CSUF Entrepreneur Success Story: Amerika Bernal '15

Amerika Bernal

My career at Cal State Fullerton began with an unknown path. In my first year of college I did not declare my major as I did not know what lifetime career I wanted to choose. During my third year in college, I came to the sudden realization as to what my career choice would be. That choice was to become a certified public accountant and work for a well respected company. As a 22-year-old student full of ideas and ambition to achieve something greater than myself, I always knew that I wanted to do something more with my life.

Throughout my teen and young adult years I have always had ideas, but I neither had the courage nor the motivation to act on them as far as making them something tangible. It was not until the end of the year 2013 that I decided to take a chance and compete in the 2014 Business Plan Competition at Cal State Fullerton. It was during this year that I pushed myself to make my dream of making a high quality sound reduction system for outdoor use a reality.

The competition brought out the absolute best in me. Seven months prior to the competition, I spent a great deal of time preparing, planning, recruiting, brainstorming and creating a network for my business plan. With many unknown variables I was encountering, I knew that I needed to recruit a team that was ambitious and motivated to execute the business plan. I managed to partner up with two individuals that met these qualities, Stephan Kungl and Andreas Shauer.

Amerika Bernal (Center) accepting the Ed Huizinga Innovative Idea Prize at this year’s CSUF Business Plan Competition from Dorota Huizinga (L) and John Bradley Jackson (R)

In the business world there is an emphasis on the importance of networking. With the help of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Cal State Fullerton, I was introduced to many professional networking events located in Irvine and Newport Beach. During these events I was able to make connections, market myself and build relationships with successful entrepreneurs. I now regularly attend events at two of Orange County’s largest technology and business based networks, Tech in Motion and TechCoast Venture Network (TCVN). It was at one of these events that I won my first elevator pitch competition and received recognition amongst 250 people that attended the event.

As a young and ambitious woman entrepreneur, I have received nothing but positive feedback from many businesspeople that I have encountered. I have managed to build a network, name, and identity for myself. All of which wouldn’t have been possible if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone and entered the professional business world. My experiences, accomplishments and recognitions thus far have been very rewarding and I am very thankful for all that has happened in my life. My mission in life is to inspire and motivate young women entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and make them a reality.

Thinking about becoming a CSUF Entrepreneurship student? Click here for more information or, better yet, drop by our offices in Mihaylo Hall room 3280.

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