Sigma Upsilon Mu's 8 Hour Business Challenge at Cal State Fullerton

Michael Sawitz, founder of FastStart.studio and sponsor of three entrepreneurial scholarships to CSUF student-entrepreneurs every year, mentoring a team at the 8 Hour Business Challenge.
Michael Sawitz, founder of FastStart.studio and sponsor of three entrepreneurial scholarships to CSUF student-entrepreneurs every year, mentoring a team at the 8 Hour Business Challenge. [Source: Sigma Upsilon Mu]
Sigma Upsilon Mu is the most active student group dedicated to entrepreneurship on the Cal State Fullerton campus and just a few days ago they held a great competition called the 8 Hour Business Challenge. This competition was open to university students from all across the area and required an amazing amount of work from the competing teams. In total, six teams competed this time around working hard to develop their ideas and prepare slide decks and investor pitches in the eight hour time limit.

One of the competitors, Vanesa Ganaden, had this to say about her experience in this competition:

We worked really hard as a team during that competition. We faced a lot of technical difficulties and half the time, our group was split. But we made it through and we got it done. We won three awards: best concept, best presentation and best social media award. I’m proud of our team because we all worked together despite all the odds. We worked with Michael Sawitz as our mentor and he was also instrumental in helping us shape our ideas.

We were able to provide a few mentors for this competition and they were able to help the teams more fully develop their concepts. One mentor, Mark Adams, had this to say about his experience:

Mentoring during the recent contest was one of my highlights of my past several years. The students were eager, enthusiastic and committed. I found the organizers to be competent, aware, proactive and courteous from the time I received directions and campus maps.

My team was a compilation  of students from Cal State Fullerton, Cal State LA and UC Riverside.
Their business concept was a collaboration of diverse experiences and ideas and was formulated completely by them. For my part I advised on slide deck sequences, how investors like to view presentations and strategic and tactical thinking and planning. Basically I assisted with real life scenarios while the students did the processes.

At the end of the collaboration my team came in second overall and their pitch was voted #1. I can’t express the joy and satisfaction you get when helping students learn to succeed in real life business environments.

That’s awesome, thank you Mark!

And here is the write up from Sigma Upsilon Mu on the competition along with a wealth of pictures from the event.


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We teach, coach and lead the principled, cross-disciplinary practice of entrepreneurship. We believe that, through determined practice, leadership and team work, our students, faculty, clients, volunteers and alums can systematically recombine the new and the old to forge new ventures, create an entrepreneurial culture, and dramatically benefit our community.

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