you focused professionally and personally.

Make excellent work a ritual. Don’t settle for good; instead do work that others will admire.

Make good choices consistently. This may mean slowing down and avoiding impulsive decisions. Instead, consider the long term impact of your decisions on you and on others.

Journal or blog. Most successful people make a habit of writing about their feelings, goals and aspirations. The writing process helps make the possible real.

Time is not unlimited. Blink and you will be in your thirties. What are you doing now to invest in the person you want to be in ten years?

John Bradley Jackson
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship

[Photo: Tiger Lao]

What Kind of Life Do You Want to Lead?

One of the best entrepreneurship classes I ever took ended with the professor asking each of us to write our obituary. The assignment instructions are below:

Write your own obituary. Assume you die of natural causes on your 70th birthday and a close friend is asked to summarize your life in 300 words or less. When your life is complete, what will be the “bullet points” people remember about you? What do you want to have accomplished and what are you willing to sacrifice for it? How will you balance all the competing demands for your time and energy? All of these decisions are usually subtlety imbedded in an obituary.

Many of us have spent very little time figuring out what kind of life we want to lead. The options are limitless. Some people – such as Steve Jobs – make work their life’s calling and put their heart and soul into their company. Others see work as something they do to allow them the financial flexibility to do what they truly love – such as play music, go boating, travel the world, etc. And many of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

Of course, if you can have it all that’s the best

There is no single answer to this question. The right answer is the one that makes you happiest and the one that makes you feel as if you lived your life well. This is why the obituary assignment was such a crucial one – it forces people to think about the kind of life they would like to have and to figure out the challenges involved in achieving it. It is not possible to have it all. Everything that is worth accomplishing involves trade-offs. The question is what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve what you really want.

I highly recommend you write your own obituary and that you share it with your significant other. I also recommend you go back and view your obituary every so often to see if you are staying true to your vision of what you want your life to be. The specifics may change, but the underlying vision should not. For example, when I wrote my obituary, I anticipated that I would leave business school and work in the non-profit sector. Instead, I went on to get my doctorate and ended up in the education sector. However, my underlying vision was to be in a career that allowed me to make a difference in the lives of others and help them achieve their dreams. Being an entrepreneurship professor has allowed me to do just that.

If you find that your underlying vision has changed significantly, it is time to take a step back and evaluate things. Has what you wanted in life changed? Or have you forgotten what is really important and lost your focus? The self-reflection required to answer these questions is crucial to making sure you don’t lose your way.

As Steve Jobs (of Apple fame) said in his famous speech at the 2005 Stanford graduation:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

The process of writing your obituary and revisiting it periodically is designed to help you do just that.

Dr. Atul Teckchandani
CSUF Entrepreneurship Professor

[Picture: Karma Decay]