Category Archives: Press

CSUF Startup wins Pasadena Angels Competition

Alan Cerna and Branden Wells First Place in CSUF Startup Competition

Fresh off their win at the CSUF Startup Competition Alan Cerna (left) and Branden Wells (right) have gone on to win a pitch competition hosted by the Pasadena Angels. Well done guys!

Fresh off their win at the CSUF Startup Competition Alan Cerna and Branden Wells have gone on to win a pitch competition hosted by the Pasadena Angels. Their philanthropic startup Apprentice Builds’ mission of getting at-risk youth off the street and into auto shop won over a field of a dozen other startups.

What was special about this win, and shows the character of these two, is that there were no financial awards or promises of any kind. I firmly believe that one of the key things that separates entrepreneurs who go on to accomplish great things and those that don’t is the ability to show up and take advantage of opportunities that others overlook. Alan and Branden certainly have done this time and again.

Even though they did not take home any cash prizes they did, as Alan pointed out, get exposure for their business and contacts with the Pasadena Angels community that can help them out in the future. Alan summed up the experience of pitching to the Pasadena Angels by saying “It’s about the value you bring to the table and the impact that your idea will [have] on others.”

Alan and Branden will next be at the Road to a Better Future car show this Saturday where they will meet with potential sponsors of Apprentice Builds. This event is at the Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana and is open to the public. If you’re a fan of hot rods or just want to meet these two CSUF entrepreneurs I hope you can attend this event.


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CSUF Entrepreneurship Students Working on Philanthropic Startup Interviewed by VoyageLA

Alan Cerna and Branden Wells Apprentice Builds CSUF Startup Competition Semifinals

Branden Wells (left) and Alan Cerna at the CSUF Startup Competition Semifinals. They and their business, Apprentice Builds, were recently covered in VoyageLA and you can see them on Friday, April 6 at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals as they vie for a share of the more than $10,000 in scholarships and in-kind services.

We tell people this all the time: Entrepreneurship is rarely about raising millions of dollars and launching a tech company. Rather, entrepreneurship is about innovating and working on solutions that will make the world a better place and that is exactly why two of our Entrepreneurship students, Branden Wells and Alan Cerna, were recently interviewed by VoyageLA.

Pictured above, Branden and Alan have been working on the launch of their startup, Apprentice Builds, since last fall both in the classroom and at the CSUF Startup Incubator. Apprentice Builds’ mission is to teach teenagers the skills and responsibilities that come along with working on cars, especially hot rods. As you probably already know all too well, most schools have been dropping classes like the ones that Apprentice Builds are creating for decades now and that has left a hole in the educational fabric.

You can see Branden and Alan compete in the upcoming CSUF Startup Competition Finals on April 6 as they vie for a share in the more than $10,000 in scholarships and in-kind services available to the finalists.

Here’s a small bit from the article, I strongly recommend that you read the remainder on the VoyageLA website:

Apprentice Builds is a non-profit organization program that serves all high students in the low income or at-risk areas by providing knowledge and an opportunity to participate in an apprenticeship. Apprentice Builds works to reduce gang membership, drug use, and dropout rates by providing an outlet where the youth can learn valuable skills needed in today’s workforce. Students gain hands on skills building hot rods with experience mechanics and fabricators.

What makes the organization unique is not only the fact that students get to work on cool hot rods and cars but are taught responsibility taking the apprenticeship as a job and not a program anyone can be a part of. One of the biggest goals of the organization is to help these students leave the program with a second chance at knowing they’re better people than what they’re taught to be. With a mentor by their side, every student will have the proper guidance to stay on track with their life goals.

Branden and Alan continue to diligently work on Apprentice Builds and, as a reminder, you can see them at the CSUF Startup Competition Finals on Friday, April 6 from 1pm to 4pm at the Titan Student Union. There, they will be vying for a portion of the more than $10,000 in scholarships and in-kind services with their Apprentice Builds concept.


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CSUF Consulting Team Covered in OC Register

CSUF Consulting Team with their client Open Castings

CSUF Consulting Team with their client Open Castings

Earlier this week, our CSUF Consulting team that took third place in the national SBI competition was covered in the OC Register. Here’s a taste:

A CSUF Consulting team placed third in a major national competition, the Small Business Institute Project of the Year, competing against about 100 other universities.

