Tag Archives: CSUF Startup Incubator

CSUF Startup Incubator Resident Launches Insurance Comparison Shopping Platform

Harvey Kong Launches Goodfetch with help of CSUF Startup Incubator

Harvey Kong, left, launched insurance comparison shopping site Goodfetch with the help of the CSUF Startup Incubator

When it comes to anything insurance related, just the thought of it can stress almost anyone out. Lets face it, while the simple signing on the dotted line is easy, “shopping” for the right insurance can often be very difficult and sometimes overwhelming. But don’t sweat it – entrepreneur Harvey Kong has come up with a new alternative that will change the way we shop for insurance.

Last year, Harvey joined the CSUF Startup Incubator as a resident to help him launch his business. At the start of his time at the CSUF Startup Incubator, he sat down with staff and his startup coach to develop a custom roadmap for his launch that would position his business for success. After frequent meetings with his advisors, he was able to develop and enact a startup plan that he still uses today even though he has graduated from the CSUF Startup Incubator.

Harvey has fine-tuned his concept to launch Goodfetch, an online platform that compares home and auto insurance quotes for the consumer at just the click of a mouse. According Harvey, “Goodfetch addresses the pertinent issue of shopping [for insurance], not merely buying. Buying insurance is easy, but shopping for it remains too tedious a process.” Similar to websites such as Kayak.com, which compares airfare and hotel rates, Goodfetch provides comparisons of home and auto insurance quotes “from a wide selection of insurance companies.”

This is how it works: The consumer submits a single form online to request insurance quotes. Then insurance companies or their agents input their quotes based on information submitted. Based on the consumer’s preference and insurance companies’ competitiveness, Goodfetch’s proprietary algorithm lists a few quotes for the consumer in a side-by-side format for easy comparison. The consumer and the agent will be connected only if the consumer is interested in buying.

Harvey’s inspiration for developing Goodfeth came from his 25 years of experience as an insurance agent, where he noticed that “Consumers don’t shop for auto/home insurance because it’s one of the worst shopping experience. I want to make it easy for the consumer to compare insurance quotes, and at the same time, also enable the agent to run his business more efficiently, without hard selling tactics.”

Even though this company is new we see a lot of potential in it. If all goes according to plan, Goodfetch will change how consumers shop for insurance. If you wish to find out which insurance company offers you the best deal, why not start a search at Goodfetch? It can save you time and a lot of money.

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

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

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CSUF Student Places in Top 5 of National Entrepreneurship Competition

Jonny May, furthest on the right, finished in the Top 5 of a competition that included hundreds of other student-entrepreneurs across the nation.

Jonny May, furthest on the right, finished in the Top 5 of a competition that included hundreds of other student-entrepreneurs across the nation.

CSUF Entrepreneurship student, CSUF Startup Incubator Resident, and founder of Piano with Jonny, Jonny May recently finished very well in a national competition for student-entrepreneurs hosted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Out of the hundreds of students who entered nationally, Jonny finished in the Top 5!

Here are some of Jonny’s thoughts on competing:

GSEA was a blast!  We flew to Kansas City, Missouri, and I got to meet all kinds of amazing entrepreneurs that are still in college.  It was very empowering to tell my story and I gained a new sense of confidence that my business Piano With Jonny is making a meaningful impact in the world.  The GSEA judges are all successful entrepreneurs themselves, and I made some great contacts that I believe will help me as I grow Piano With Jonny.  I highly recommend GSEA for any college student with a business!

We competed in two rounds: a semi-final and final round.  We had 12 minutes to talk about our business and ourselves.  7 out of the 10 judging criteria were based on us as individuals (our character, work ethic, integrity, why we started our businesses, etc), and 3 of the criteria were about the business itself.  The first panel was 8 judges, and the second panel was 16 judges.  After each presentation, we were questioned for 10 minutes.  The competition is hosted by EO (Entrepreneurship Organization).  I was invited to compete by Craig Martin, who was my mentor for MGMT 465A and also an EO Member.  As an EO Accelerator, I’m hoping to join EO (members must have a business doing $1 million or more in revenue).

Congratulations Jonny!


