Tag Archives: CSUF Startup Incubator

CSUF Startup Incubator Resident Launches!

Ayisha Fareed and Nick Panhwar, the founders of Team Knit, a CSUF Startup Incubator Resident

Ayisha Fareed and Nick Panhwar, the founders of Team Knit, a CSUF Startup Incubator Resident

In this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider (if you haven’t already subscribed you should!) Director Jackson talks about CSUF Startup Incubator resident TeamKnit’s launch, remembering Steve Forell, a rundown of all the events and office hours we will be hosting in the coming weeks, and links to other posts.

Let me tell you about TeamKnit, a startup that is being launched out of the CSUF Startup Incubator today.

Founded by the husband and wife team of Nick Panwhar and Ayisha Fareed, TeamKnit’s mission is to revolutionize the way that teams collaborate. Their critical insight into team communications that I think separates their offering from all the rest on the market is that they bring together all the components of collaboration into a single, seamless solution. These components are: communication, execution, engagement, and knowledge.

We go into greater detail about their startup in a post we recently published but the key takeaway for me in regards to the success they have been able to achieve so far is that they have a strong team of founders and engineers working on TeamKnit. Nick has a strong background in sales, Ayisha is a fantastic engineer, and they both have experience managing and running companies. Looking at it this way, it’s no surprise that this strong team has created a product that will help build stronger teams.

This exciting news is tempered by the fact that last week a dear friend of mine since high school and a member of our CSUF Entrepreneurship community, Steve Forell, passed away unexpectedly. Steve is survived by his wife, Sheri, and three children: Megan Forell, Randy Forell, and Crystal Tousignant.

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

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TeamKnit: CSUF Startup Resident Launches Business Collaboration Software

Ayisha Fareed and Nick Panhwar, the founders of Team Knit, a CSUF Startup Incubator Resident

Ayisha Fareed and Nick Panhwar, the founders of Team Knit, a CSUF Startup Incubator Resident

Late last year while we were in the process of launching the Irvine location for the CSUF Startup Incubator we met a husband and wife team with an innovative concept for revolutionizing the way that teams get work done. Nick Panhwar, the husband and CEO, and his CTO wife, Ayisha Fareed had impressive backgrounds in tech and sales and their product, TeamKnit, looked like a combination of all the best features of the various productivity and collaboration tools that we all use on a daily basis. So it was a very easy decision to accept them in the first group of Residents at the CSUF Startup Incubator (Irvine).

Since then they have been hard at work developing their product, running through a beta test, and working on the public launch of their product, TeamKnit. Along the way, they have benefited from mentors like Director John Bradley Jackson, CSUF Startup Incubator Manager Phillip Stinis, Professor Scott Sorrell, and their Startup Coach Jeff Greenberg.

What is Team Knit? “TeamKnit is an all-in-one team productivity tool that helps simplify and create a stress free workplace for all,” says Mr. Panwhar. “TeamKnit combines the best features of popular productivity tools into one powerful yet easy to use solution. TeamKnit helps teams talk to each other, work with each other, get to know each other, and share information with each other. TeamKnit cultivates a more productive workforce through focusing on improving and integrating four specific areas: Communication, Execution, Engagement, and Knowledge. We call this the CEEK Philosophy.”

CEEK, pronounced “seek”, is the sine qua non of collaboration and something that Nick says isn’t being done well by competitors like Slack, Asana, and Basecamp. And we agree. Every available solution is missing at least one, usually two or three, of the CEEK components.

Here’s a powerful example of how TeamKnit can benefit a team: Continue reading

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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Funding Moonshots – STEM Startups with Jim Cooper @ CSUF Startup

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper

You have heard the saying that goes something like “The longest journey begins with one step”. Well, that’s pretty applicable to any kind of successful business as well. Before you create the next billion dollar business you will have to raise your first dollar. Maybe it’s through sales, money you have saved up, money from family and friends, investors, or grants.

