Bringing more than 50 years of business experience with him, Alan Mannason (who recently turned 90 years old!) has been involved as a mentor to our students for more than a decade. Needless to say, Alan is a mainstay of the program and he has been a part of it for longer than most of our professors! Continue reading
The CSUF Entrepreneurship Program is one of the leading university-level entrepreneurship programs in the world (and one of the most unique as well). Our program includes six main classes: four classes require student teams to work on an actual consulting project for a local business and the other two classes require the students to develop and launch new ventures.
All of this entails a great deal of effort not only from the professors and staff in the CSUF Entrepreneurship Program but also from local businesses and our gracious volunteers, who are all professionals in entrepreneurial organizations. Any given semester our program will have:
- 200 Undergraduate and MBA students in the program
- 65 Mentors (Volunteers from business community)
- 50 Consulting Projects
- 8 Class Sections
- 5 Professors
These consulting projects are what makes our program such a unique experience for our student entrepreneurs. Please watch the below video for a more in-depth explanation of our award winning consulting program.
Our program is not for the faint of heart but, rather, for that rare student entrepreneur who wants to prepare him/herself for the rigors of the entrepreneurial world. If you would like to become involved with or learn more about our exciting entrepreneurial program please click on the links below:
- Newsletter (Click on the categories you are interested in receiving information on)
- Website (General information)
- Want to be a Student Consulting Client?
- Want to be a Mentor in our program?
- Have you heard about our Business Plan Competition?
- Facebook Group (Interact with other entrepreneurs)
- Twitter (Follow all of our activities online)
- LinkedIn (Our professional group)
If you have any questions for us please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every semester we need approximately 60 mentors for the CSUF Entrepreneurship Program. Our mentors are people who have extensive experience (either direct: entrepreneur, working in an entrepreneurial organization, etc.; or indirect: accountant, lawyer, banker, etc. with experience with entrepreneurial organizations). Basically, there are two types of classes that people can mentor in:
Student Consulting Projects
Every semester we conduct approximately 35 Student Consulting Projects for which we need mentors. These consulting projects are real: the student teams do consulting work for local businesses. Actual reports are created and each team presents their findings to their client at the end of the semester. Many of our clients have had great things to say about the students and the student consulting process in general. We would also like to note that our Student Consulting Program is one of the most elite programs of its kind in the nation.
Consulting projects center around four major disciplines:
- Organizational Structure/HR
For a bit more information on the Student Consulting Program watch this:
New Venture Launch
The other type of class for which we have mentors would be the New Venture classes. This is broken up into two semesters: the first semester has the student teams develop a business plan and the next semester they actually launch a business. It’s an exciting process for student and mentor alike and has resulted in a number of startups.
While the specific business area each class covers is different the role of the mentor is fairly constant. Mentors are there because they have experience and they are more able to look at a business situation with a discerning eye. As a mentor, you would be tasked with giving advice by answering questions and giving some general direction to student projects.
Mentors are expected to attend approximately 8 class sessions throughout a given semester (each meeting is about an hour long or so). Most classes start around 7:00pm and parking passes are provided. Occasionally, mentors will have to answer emails and phone calls from their student teams.
Want to be a Mentor?
Each year during the months of January/February and August/September we actively recruit mentors. If you are interested in becoming a mentor in the CSUF Entrepreneurship Program please email us at email@example.com and tell us a little about yourself.
Founded during the Fall semester of the 2001-02 school year by Dr. Michael Ames, the Center for Entrepreneurship is a self-sustaining entity funded through program fees, individual donations and corporate sponsorships. In the Entrepreneurship Program we have 180 full time and part time students studying Entrepreneurship as a major and 44 students minoring in Entrepreneurship. We also have 15 MBAs who are concentrating in Entrepreneurship.
Each of these students is taking on a huge task by studying Entrepreneurship at CSUF because the courses in the Entrepreneurship Program require a massive time commitment. In each course in the Entrepreneurship Program there is a semester long project. In two successive courses students form teams and create a business plan and then in the next semester they launch that business. The other Entrepreneurship courses feature semester long student consulting projects where our students develop reports to help local businesses improve in various areas including: operations, marketing, accounting and leadership.
For each class volunteers are need to coach our student teams. These volunteers have extensive business knowledge and each of them selflessly give dozens of hours of their time every semester to help guide our students through these semester long projects. Others volunteer their time for special projects the Center for Entrepreneurship undertakes.
