CSUF Startup Incubator – A Student’s Perspective

Merry Christmas!

The following is a special gift to the CSUF Startup Incubator from one of our CSUF Entrepreneurship students, Nick Zerbst. This semester, Nick took Professor Loggia-Kee’s Communication 101 course and as part of that course he had the opportunity to write an article about the CSUF Startup Incubator.

This is a great article in many ways but what I like the most about it is that it enables us to get a look into how one of our students views the CSUF Startup Incubator. Without further ado, what follows is Nick’s article in toto.

CSUF Startup Incubator from a Student’s Perspective

By Nick Zerbst

Cal State Fullerton brings opportunity and knowledge to all individuals seeking to experience the entrepreneurial spirit, utilizing its state-of-the-art CSUF Startup Incubator to teach how to start a business from the ground up.

The purpose of the CSUF Startup Incubator is to teach the disciplines of entrepreneurship, with the goal of creating a new entrepreneurial culture that betters the lives of the students and strengthens the community.

The CSUF Startup Incubator, with offices located in Placentia and Irvine, is the child of the Center of Entrepreneurship located in Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. The Center was founded in 2001 and has greatly contributed toward Mihaylo being recognized as the largest accredited business school in the state of California.

An entrepreneurial culture, according to Orange County entrepreneurs, such as Cal State Fullerton Professor John Jackson, is a mindset with the community that fosters and mentors the entrepreneurial spirit. His definition of an entrepreneur, is someone who has the ability to see unique opportunity in any situation, is willing to make changes both big and small, and is willing to accept high levels of risk to achieve a goal; while traditional entrepreneurs use these traits and abilities to create new business ventures that are creative and solve a problem, anyone can apply the entrepreneurial spirit to everyday life.

When asked about the Incubator, its founder, Professor Jackson stated, “Any startup that goes through our process comes out of it changed, hopefully for the better because that’s what the Incubator does. The Incubator challenges startups startup founders to figure out what’s going to work, what’s not going to work, how to avoid problems… Only three percent of the population is truly entrepreneurial; that’s someone who has the guts to start a business and then makes it successful. In Cal State Fullerton, we have 200 entrepreneurship students, 11,000 business students, and 41,000 students across the entire campus.”

The Incubator highlights this thought process and teaches people to take control of their own ideas. The Incubator is open to all students and members of the surrounding community who are interested in pursuing different paths. The Incubator offers significant value through tailored advice and business-related coaching to all of its residents. The Incubator is made up of full-time staff, affiliated professors, CSUF Consulting teams, and veteran entrepreneurs who graciously volunteer their time.

The student consulting teams are eager to help residents flesh out ideas and complete hefty amounts of research on target markets and developing business models. The Incubator utilizes the “lean startup method” which is the process of streamlining research and development of a growable business concept, by using hypothesized experimentation, direct target customer feedback, and flexible pivotal mindsets. The Incubator’s main focuses include business concept development, funding strategies, coaching, and presentation planning to help with future meetings with investors.

The amount of time an entrepreneur spends in the Incubator is six months, which is meant to encourage budding entrepreneurs to operate at a faster speed. While some startups, depending on the business concept, require more time and effort to get off the ground, the Incubator has had a high success rate of quickly starting new ventures on the path to success in a short window of time. The average cost of the Incubator is only $5,000 for six months, and access to all the tools and support it has to offer; this is in stark contrast to other incubators, which can cost upwards of $25,000 a year.

The Incubator’s goal is to foster an entrepreneurial culture that helps the residents of Orange County prosper. While not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, the Incubator shows that anyone can be one. The entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset that encourages individuals to look on the bright side of life, pursue unique opportunities, and to not be scared when it comes to risk; by doing so, a community can do nothing but grow and strengthen.

Thank you, Nick, for this great article!

CSUF Startup Incubator

Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the CSUF Startup Incubator work with our entrepreneurial experts over a six month intensive launch period that includes: access to office space, quarterly investor pitches our entrepreneurs can participate in, free events, a dedicated one-on-one coaching relationship with one of our more than 700 startup experts, and so much more! If you are ready to learn the right way to go from concept to launch, please go to this page or contact a CSUF Startup Incubator representative at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *