[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | CSUN Bull Ring Competition Returns with More than $60K in Prizes | 03-06-2017
Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 27
1971 - Community preview night (pre-grand opening), Magic Mountain [story]

The second annual California State University, Northridge Bull Ring New Venture Competition kicks off this spring, with students pitching their innovative ideas for business startups — in hopes of winning part of the $60,000 purse.

The competition is co-hosted by CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics and the university’s on-campus branch of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI@CSUN). The contest connects teams of entrepreneurial CSUN students with business professionals, executives, experienced entrepreneurs and experts in various fields.

Twenty semifinalist teams will be selected shortly after the March 5 application deadline, followed by a four- to six-week “incubation period” from mid-March to late April. During this time, local business and CSUN faculty mentors will help students refine their business models and master the art of the “pitch” for a trade show-style semifinals event. If they advance further, students also will participate in a final event modeled after the hit ABC TV show “Shark Tank.” The semi-final event will take place on April 4 and the finals will be held on May 2.

The first-place team in the final competition will win $20,000 to fund its idea, while the second- and third-place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. Additionally, each of the 20 semifinalist teams will receive $250. The collective $60,000 in prize money is one of the largest award sums for this type of student competition in California, according to Ryan Holbrook, director of the Nazarian College’s Entrepreneurship Program.

Holbrook said the competition experience and potential cash rewards provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge necessary to bring their ideas to life.

“We’re striving to build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at CSUN,” Holbrook said. “The Bull Ring Competition is an opportunity for students from all disciplines to find team members, receive coaching and mentoring, and ultimately compete for some serious startup capital. Big ideas often start out on the back of the proverbial cocktail napkin — but without the right resources, mindset and environment, the chances of them ever moving beyond paper are really slim.”

The cash prizes are sponsored by Jeff Marine, a CSUN alumnus who founded and serves as CEO of JEM Sportswear and Awake, Inc. — apparel manufacturing companies headquartered in San Fernando. Marine will serve as keynote speaker at the contest’s final event.

“I chose to get involved with CSUN’s Entrepreneurship Program because it’s an opportunity for me to really make an impact on empowering our students to think big — both about themselves and about their careers,” Marine said.

Vibe Probiotics, a startup that produces beverages containing probiotic bacteria — microorganisms with health benefits — won first place in last year’s Bull Ring Competition. The company also devotes a portion of its earnings to developing probiotic formulas for children who suffer from malnutrition and dehydration in impoverished regions.

Abed Rahman, Vibe Probiotics’ CEO and co-founder, led the winning 2016 team. Rahman, a CSUN alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management in 2015, said the most valuable lesson the competition taught him was to always plan ahead.

“[The biggest challenge was] covering every angle — figuring out weaknesses, and thinking [outside] the box to plan for the unexpected,” Rahman said. “We were fool-proofing the business plan, essentially.”

The student teams will be judged by an elite group of business professionals, including LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue, PCS Development CEO Paul Jennings, COACCEL co-founder Cam Kashani, R6S CEO Ash Sobhe and Enplug CEO Nanxi Liu. The feedback and mentorship from successful entrepreneurs is key to the competition, Holbrook said.

Tim Tiemann — a seasoned entrepreneur who has worked with many startups in the biotechnology industry and consults as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of California, Los Angeles — mentored Rahman and the Vibe Probiotics team during the 2016 competition. Tiemann called the experience a stellar opportunity.

“The availability of this prize money and the experience convinces students that it’s not just in their own head, but that other people can see it,” Tiemann said. “I asked them, ‘Have you thought about the first five steps? What will be the product’s impact? How much is each unit going to cost?’”

In addition to the prize money, the top three finishers will receive legal startup services courtesy of Bull Ring Competition partner DLA Piper, and marketing services donated by SKY, a self-described “psychological brand design studio.” They also will be awarded a three-month trial membership to LACI@CSUN — a business incubator partnered with CSUN that was ranked third by UBI Global on its list of World Top University Associated Business Incubators in 2015. Business incubators are companies that help startups develop and expand.

Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, LACI has an office at CSUN dedicated to helping entrepreneurs from CSUN and the greater San Fernando Valley develop and launch their startups. LACI provides companies with mentors, advisors, office and conference space, access to its prototyping facilities and an oversight engagement period that typically lasts five years.

The Bull Ring Competition is open to all current CSUN students. Teams are required to have a minimum of two members, and at least 50 percent of team members must be current CSUN students.