There are a lot of options here and that is why the CSUF Startup Incubator is excited to be hosting an expert in this field, Jim Cooper, for a seminar about funding the next big thing: your business.

This event will be at the CSUF Startup Incubator (Placentia) on Wednesday, March 14 at 6pm. We hope to see you there!

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/funding-moonshots-stem-startups-with-jim-cooper-csuf-startup-tickets-42890187706?aff=blog

Description

Funding doesn’t have to be the most difficult thing that you do as an entrepreneur. Actually, if you do it right, it can be an extremely enjoyable experience where you not only will be able to (hopefully) raise money to start and grow your business but learn a lot about how the experts view your company.

As a co-founder and CTO of an early stage incubator, Jim Cooper has worked with dozens of startups on creating and executing various funding strategies from conventional seed rounds consisting of investments from family and friends to federal grants. Jim has employed or knows about just about every type of startup funding strategy there is and will be sharing some of his top strategies with attendees.

About Jim Cooper

Jim Cooper has had over 20 years of startups, market research, market intelligence and competitive analysis experience. He has assisted companies enter the United States market, and has helped many other companies entering markets further afield.

He is CTO of Braid Theory, an early-stage startup advisory and consulting group located in Los Angeles

He also created a consultancy, Conscientia Research, and as a full-service Market Research business its goals are to make businesses successful and competitive by employing research to understand markets, so a business doesn’t have to rely on assumptions about how a market works.

He employs a number of services, including market sizing, primary and secondary research, customer validation, market validation, competitive analysis and strategy, regulatory and standards compliance, supply-chain optimization, production analysis and business planning.

Jim has been a Principal Advisor to companies seeking Phase I and Phase II Commercialization through SBIR grants. With his assistance, businesses have utilized his research products to enhance the growth projections for their business and strengthened their market capabilities.

Jim’s specialties include: Market Intelligence, Market Validation Research, Economic Development, Small Business Issues, Competitive Analysis and Strategies, Supply Chain Optimization, Market Entry, Production Strategy, wrapped in timely and actionable recommendations.

Jim is trained in economics, political science, biology and mathematics, in both the United States and his birth country, Australia. He holds positions on business advisory boards, lending his experience and broad knowledge to startups. He is a mentor to CSU students NSF i-Corps teams.

Jim is interested in STEM/STEAM and Linked Learning education initiatives, and how that channels into innovation, and Lean Start-ups. He uses an evidence-based entrepreneurship approach to increase intellectual capital

Parking

Please park on South Bradford Avenue. Our building is located next to the fire department and our offices are in the back of the building at 120 South Bradford Avenue.


#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:
http://bit.ly/CSUFknowledge

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

Startup Marketing: How to Reach People on a Budget @ CSUF Startup

CSUF Entrepreneurship graduates are go-getters who have a knack for getting things done against the odds. Candace Thome ’16 is no exception. She started a nonprofit called Swim Brayv with little in the way of resources on hand and has grown it in less than two years into a thriving organization that teaches children the importance of water safety.

On Wednesday, February 28 at 6pm she along with Rob Kee of Enlarge Media will be at the CSUF Startup Incubator (Placentia) to give a seminar on the best practices for creating a winning startup marketing strategy. We hope to see you there!

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-marketing-how-to-reach-people-on-a-budget-csuf-startup-tickets-42858352486?aff=blog

Description

Entrepreneurship is about many things but all entrepreneurs quickly find out that their main job is business development and a big part of that is marketing. But you are just starting out and unless you have investors or have saved up a lot of money you will have to figure out a way to get your message out to your target market on a tight budget. How do you do this?

It’s not easy but recent CSUF Entrepreneurship alumnus Candace Thome along with marketing executive Rob Kee of Enlarge Media have figured out how to do it. After graduation, Candace started a nonprofit organization called Swim Brayv with very little seed capital. Since she launched about two years ago she has grown her organization to impressive heights through grit and by following many of the lessons that she learned while a student at Cal State Fullerton.

