CSUF Startup Incubator Resident Ben Yip

Ben Yip has launched his business, Aidtree, with the help of the CSUF Startup Incubator
Ben Yip has launched his business, Aidtree, with the help of the CSUF Startup Incubator

Starting a business is no easy task, even for a former investment banker like Ben Yip. About a year ago, Ben came to the CSUF Startup Incubator looking for help with the launch of his philanthropic app called Aidtree. Aidtree is a philanthropic coupon retailer that enables people to purchase discounts at the establishments that they frequent and a portion of all of those sales goes to a cause that the people purchasing the coupons supports.

Prior to consulting with the CSUF Startup Incubator, Ben had been independently crafting the Aidtree website. Although he had a strong understanding of how he wanted his site to run and knew what he wanted it to look like, he exhausted his skills in building it.

“The Incubator helped transition these elements into an actual business with implementation guidance and positive support from my advisers,” Ben said. Looking for help and knowing he was not at a stage where he could bring his company to venture capitalists, Ben turned to the CSUF Startup incubator. After meeting with the CSUF Startup Incubator staff Ben was convinced that they had the knowledge and the connections to help him start his business.

“From the first meeting I knew that Ben was dedicated to making Aidtree work. It is his passion. We love working with entrepreneurs like him because they have determination to keep on making progress even when things inevitably get tough,” said Entrepreneur in Residence Travis Lindsay.

When Ben brought Aidtree to the CSUF Startup Incubator he was in the minimum viable product (MVP) stage of development, which is kind of like an alpha version of a product or service. He was trying to create his website to satisfy the early adopters of Aidtree. The CSUF Startup Incubator helped Ben develop his MVP into a more functional offering. “The Incubator helped transition [my MVP] into an actual business with implementation guidance and positive support from my advisers.”

Before coming to the Incubator, Ben had gone to several other incubators to see what they could do to help his company; but none of them were a fit. He chose the CSUF Startup Incubator because it’s mentors provided him with the help and encouragement he was looking for. “They were unlike a lot of other venture firms,” reflected Ben on the Incubator, “They said, ‘how can we help?’ That was very refreshing.”

Reflecting on his time as a resident at the Incubator, Ben was satisfied with his results. The Incubator helped me move to the next level of my startup development.”  He also complimented the Incubator on its enthusiasm and the depth of knowledge from the Incubator’s faculty and mentors as well as the Incubator’s vast network.

As of now, Aidtree has successfully launched a soft rollout in the Fullerton Area and is working on adding more businesses, causes, and users to the site.


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