“Practice the pitch a million times,” Rahman advised student competitors. “Play to your strengths, but also know your weaknesses and understand them. Most importantly, don’t doubt yourself. Everyone will be nervous, but you can’t let that drag you down.”

For more information about the CSUN Bull Ring New Venture Competition, please visit www.csunbullring.com or contact Ryan Holbrook at ryan.holbrook@csun.eduor (818) 677-4510.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Related Content
Friday, May 26, 2017
When Jeanny Olivares, 22, crosses the stage on Friday, June 2, for College of the Canyons’ Commencement, she will be receiving two associate degrees in marketing and accounting, which she earned in a year-and-a-half’s time.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
In celebration of its 10th year anniversary, the College of the Canyons literary and arts magazine cul-de-sac will release its annual volume at a special reception on Friday, May 26, which will include readings from students.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
In recognition of how vital small businesses are to local economies, the City of Los Angeles and Small Business Administration (SBA) Resource Partners awarded John Pictaggi, owner of National Glass, an Outstanding Small Business Award at City Hall on May 1.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
College of the Canyons music student Justin Horwitz is one step close to his goal of becoming a music director thanks to a $21,000 transfer scholarship to Rider University in New Jersey.
Monday, May 22, 2017
A Ventura County lawmaker is proposing an overhaul of the state’s community college placement system, and College of the Canyons is one of the “models” for the program.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1971 - Community preview night (pre-grand opening), Magic Mountain [story]
West Ranch High School dedicated their new Wall of Honor on Friday, which was produced by four West Ranch High School ASB students.
West Ranch High School Unveils Wall of Honor
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the SCV Senior Center honored those who gave their life in service. Plus, SCVi students are building a "tiny house" for a homeless veteran. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, May 26, 2017
Fourth and fifth graders at Santa Clarita Valley International School are asking for the community’s assistance over Memorial Day weekend with fundraising for a “tiny house” they are building for a homeless veteran.
SCVi Students Raising Funds for Tiny House for Homeless Vet
Plambeck's objective, plain and simple, has always been about stopping development by any means possible. Her strategy involves multiple delay tactics, the worst being groundless litigation.
Chicken Little, Part 2 | Commentary by Dan Masnada
The city of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series, presented by Galpin Subaru, roars into June with a unique lineup of events including a classic Volkswagen car show, James Bond-themed SENSES Block Party and monthly variety show. Old Town Newhall is the hot spot on Thursday nights so grab your friends and family and come down for some fun.
Thursdays@Newhall June Lineup: Classic Volkswagen, James Bond, more
A feeling of delightful gratification for a mentor typically comes about when seeing a mentee develop and realize success. Their reward is in victories the students achieve, which are often seen as a measure of the instructor’s own success, positive influence and guidance. Such is the story of Dr. Luis S. Garcia and the Education Based Incarceration program.
Inmate Earns Doctoral Degree While in L.A. County Jail System
On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging leadership convened at the future location of the new Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and announced that only $2.3 million additional fundraising dollars needed to be raised before construction could begin on the Center.
New SCV Senior Center Waits on $2.3 Mil.
Peter Lambert tossed eight strong innings, but the San Jose Giants came from behind to knock off the JetHawks, 4-2, in the rubber game of the series on Thursday night at The Hangar.
San Jose Giants Beat JetHawks 4-2 Thursday
Ninety percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. It takes 10 minutes or less to learn how to keep a cardiac arrest victim alive until paramedics arrive. The County of Los Angeles Emergency Medical Services Agency, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and the American Heart Association are once again coordinating free hands-only CPR training on Sidewalk CPR Day, June 1, at over 50 sites across Los Angeles County to help improve cardiac survivability.
June 1: L.A. County Coordinates Sidewalk CPR Day
When Jeanny Olivares, 22, crosses the stage on Friday, June 2, for College of the Canyons’ Commencement, she will be receiving two associate degrees in marketing and accounting, which she earned in a year-and-a-half’s time.
COC Grad Earns Two Degrees While Facing Adversity
1907 - John Wayne born in Iowa; got start in movies filmed in Placerita Canyon [watch one]
The CLWA-NCWD merger is not a takeover, as Plambeck repeatedly insists. It is the product of months of discussion between two willing parties, which could be terminated at any time by either party or both parties.
Chicken Little, Part 1 | Commentary by Dan Masnada
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, deputies and volunteers trained for an active shooter situation at The Masters University Thursday morning. Plus, a girl is fighting for her life, leaving her family asking the community for blood donations to help her survive. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, May 25, 2017
