Vinay Kathuria is the founder of Shomee, an event-based startup that aggregates virtual events tailored for families looking for interesting things to do online. The CSUF Startup Incubator helped Vinay land on this solution through an exhaustive customer discovery process that identified the true pain points customers were feeling. In a little over a month, Vinay’s startup has already received traction in terms of both building up a community and the acquisition of advertisers on Shomee.
About the CSUF Startup Incubator
The CSUF Startup Incubator is hosted by California State University, Fullerton to help entrepreneurs launch their business concepts. Our focus is on helping entrepreneurs learn how to bootstrap, or self-fund, their business’ launch with a lean startup methodology. Every entrepreneur, even those without a direct connection to Cal State Fullerton, is welcomed.
The process begins with an application and a series of meetings with CSUF Startup Incubator staff to determine the best course of action for the entrepreneur. Once an entrepreneur has been accepted into the CSUF Startup Incubator they become what we call a Resident and the real work begins.
Every six month residency (extendible at the discretion of the Resident) starts out with an all hands meeting that includes CSUF Startup Incubator staff, the Resident and their team, and the Startup Coach, who is chosen from our pool of 600+ mentors based on their applicable skills and compatibility with the Resident and their startup. At this meeting a detailed Startup Plan is created that is designed to accomplish the Resident’s goals, which usually include: launch, determining marketing strategy, creation of a business plan, development of a startup team, and/or many other outcomes.
Over the course of the next six months or more, the Resident will have frequent, often weekly, meetings with their Startup Coach along with additional meetings with CSUF Startup Incubator staff to monitor progress made on the Startup Plan. Additionally, each Resident is paired with a CSUF Consulting team to help in the development of a strategy that advances a specific part of the Startup Plan; for example, the creation of a business plan or market analysis.
Upon graduation from the CSUF Startup Incubator, Residents will have made tremendous progress in launching their businesses. Six months is an aggressive schedule but we are confident that is enough time for our Residents to internalize the lean startup fundamentals that we use to develop each Startup Plan. And while we do focus on bootstrapping we know that every startup is unique and that some startups will need capital from investors such as the Titan Angels, Tech Coast Angels, or another angel or VC funding source. For those fast growth startups, we help them prepare to raise capital and can make introductions to funding sources.
We are dedicated to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs develop the skills that they need to compete locally and globally. The CSUF Entrepreneurship program does many things,