That is why on Wednesday, May 30th the Center for Entrepreneurship celebrated its 10th Anniversary with all of those people who make the Entrepreneurship Program such a vital part of CSUF and the local business community. In attendance were volunteers, Board Members, students, alumni, professors, CSUF staffers, local businesspeople, scholarship winners and assorted family members.
Networking was the first part of this event and was a good opportunity to catch up with those who hadn’t seen each other in a while. During the networking portion a couple of our student entrepreneurs showcased their wares. Diana Ho of Diana Ho Designs showed off her handcrafted shoes and Chris Aaron handed out his delicious kettle corn.
After that we dove into the presentation of awards. Each of the volunteers in attendance was presented with a certificate and personally thanked for their service. Dave Kinnear was singled out as the 2012 Volunteer of the Year for his exemplary dedication to the Entrepreneurship Program at CSUF. All of our volunteers are great people and we sincerely thank them for their contributions.
Next we recognized two of our most successful student consulting teams. Each year our program enters two of our student consulting projects into the Small Business Institute’s competition. Over 200 universities are a part of the SBI consulting process and our MBA entrant won 3rd place on the national level and our undergraduate team won the national competition.
Dr. Dmitry Khanin led the graduate team to third place nationally with their project for Connection III Entertainment. John Bradley Jackson, professor and Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship, led the undergraduate team to the national championship with their project for Fortis Resource Partners. CEO Kira Bruno ’89 was in attendance for the award presentation and Chuck Pavia was the team’s volunteer coach.
Next, Dr. David Obstfeld, one of our great Entrepreneurship professors, presented the Steve Keller Memorial Scholarship funded by Bill Bemus to Diana Ho (she had a busy day!).
After that, a special award sponsored by volunteer Jack Hayden was presented by Dr. Atul Teckchandani, another one of our great Entrepreneurship professors. The recipient of this award was the student team called Titan Motor Sports and it is for one of the team members to travel to a national competition. Titan Motor Sports is a special team that was created to partner up with a CSUF team comprised of Computer Science and Engineering students who have created an open wheel racing vehicle for a national competition. Titan Motor Sports’ contribution is an excellent business plan that is a crucial part of the competition. Good luck guys!
Next, Jerry Conrey presented the Conrey Insurance Brokers and Risk Managers Entrepreneurial Scholarship to Brian Fainzimer (Incidentally, Brian has some great pictures of the event. Check them out.) After that, the State Farm Scholarship, sponsored by Ellen Williams, was presented to Samantha Stuber.
A group of awards was presented to three of our students. Michael Sawitz, volunteer and client of our student consulting services, has created a Business Incubator that helps early stage companies grow by providing them with space, contacts and coaching. Thanks to his connections with our Entrepreneurship Program Michael decided to award tuition in his Business Incubator, Fast.Start.studio, to three groups.
The second runner up, was Thank Skinz, founded by Shawn Way, who was the winner of our inaugural Business Plan Competition. The first runner up was StatRev Legal, founded by Laura Schmitt. And the winner of the one year, all inclusive Fast.Start.studio Accelerator Program valued at $54,000 was Gamer Comps, co-founded by Steve Schoenhals. In total, $69,000 worth of tuition in Fast.Start.studios was awarded. That’s an amazing gift, thank you Michael!
Concluding the proceedings Director Jackson thanked all of the faculty including: Dr. David Obstfeld, Dr. Atul Teckchandani, Dr. Dmitry Khanin, Robart Kovacev, Zack Dafallah, Tom Miller, Barbara Samara, Guy Knuf and Brent Evans. Director Jackson also recognized the amazing contributions of Charlesetta Medina who is responsible for acquiring all of the clients for the Entrepreneurship Program and me, Travis Lindsay, for doing most of the administrative tasks for the Center for Entrepreneurship.
Over the course of the next week we will be posting some of the media from this event so be sure to check back to see the pictures and videos of the event.
If you want to become a part of our award winning program you can learn more about becoming a mentor by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are considering hiring a CSUF Student Consulting Team go here.
The semester has already started and we still need some mentors. Mentors are the type of people you consult with to find out the right way to do things. For most of our classes this means the mentor will be helping out his or her team tackle business issues for a local company. For a couple of the classes the mentors will be helping student teams develop business plans or even launch a business.
We currently need mentors for these subjects: Operations, Accounting, Leadership, New Venture Creation and New Venture Launch.
If you think that you would be a good mentor to a group of CSUF students or even if you know of someone who would be could you please contact me at email@example.com so that I can take down contact information and put you in a class. You better hurry though because the mentors are going to meet for the first time next week!