Dr. Steven J. Golightly, Director of the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department (CSSD), was recognized on May 22 for his Department’s innovative efforts to improve child support services for L.A. County residents and his zeal for developing future leaders for government service to the public.
County Child Support Services Director Receives Excellence in Government Award
Motown in Town is back on Sunday, June 25 from 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
June 25: Motown in Town 2 at the Hyatt
Hot on the heels of the original Silicon Valley and the more recently named Silicon Beach, the current buzz is all about the Silicon Suburb or Santa Clarita Valley.
Business Incubator Tenant Selected for Festival of Creativity in Cannes
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, announces that Senate Bill (SB 792), a measure to establish an oversight commission for Los Angeles County Measure B trauma funding has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.
Oversight of LA County Trauma Care Dollars Given Green Light
Princess Cruises has debuted its 2018-2019 Exotics program which will take guests to culturally rich and iconic cruise destinations around the globe.
Princess Cruises Debuts 2018-2019 Exotics Sailings
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, announces that Senate Bills 634 (SB 634), a measure which would create a new water district in the Santa Clarita Valley, cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for consideration.
SCV Water Agency Merger Bill Clears Senate Panel
During a nighttime operation, SCV Sheriffs deputies and detectives made contact with several individuals which resulted in three arrests for warrants and narcotics related offenses.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputies, Detectives Conduct Nighttime Commercial Burglary Suppression
The Castaic Lake Water Agency Water Resources Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, June 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Water Division.
June 1: CLWA Water Resources Committee Meeting
In celebration of its 10th year anniversary, the College of the Canyons literary and arts magazine cul-de-sac will release its annual volume at a special reception on Friday, May 26, which will include readings from students.
May 26: COC Literary Magazine Celebrates a Decade of Artistry
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on May 27, 2017 in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
May 27: SCV Sheriff’s Deputies Conducting Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation
The next New Heights panel will focus on "The Nuts and Bolts of Effective Grant Writing" and will be on July 12 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Centre.
July 12: New Heights Discusses Effective Grant Writing
The San Jose Giants rallied late and pulled away for an 11-7 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks in a back-and-forth game on Wednesday night at The Hangar.
JetHawks Fall to San Jose Giants
Wildflower lovers are split into two camps: One camp likes the purple color of the flowers, while the other quickly points out everything that's wrong with this non-native, invasive species.
The Prickly One
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) motorcyclist that collided with a truck on Interstate 5 in the early hours of Tuesday morning is recovering at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, a spokesman said.
LAPD Motorcyclist in “Serious” Condition after Tuesday’s I-5 Collision
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, an update on the LAPD motorcyclist that collided with a truck on the I-5 Tuesday morning. Plus, Castaic Middle School students get a glimpse at a career in animal training. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, May 24, 2017
An 8-year-old Santa Clarita girl is fighting for her life Wednesday, leaving her family asking the community for blood donations to help her survive.
8-Year-Old Girl in Need of Blood Donations
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Tuesday urged Congress to reject President Trump’s federal education budget proposal, which includes deep cuts to teacher training, after school programs, mental health services, advanced coursework, and many other important programs.
State Superintendent Urges Congress to Reject Federal Education Budget Proposal
On May 16, 2017, the State Water Resources Quality Control Board approved an amendment to the Los Angeles Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) to incorporate Salt and Nutrient Management Measures for the Upper Santa Clara River Basin.
Salt, Nutrient Management Measures Approved for Santa Clara River Basin
Valencia Water Company (VWC) is encouraging customers to maintain their water-saving achievements from the recent drought and take advantage of improved rebates, incentives, online workshops and other resources to secure permanent water efficiencies inside their homes and for their landscapes.
Valencia Water Company Expands Rebates to Help Home Water-Use Efficiencies
Bigger, better and wetter than ever, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is ready to keep Southern Californian’s cool all summer long. The water park opens for its 23rd season on Saturday, May 27 with over 23 unique slides and attractions for the entire family.
May 27: Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashes Into Summer
Princess Cruises, the world’s largest premium cruise line, and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (Friendship Association) officially began Majestic Princess’ journey from Rome to China which will feature a cultural exchange program themed “Telling the Chinese Story along the Silk Road Sea Route.”
Majestic Princess Begins Journey to China Along the Silk Road Sea Route