Category Archives: Events

How Entrepreneurs Can Raise Money from Banks

There are many recurring themes to the posts on this blog and to our CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider. There are so many things that entrepreneurs need to have some fluency in and fundraising, whether for a business or a nonprofit, is one of the important ones. There are no easy answers to how entrepreneurs should raise money to fund their startup but, as is I feel is the case with everything in business and life, knowing what your options are is important.

Banks can be a good way to raise money for your startup. Getting funding from a bank won’t be easy, especially if you’re in the earliest stages of launching your startup and have no track record to speak of, but it certainly is an option that entrepreneurs need to understand. This Wednesday at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Irvine we welcome Charlie Phillips, the AVP of South County Bank in so that he can explain how entrepreneurs should approach raising funds from a bank. Register now!

Nearly every entrepreneur that I talk with has questions about raising money to fund their startup. These conversations usually start out with exhortations to bootstrap until they start to get some traction. But bootstrapping usually isn’t enough, especially for startups that have aggressive growth plans.

One form of funding that I think entrepreneurs should give more thought to is also one of the more traditional forms of funding (at least for established businesses) and that is your local bank.

This Wednesday at our office in Irvine we welcome the AVP of South County Bank, Charlie Phillips, to walk us through the game plan that entrepreneurs should follow when approaching a bank. Debt financing is, obviously, substantially different from equity financing and there are good ways and bad ways to go about trying to secure loans from banks. Charlie will present a strategy entrepreneurs should follow in order to get their best result possible.

The talk is this Wednesday at 6pm in Irvine. Please register for this event by going to the event page.

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

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Timeless Networking Advice for Entrepreneurs from a Cal State Fullerton Mentor

CSUF Startup Incubator Open House 2016

Here’s a photo of entrepreneurs networking at the CSUF Startup Incubator Open House in 2016. You never know when you will meet your next business partner, client, employee, or friend.

A couple of weeks ago in the weekly CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider Director Jackson talked about the importance of networking. Networking is a powerful way for entrepreneurs to actively create new opportunities and while volumes can (and have) been written on the topic oftentimes the best advice is also the most straightforward advice.

After reading Director Jackson’s newsletter, longtime CSUF Entrepreneurship mentor, executive, and serial entrepreneur Dr. Don McCrea sent in some advice that I think every entrepreneur should know about and put into practice. Here is Don’s timeless networking advice for entrepreneurs:

Here’s a suggestion that was made to me several years ago that I feel is the best networking advice I’ve ever gotten. The advice is to ask two questions, listening to the response on each one, and then following up where appropriate. Here they are:

  1. Ask “Who are you?” Not, “What do you do?” Asking who they are differentiates you from everyone else they’ll meet at the event, but also lets you get to know more about who they really are.
  2. Ask “How can I help you?” Again, listen to what they need. Maybe even jot a note on their business card. If you encounter someone at that event (or later) who fills that need, introduce the two of them. You will be well-remembered, and you’ve begun a relationship.

You’re starting a conversation, not taking a test. So these questions are designed to provoke that conversation, and there may be some interchange that takes place between the two questions.

I’ve always listened naturally for how I can create value for those I meet—especially if they’re a prospect or client—but reframing my questions to those above has had a very positive effect on my network creation.

Being able to stand out from the crowd is a skill that you can learn and these questions are a good way to do that. At the next networking event you attend, or even the next person you meet for the first time, try asking these straightforward questions and see what kind of response you get. I bet it will work out very well for you.

Speaking of networking, our next event is How Successful Entrepreneurs Raise Funds from Banks in Irvine on Wednesday, April 18 at 6pm. We hope to see you there!

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Use Design Thinking to Have a Full Classroom

This one is for all the professors at Cal State Fullerton!

On April 18 and 19 (it’s one seminar that is being offered on both of these dates), SINC will be hosting a seminar on “How to Always Have a Full Classroom By Using Design Thinking to Create and Continuously Innovate Your Teaching Curriculum.” For more information, please go here (you may be asked to sign into your CSUF account).

SINC, Student Innovation Collective, was founded in 2016 by CSUF Students. They are a multidisciplinary group of students working together to tackle social issues that we all care about through design innovation. They have worked with companies and organizations like: Google, Stanford University, and the OC Register.