#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

A Tale of Two Startups – Event @ CSUF Startup Incubator

Creativity and innovationJohn Connors has an immense amount of experience working with startups and in this talk at the CSUF Startup Incubator on Wednesday, March 8 at 6pm, he will go into depth about his experiences with two startups in particular.

One startup failed after three years and more than $30 million in loans from venture capitalists

Another startup was forced into bankruptcy by venture capitalists that had made over $5 million in loans to the company. But this company went on to be publically traded with over $400 million in annual revenues and is expected to close shortly on an acquisition of a company with over $1 billion in annual revenue.

John Connors was a director during the early stages of both of these startups and he has learned some valuable lessons about dealing with venture caitalists. This Tale of Two Startups illustrates what entrepreneurs need to keep in mind when seeking loans from venture capitalists and other creditors.

You can read more about John Conors here.

Register for this talk on Wednesday, March 8 at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator here.


#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 Business Plan Competition Applications Now Due March 12

Mandy Wang and Miguel Olivares; the winners of the CSUF Business Plan Competition in 2016

Mandy Wang and Miguel Olivares; the winners of the CSUF Business Plan Competition in 2016

In this week’s CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider we extend the application due date for the CSUF Business Plan Competition and highlight some of the events and stories coming out of the Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator over the last week.

The CSUF Business Plan Competition is an important event for all CSUF students who are serious about becoming entrepreneurs. And to make sure that every CSUF student has enough time to enter the competition, we have extended the deadline to submit a CSUF Business Plan Competition application to 11:55pm on Sunday, March 12.

Miguel Olivares ’16, who was part of the winning 2016 CSUF Business Plan Competition team along with Mandy Wong, summed up the competition very well for CSUF students:

“Be passionate about your dreams. If you really wanted to start a business, then take this opportunity to use the CSUF Business Plan Competition as a milestone to get your business launched. Being an entrepreneur is about action, and the best time to start anything is now. Don’t just talk about how you will one day start a business. Work at it, even if it’s just baby steps. Leave the excuses at home, and seek the help and guidance you need from knowledgeable entrepreneurs. The Center for Entrepreneurship is a great resource for this, and they have always been more than willing to help in all my business ideas. Take advantage of the resources you have.”

If you are a current CSUF student with an idea that you think can change the world for the better then make sure to turn in your application by March 12.

Sincerely,

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

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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 Startup Incubator Featured in Orange County Register

Phillip Stinis, left, with resident Jonny May, right, who's online piano program "Learn to Play with Jonny May," is moving to the next level. Stinis helped launch the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia, an extension of the entrepreneurship program where select students are granted the opportunity of receiving one-on-one guidance from entrepreneurial professionals. The program matches mentors to the residents who can be students or community members. The incubator was photographed on Thursday, February 16, 2017 in downtown Placentia. in Placentia on Friday, February 17, 2017. (Photo by Ana Venegas, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Phillip Stinis, left, with resident Jonny May, right, who’s online piano program “Learn to Play with Jonny May,” is moving to the next level. (Photo by Ana Venegas, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The CSUF Startup Incubator was recently featured in the OC Register. Below is an excerpt.

Geoff Pascual is a self-taught painter taking his bold watercolor creations to the digital world.

The recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton’s entrepreneurship program has turned his passion for painting into a business by taking his artwork to conventions and galleries. He is now focused on connecting online audiences to his work.

“If you have an idea and you feel it kind of stirring in your soul, you definitely need to act on it right away because there is something there,” Pascual, 23, said.

Pascual is getting help from the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia. He receives face-to-face coaching from entrepreneurial professionals to move his business, Pascual Productions, forward.

“The Startup Incubator has helped me greatly in regards to networking, gaining feedback and advice from mentors and professionals from all walks of life,” he said. “It’s a great place to learn and gain knowledge about business when you’re surrounded by people with similar mindsets.”

The incubator launched two years ago in downtown Placentia to support new ventures by students, alumni and community members. The 900-square-foot space features a meeting room and study rooms for mentoring and networking events. The fee-based program has accepted 22 resident startups, of which 15 remain active at the incubator.

“For us, incubation is a six-month program where we collaborate with residents and then set them free,” said John Bradley Jackson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and director of the Startup Incubator. “The world of investing is a brutal place and at our incubator, we can speak the truth and coach them with the intent of helping the business succeed and avoid mistakes.”


#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