Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

CSUF Startup Competition Finalist Prizes

Vanessa Weibach CSUF Startup Competition

Will you be there to see the finalists, including Vanessa Weibach pictured above, at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals this Friday from 1pm to 4pm? We will be at the Titan Student Union on the CSUF campus and we hope to see you there!

Six unique concepts will be presented this Friday at the CSUF Startup Competition (we hope to see you there!) and one of the questions that I get about this competition goes something like: “What exactly can the finalists win?”

It’s a great question, our finalists and everyone else who entered the competition have dedicated a good deal of time preparing their concepts and the finalists deserve some kind of award for doing so well. Here is a summary of what the individuals or teams for each concept will win:

  • First Place: $2,500 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Second Place: $1,000 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Third Place: $750 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Fourth Place: $500 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Fifth Place: $250 Scholarship plus in-kind services
  • Sixth Place: $150 Scholarship plus in-kind services

The scholarships are funded by generous donations from Dan Black and Karl Freels from the Black Family Foundation and David Morris from Moss Adams.

In-kind services take a couple of different forms, from business formation services (LegalZoom), a ticket to Ignite22 (Jim Cooper), or an hour of consulting services/mentoring:

  • LegalZoom
  • Rudy Chavarria – College Web Media
  • Karla Amador – Thrive Financial
  • Austin Bonderer – Law Office of Austin Bonderer, PC
  • Lorenzo Santos and Boomer Baker – Think 66
  • Jim Cooper – Braid Theory
  • Chris DeCaro – Kneadle
  • Guy Knuf – Moss Adams
  • Justin Sanders – Entralta, PC

We are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors, we could not host competitions like the CSUF Startup Competition without them!

If you’re available this Friday from 1pm to 4pm the CSUF Startup Competition Finals will be in the Titan Student Union Pavilion and attendance is free. Also, there will be opportunity drawings available to those in attendance.


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OC Startups Now – Director Jackson Opinion Piece

Director John Bradley Jackson

Director John Bradley Jackson

The OC startup scene just got a little more interesting with the launch of OC Startups Now, a site founded with the mission to cover all of the startup activity in the Orange County area. Founded by Deirdre Newman, previously of the OC Business Journal, this website will also bring together some of the thought leaders in the community to share and discuss new ideas. Their first in-person networking event is on April 5 (details).

Also, from time to time they invite leaders in the startup community to share their thoughts with readers and one of the first was Cal State Fullerton Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson. In his article The Current State of OC’s Startup Ecosystem (subscription required and recommended), he grades the various areas constituting the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Orange County. Here’s a taste:

How entrepreneurial is Orange County? It is widely acknowledged that Orange County has a growing startup ecosystem. But, who really cares? The answer is we all should care deeply about nurturing of the Orange County startup ecosystem.

It’s great that Ms. Newman has taken the plunge into her own startup and we look forward to the scoops she is able to get going forward!

March 7 @ 5:30pm update: In a previous version of this post we stated that the subscription was free. A subscription is actually $5/month. We still think it’s worth it. The body of this post has been updated to reflect that.


#CSUF

Keep in touch with the weekly CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider:
bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurInsider

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
bit.ly/csufentrepreneurship

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
bit.ly/csufincubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
bit.ly/csufconsulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship:
bit.ly/CSUFknowledge

CSUF Startup Incubator Irvine – Featured in OCBJ

CSUF Startup Incubator staff with MBA consulting team

CSUF Startup Incubator staff with MBA consulting team

Earlier this week, the Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ) featured a story on the CSUF Startup Incubator’s imminent expansion into Irvine (we will be hosting an Open House on November 15; come and join us!)

We are definitely excited about adding on a second office for the CSUF Startup Incubator (with the first office being the one in Placentia, of course) and while we will be doing all of the same things we are currently doing in Placentia (i.e. coaching entrepreneurs on how to go from startup to launch, hosting events for entrepreneurs, providing meeting space for alumni and student groups, etc.) we plan on being able to do things a little differently at our CSUF Irvine campus office.

And one of those things that we anticipate being different is that we will be working with more startups that are tech-based. As you will read in this excerpt from the OCBJ we already have our first client lined up and their concept is a comprehensive business collaboration suite. After reading the excerpt, you can read the whole thing on this PDF.

When a London-based startup that developed an all-in-one tool for communication,
collaboration and employee engagement was looking to move its North American headquarters from Toronto to Southern California, it chose a new incubator in Irvine. The startup is Appoon LLC. The location is California State University-Fullerton’s second startup incubator, which stages its grand opening in Irvine on Nov. 15.

“CSUF’s incubator will give us a huge opportunity to work with … the finest talent in the country,” co-founder and Chief Executive Niaz Panhwar said. “The mentors are excellent, and the resources in the shape of talented student teams … will help us grow much faster.”

CSUF chose Irvine for its second incubator because it already owned two buildings in the city and because of a deep “gene pool” of entrepreneurs here, said John Bradley Jackson, director of its Center for Entrepreneurship, founder of its first startup incubator and a professor of entrepreneurship.

Plus, there’s a professional services support network of accountants, consultants and law firms, he said. Irvine is “real tech-savvy. Biomedical, as well. And this makes for a really attractive startup community.”

I think I speak for all the CSUF Startup Incubator staff and coaches when I say that we are all very excited about working with the Appoon team and that we are also very excited about launching our second CSUF Startup Incubator office at the CSUF Irvine campus. If you are available during the evening of November 15, we will be hosting an Open House at the CSUF Irvine campus for this second office. 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

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

 

How to Profit from your Intellectual Property @ CSUF Startup Incubator

This Wednesday at 6pm at the Cal State Fullerton campus in Irvine we will be hosting a talk by Justin Sanders titled How to Profit from your Intellectual Property. In order to register, please go to the Eventbrite page.