SINC Flyer

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Come see CSUF Startup Competition Winners at Road to a Better Future Car Show

On Saturday, April 21, you can come out and support the winners of the CSUF Startup Competition. Alan Cerna and Branden Wells, creators of Apprentice Builds, will be there promoting their nonprofit that aims to give teenagers a leg up in the world by providing them with the opportunity to learn critically important skills by working on hot rods. If you’re in the area and like cars at all, or just want to meet Alan and Branden, then you should absolutely consider attending this event.

Event details below.

Apprentice Builds at Road to a Better Future Car Show

Come see CSUF Entrepreneurship student nonprofit Apprentice Builds at Road to a Better Future Car Show

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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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Ignite 22 on April 12 – Tickets on Sale Now!

Ignite 22Hosted by Braid Theory, who are good friends and supporters of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community, Ignite 22 is a day long conference about all things futuristic and technological. This year’s Ignite 22 (tickets available now, while supplies last) features a number of interesting panels and showcases that we are sure you will want to see.

Now maybe you’re asking “Who should attend Ignite 22?” Since you asked, here’s their response:

IGNITE22 is the event where entrepreneurs meet investors; corporate leaders find out about emerging technologies that are impacting their industries; and researchers learn about market opportunities for their scientific discoveries. It’s a place to break down silos and engage with passionate tech innovators from across industry sectors and around the world. And most importantly, IGNITE22 is a celebration and a gathering of individuals that want to look beyond today to help shape the 22nd century!

Here are the details for the event:

Location for Ignite 22

AltaSea at the Port of LA

Berth 58, 2456 Signal Street

San Pedro, CA 90731

Date for Ignite 22


To find out more and to reserve your tickets, please go to

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Leverage Market Insights into Startup Success! @ CSUF Startup this Wednesday in Irvine

Barry Lieberman

Barry Lieberman

This Wednesday at 6pm we welcome Barry Lieberman to the CSUF Startup Incubator in Irvine to talk about the many lessons he has learned in growing businesses from a variety of industries. Attendance is free, register now, (you will have to pay for parking if you don’t already have a parking pass) and below is some more information about this important event.

There is nothing worse for us at the CSUF Startup Incubator then seeing entrepreneurs come in with fully made products that they can’t seem to figure out how to sell. It’s a tough situation, it really is, but the best solution that we can give these entrepreneurs is to restart with the most important question an entrepreneur should concern himself with: What does the customer want?

Sometimes, entrepreneurs and executives forget this simple question and will focus their company’s limited resources on products and services that their customers do not want. This is a bad spot to be in and while the best solution is to keep the customers’ wants at the forefront of your strategy all the time there is still hope for those entrepreneurs who fall astray of this.

Our speaker, Barry Lieberman, has started businesses and turned around existing businesses all with a focus on discerning who his customers are, what they want, and, most importantly, why they make the decisions that they make. In this talk at the CSUF Startup Incubator, Barry will delve into the strategies that he has used over the last couple of decades as a successful entrepreneur and turnaround specialist. These strategies will be useful to entrepreneurs of all kinds, whether you are just starting out or you have created a product that you cannot find a product-market fit for we think that this talk can significantly help you.

We hope to see you there!

More about Barry

Barry is a passionate leader and operations expert with deep experience in scaling business operations, product commercialization, market fit & customer lifecycle marketing. He orchestrates the people, processes, capital and technology that enables an organization to increase revenue, market position and customer care.

Over the past 10 years he has been in executive roles as a change artist to enable organizations (Western Digital, Targus, Q-See, ATEN/IOGEAR, etc.) to implement modern marketing, demand generation and customer care operations.

For 17 years he owned and operated Advantage Plus Marketing Group, Inc. (APMG), an early pioneering B2B marketing services firm focused on executing demand/lead generation marketing programs for major technology brands (HP, Oracle, Sun, DEC, Compaq, IBM, Cognos, Avnet, WebEx, Audi, Hyandai, Liberty Mutual, HireRight, etc.).

To make an appointment for these office hours, please click the registration button above and pick the half hour timeslot that works best for you. If you have a lot of questions, you may select two half hour timeslots. Please cancel or reschedule with a 24 hour notice so that others may claim that time slot.

Directions and Parking

You will need to purchase a parking permit to park on this campus. Our office is located in the building at 1 Banting, which is the main building for Western State Law School. You cannot park in their parking lot, you will need to park on the Cal State Fullerton side. Information for parking, including how to purchase a parking pass for your meeting, can be found here:


Keep in touch with the weekly CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider:

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship:

To connect with the CSUF Entrepreneurship team:

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