CSUF Entrepreneur Success Story: Brian Cavanaugh '13

CSUF Entrepreneur Success Story - Brian CavanaughEntering college, I thought I was going to be an Art major with hopes of becoming a graphic designer.  A couple of semesters later, my mind shifted from graphic art to photography, and I set my sights on a potential career in commercial photography. However, during a semester in a photography class, I shared my ambitions with my professor who shared an interesting outlook on my career path. She recommended that rather than studying for a degree in Photography, I should consider majoring in Business, as many artists and photographers are good at their craft, but lack solid business skills. After some thought, I agreed and set my sights on an Entrepreneurship degree from CSUF.

As I progressed from semester to semester, I built my foundation in business while maintaining my artistic endeavors through photography. However, as time passed I began to realize that entrepreneurship is the ultimate art form. It was a perfect fit for me as it allowed me to exercise practical business know how, but with the creative freedom that is hard to find in a corporate setting. A good entrepreneur must be artistic in the way he or she thinks about new problems and use their creativity to adapt to constantly changing situations. Not only must an entrepreneur be business savvy, they must possess an eye for design. As the competitive landscape for new companies gets thicker with more innovative websites and mobile applications, a large amount of tech startups will tell you that beautiful, intuitive design is part of their competitive advantage. Realizing this, I really began to feel like I had hit the sweet spot in everything I was looking for in a career path. All I needed was to put it all into practice and found my own startup. So I did.

While at CSUF, I noticed that there were a lot of great ideas being passed around, but not much progress was made as the student teams were built of only business majors. Many innovative tech ideas were pitched, but without a technical teammate, or an artistic teammate, there was no one on the team who could actually design and develop the products. With this in mind, I discussed this issue with a close friend of mine from UCLA and we created a solution. ENDVRS.com matches innovative ideas with the talent it needs to make an idea a reality. It’s for those business majors looking for a technical co-founder, or the tech guru that’s looking for a designer… etc.

In the summer of 2014, my co-founders and I were accepted into the StartupUCLA Accelerator program where we spent long days and several all-nighters building our platform and running our little company. I wear many hats as part of the co-founding team, including business development, marketing, and of course, designer. One thing this experience has taught me is that if you want to succeed, you must have an inherent desire to keep learning. The learning does not stop the last day in the classroom, but begins the second you enter the real world. By no means do I consider myself a successful entrepreneur yet, but I continue to push myself to learn new skills everyday so that one day when opportunity arises, I’ll be ready to attack with no hesitation.  Founding and running a startup is a beautifully chaotic process, but I am confident that with continuous learning and my foundation from CSUF, I will be ready for an exciting and challenging future.

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