At this seminar, you will learn the marketing strategies she and Rob used to grow Swim Brayv. These lessons are not only applicable to nonprofits, they are timeless strategies that can be used in any kind of business. In fact, building a nonprofit is, in many ways, much more difficult than a forprofit business. Nonprofits have very high failure rates, much higher than most business actually. What she has done has worked for her and it can work for you as well.

We hope to see you there!

About the Speakers

Rob Kee started Enlarge Media, a boutique marketing & advertising firm, with his partner Jay Brown over a decade ago. They have been at the forefront of online marketing, offering social media marketing since before Facebook had Business pages, and Instagram existed. Over the past decade they have helped hundreds of brands creatively develop; from startups to large, reputable corporations.

Enlarge Media is a creative based marketing & advertising firm with solutions for all your marketing & advertising needs. In-House Marketing & Advertising Services include: Art/Graphics, Content Creation, Public Relations, Sales, Experiential Marketing, Reputation Management, Media Training, Web Development, Media Buying, S.E.O., Branding and Marketing Strategy Development.

www.EnlargeMedia.com

Candace Thome is a consultant with Enlarge Media & Founder of Swim Brayv Foundation.

Personal Consulting Specialties Include:

Experiential Marketing – from attendee demographics and booth operational flow, to event brand representation I am well versed in both small and large scale events.

Media Training – preparing clients for professional presentations to large scale interviews. Making sure they’re comfortable in the public and media’s eyes to best represent their brand/company.

Branding – very experienced at consulting for entrepreneurial startups and guiding through branding strategy and development. Including everything from brand logo/colors to a long-term branding strategies (Can also assist with existing branding pivots).

Marketing Strategy Development – able to assist owners and/or operational and financial management representatives with the development of a cohesive and strategic marketing plan.

I am also the Founder of Swim Brayv Foundation. A nonprofit that creatively engages and educates the public on water safety.

Did you know that the most up-to-date scientific evidence shows someone loses their life to Drowning approximately every 30 seconds?!

So, how can you help save lives?

Join Swim Brayv Foundation in our efforts to engage and educate on water safety.Take the Swim B.R.A.Y.V. Pledge along with us and become an advocate for water/swim safety!

See the full pledge on our website.

This particular issue of public safety is close to heart because my younger brother, Brayv, passed away after drowning.

Check out our Facebook page and email us for further information.

Together we can…

Save Lives. Swim Brayv.

Parking

Please park on South Bradford Avenue. Our building is located next to the fire department and our offices are in the back of the building at 120 South Bradford Avenue.


#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:
http://bit.ly/CSUFknowledge

Why Would a Business Promote on Aidtree?

aidtreeAidtree is an online promotion platform for businesses to promote their products via digital coupons with the majority of the proceeds from the coupon purchase (70-90%) going to causes the customer supports.

Aidtree operates much like an online Entertainment Book. The key points are:

  • Businesses can reach out to their community and help causes in their area without tracking purchases; mass fundraisers and requiring extra help.
  • Businesses can change their coupon at any time giving control and ensuring profitability.
  • The coupon is valid for only 30 days where the purchases gets a refund.
  • Once the coupon is used 70-90% of the purchase price of the coupon is sent to the cause the purchaser supports.
  • Coupon creation is a simple formula: If a Customer comes in and purchases X the business is willing to discount Y. Discount examples are as follows:
    • $5 coupon for $25 purchase
    • $7.50 coupon for $50 purchase
    • $10 coupon off a Set Meal order
  • NO money exchanges hands between the businesses and Aidtree.
  • Aidtree is FREE with NO STRESS!

Aidtree promotes the businesses to the causes and encourages the use of at least one coupon per month. All a business has to do is honor the coupon that they created. It’s as easy as that!

Ready to get started with Aidtree?