Intellectual property is becoming increasingly important when it comes to business valuation as well as success – especially for tech companies. A well-developed patent portfolio (along with an intellectual property portfolio, generally) conveys a high degree of technical and commercial sophistication to potential investors, customers, competitors, and licensees.

It also proves that you value investment in research and development and are prepared to take appropriate steps to protect those investments. This presentation will provide an introduction to intellectual property generally (including patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets), as well as related issues to keep in mind, so that you will be better equipped to identify and protect your intellectual property in a timely manner, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Pizza and soft drinks will be served at this event.

We hope to see you there!

[You will need to purchase a parking permit to park on this campus. Information for parking can be found here: http://www.fullerton.edu/irvinecampus/about/campusmap.php]

About the speaker, Justin Sanders:

Justin Sanders is a registered patent attorney and Vice President of One3 IP Management, where he primarily oversees the High Tech and Software practice group. Justin graduated from California State University, Long Beach, earning a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Human Resources Management. He went on to attend Whittier Law School, as a Fellow in the Center for Intellectual Property Law, where he received his J.D. with magna cum laude honors along with a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law. Justin assists clients (primarily startups) with all aspects of identifying, procuring, policing, enforcing, and monetizing their intellectual property in both the U.S. and abroad – all at competitive flat fee rates.


#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

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

Why Cal State Fullerton Teaches Entrepreneurship

STEM Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony

The next generation of Entrepreneurs

What that title is getting at is what is our mission or, in other words, why do we do what we do. And, as you will find out from this CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider (sign up to become an Insider now so you don’t miss any of the news, events, or lessons from CSUF Entrepreneurship!) from Director John Bradley Jackson, the reason is very simple: It makes a difference.

Over the last three years, I had the honor of partnering with colleagues at the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Education at Cal State Fullerton on a $1 Million grant from the National Science Foundation to teach disadvantaged middle school students needed skills in Entrepreneurship and STEM. The skills that we taught these bright students will stick with them for the rest of their lives and will help them once they enter our global economy no matter what path they decide to take.

I’m certain that at least a few of these students will decide to become innovators and may even start businesses that better our world.

Speaking for all of our Entrepreneurship professors and mentors I can tell you that one of the primary reasons why we teach and coach the next generation of entrepreneurs is because we believe that it makes a difference. It makes a difference in the lives of the students, of course. But it also makes a difference in our communities as well.

We regularly see the difference that our students make in the businesses that they start or work for. We also see it in the difference that they make in the companies that they do consulting projects for. What all of this leads to is a more innovative and creative world to live in.

In the case of the middle school students that I had the pleasure of teaching the last three years we probably won’t see that impact for quite some time. But for the students that the Entrepreneurship professors and I have taught and our mentors have coached we have already seen the difference that an entrepreneurial education can make.

Sincerely,

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

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Cal State Fullerton Teaches Kids STEM and Entrepreneurship

STEM Entrepreneurship Awards CeremonyOne of the big keys to success for entrepreneurs is putting together strong teams and that is what the Center for Entrepreneurship, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and the College of Education did with a recently concluded STEM grant.

Together, these three Cal State Fullerton Colleges won a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to teach entrepreneurship and STEM to local middle school students. For the last three years, these Colleges collaborated on the creation and implementation of an innovative after school curriculum for disadvantaged middle school students. The mission was to provide these students with lessons in STEM and entrepreneurship so that they will have the skills that will help them tackle the challenges of our interconnected and increasingly technical world.

Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Bradley Jackson summed up his team’s mission as a way to “increase awareness and encourage interest in entrepreneurship and STEM as a choice of education but potentially also as a career for these students. Our goal was to make STEM cool by gamifying the experience with Entrepreneurship”.

“The fact that we three Colleges are collaborating is very significant,” states Director Jackson. Bringing together people from different disciplines is the best way to achieve success. Entrepreneurial members of the CSUF team helped teach the kids lessons in how to develop a business concept, test its feasibility, and how to bring their innovations to market. The engineering team members taught the students lessons on engineering and how to code. And members from the College of Education synthesized these lessons into a framework that was accessible for these young students.

The CSUF team was represented by Program Leader Dr. Jidong Huang and Dr. Pradeep Nair from the College of Engineering and Computer Science along with Dr. Amy Cox-Petersen and Professor Kim Case from the College of Education. Professor Jackson represented Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. Additionally, numerous CSUF student mentors coached the middle school students in the after school classroom.

The $1 million grant is the second largest grant won in Mihaylo College’s history and was used to fund the mentors, faculty, and materials needed to maintain the after school program.

After three years of running this program the CSUF faculty and student mentors, the middle school students, and middle school teachers who participated in this program celebrated their accomplishments at their annual showcase. Participating middle school students presented their solutions and inventions using a poster-style format to showcase what they have learned to the hundreds of people in attendance, including Mihaylo College Interim Dean Morteza Rahmatian and College of Engineering and Computer Science Interim Dean Susamma “Susan” Barua.

“The parents are just super enthusiastic. Here’s a chance for their kids to get introduced to entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, and math and take a possible interest in getting more education for their career,” said Director Jackson.

Working with these students was a joy for Director Jackson and the CSUF team and they are confident that once the studies about their program’s efficacy have concluded later this summer they will find that thanks to their STEM Inc. program participating students will be shown to have a greater appreciation and fluency with entrepreneurial and STEM concepts. This is a big thing because these skills are absolutely necessary for their success.

Building on these early successes, the goal is for the participating middle schools to continue to run the program and help enrich the lives of students for many years to come.

This article was written by Traci Muldoon


#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