Chad Armstrong ’17, Mary Cho ’17, Jonny May ’17 and Rachel Herzog ’18, backed by mentor Bob Godlasky and professor John Bradley Jackson, developed a comprehensive marketing plan for client Open Castings.

Open Castings is an online platform that allows actors to audition for roles and casting directors to find the best candidate. Involved with the client are alums Will and Bill Taormina, who are donors to the Center for Entrepreneurship, and alum Trevor Heath.

We previously covered this story in late February. Both articles are great but the students are really the ones who have shined in this!

We are currently in the process of recruiting growth-minded clients for the summer and fall sessions. If you or a business you know of could benefit from having a CSUF Consulting team like the nationally acclaimed one in this article then please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at 657-278-8243 or by emailing her at cymedina@fullerton.edu. Charlesetta will help walk you through the CSUF Consulting process and determine how one of our teams can help your business grow.


#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

New Cal State Fullerton incubator in Irvine will nurture local startups – OC Register

CSUF Startup Incubator Irvine Open House (8)The OC Register recently featured the CSUF Startup Incubator and our recent open house for our second Incubator office. Here’s an excerpt from the story:

Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Entrepreneurship opened a startup incubator in Irvine this month, joining a 2-year-old smaller one in Placentia. The new facility on the university’s Irvine campus houses space to provide coaching to entrepreneurs, host seminars and bring in experts – including lawyers, CPAs, marketers, and professors – to hold office hours.

“Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking. It’s a way of doing,” said John Bradley Jackson, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the startup incubators, at a reception Nov. 15 celebrating the opening. There are about 200 CSUF students majoring in business administration with an entrepreneurship concentration.

“They’re all just a little different,” Jackson said. “They’ve got something going on. They’re selling stuff on Craigslist, on eBay, Amazon. They’re saying, ‘I don’t want to work for Amazon or B of A. I kind of want to do my own thing.’ I always felt they needed a place to go to get some support to do that, and that’s what our new incubator is.”

We are looking forward to doing many great things in our Irvine office and hope that you can be a part of that.


#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

Faculty and Business Leaders Rally to Open CSUF’s Second Startup Incubator

Students like Rachel Herzog '18 will greatly benefit from the new CSUF Startup Incubator Irvine location.

Students like Rachel Herzog ’18 will greatly benefit from the new CSUF Startup Incubator Irvine location.

Cal State Fullerton’s News Center recently published a great article about the new CSUF Startup Incubator location that we are opening up at the CSUF Irvine campus. Below is an excerpt and make sure to check the whole article out:

“We’re also attracting a different type of business in Irvine,” Jackson added, comparing the Irvine location to the University’s Placentia site on Bradford Avenue. “High-tech is the predominant partner in Irvine.”

CSUF’s incubator offers six-month residencies for startups, connecting the company’s representative with a consulting team of students and their coach — a compatible mentor selected from a pool of 600 business leaders. Together the group works toward the resident’s goals, including studying market analysis, building a marketing strategy, creating a business plan, developing a startup team and launching the business.

Quarterly reviews and presentations keep the projects on schedule, and startups also can benefit from the University’s connections to potential investors and funding sources, Jackson said.

“The value to students is huge,” said Marc Pakbaz, a CSUF entrepreneurship ambassador and part-time lecturer. “We are not teaching from an education theme only. This is the best way to learn,” said the senior business consultant with AXORO. “I started my first business 30 years ago and I made mistakes. Thirty years ago, there weren’t mentors and coaches available to help.”


#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

Titan Fast Pitch Featured in OC Register

Titan Fast Pitch 2017 (71)Student entrepreneurship was on the ascendancy at the Titan Fast Pitch and the Orange County Register took notice! Here’s a little bit from their article, QR code wins CSUF student a place among aspiring entrepreneur:

CSUF’s Daniel Cazares took home fourth place for his proposal, Good Neighbor, which is a QR code pasted on the windshield of vehicles that allows people who pass a car with a problem such as a broken windshield or flat tire to notify the owner about the problem.

Participants were judged on criteria including quantified market, product differentiation, clear value proposition, compelling technology and scalability as well as their presentation.


#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

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