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January 23
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [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.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold its Business Meeting Wednesday, Jan. 24, College of the Canyons, Canyon Country Campus, located at 17200 Sierra Highway ~ Canyon Country, 91351.
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018
Disney/Pixar's "Coco" earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, a film which CalArts alumnus Adrian Molina co-wrote and co-directed along with Lee Unkrich.
Monday, Jan 22, 2018
College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus officials will break ground on the Science Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan 22, 2018
It’s not too late to register for the College of the Canyons spring 2018 semester, which will run from Monday, Feb. 5 to Thursday, June 1.
Thursday, Jan 18, 2018
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, dad, mom and several other family members, Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin always wanted to be a teacher.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold its Business Meeting Wednesday, Jan. 24, College of the Canyons, Canyon Country Campus, located at 17200 Sierra Highway ~ Canyon Country, 91351.
Jan. 24: Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees Business Meeting
State and Federal Disaster Assistance Programs are now available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for eligible homeowners, renters and business owners in Los Angeles County who suffered damages or losses due to the December 2017 Creek, Rye and Skirball wildfires.
Federal Disaster Aid Now Available to Victims of Recent Southland Fires
Starting on Monday, Jan. 29, the city of Santa Clarita will begin work on a federally-funded project which includes the installation of a pre-fabricated steel truss pedestrian bridge over Sierra Highway north of Golden Valley Road, traffic circulation improvements, and trail connections.
Sierra Highway Pedestrian Bridge Construction to Begin Jan. 29
A suspected carjacker from Santa Clarita caused a wrong way crash on the 210 freeway Monday, killing one person and injuring several others.
SCV Carjacking Suspect Crashes on 210, Leaving 1 Dead
The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will swing into the Santa Clarita Valley for a special one-night-only event to be held at West Ranch High School on Monday, Mar. 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 19: Glenn Miller Orchestra at West Ranch High School
Back by popular demand, Princess Cruises is offering up to 35 percent off select sailings during the redux of the line’s “Exclusively Caribbean Sale,” on select Spring 2018 Caribbean cruises departing March through May 2018.
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From the Facebook Page of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriffs Station:
Upgrades at SCV Sheriff’s Station Dispatch; Non-Emergency Calls May Be Delayed
Disney/Pixar's "Coco" earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, a film which CalArts alumnus Adrian Molina co-wrote and co-directed along with Lee Unkrich.
CalArts Alum’s Film “Coco” Earns Oscar Nomination
Friends of the Santa Clarita Public Library will hold Antique Appraisal Day on Feb. 10, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Old Town Newhall Library Community Room.
Feb. 10: Antique Appraisal Day at Old Town Newhall Library
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
A Castaic man was charged with attempted murder and assault for allegedly trying to set his ex-girlfriend on fire in one of three domestic violence incidents in the SCV Friday and Saturday.
Man Allegedly Tries to Kill Ex-Girlfriend by Setting Her on Fire
College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus officials will break ground on the Science Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: Science Center Groundbreaking at COC Canyon Country Campus
The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley has named Canyon High School sophomore Lluvia Partida the 2018 Youth of the Year.
Lluvia Partida Named SCV Boys and Girls Club 2018 Youth of the Year
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will host five grand openings for local businesses in February 2018 - Fantastic Sams, Bodhi Leaf Coffee, Kaiser Permanente, Farmers Insurance and Open Trails E-Bikes.
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California State Parks is taking reservations for the spring tour season at Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park in Tehachapi, site of a Kawaiisu Native American village.
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March 1: California Poppy Reserve Center Opens in Antelope Valley
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve’s two-day volunteer training for the 2018 spring wildflower season will be held on February 3 and February 10, both Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Feb. 3, Feb. 10: Poppy Reserve Volunteer Training for 2018 Wildflower Season
The 2017 Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey again ranked Santa Clarita among the best cities for doing business in Southern California.
Survey: Santa Clarita Among County’s Best in Cost of Doing Business
Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard in Valencia is being delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. today due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
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Adam Rubio's game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning resulted in TMU's 5-4 win over Marymount California University Saturday.
Mustangs Rally to Beat MCU in the Eighth
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The No. 4 Mustangs men's basketball team scored a 74-71 win over Westmont before a capacity crowd Saturday in the team's 18th straight victory, and fifth straight to open Golden State Athletic Conference play.
Master’s Holds off Westmont for 18th Straight Win
Hannah Forrar scored 16 points Saturday night but The Master's University women's basketball team still lost to Westmont 62-55.
Westmont Rises Over Mustangs 62-56
It’s not too late to register for the College of the Canyons spring 2018 semester, which will run from Monday, Feb. 5 to Thursday, June 1.
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A 38-year-old man was arrested on charges including theft and forgery in Stevenson Ranch early Thursday morning.
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L.A. County health officials have extended a Cold Weather Alert for the Santa Clarita Valley through Monday night due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures.
SCV Cold Weather Alert Extended Through Tonight
In the ninth inning Friday, with Master's well on its way to a 15-7 season-opening win over Marymount California University, Coach Monte Brooks sent Josh Robison to the plate if for no other reason than to see what would happen.
TMU’s Robison Hits 3 Homers in Season-Opening Win
Here is the Castaic/Val Verde public safety and crime information report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of January 1, 2018
Crime Blotter: Theft, Grand Theft Auto in Castaic-Val Verde
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck abruptly announced his retirement on Friday, capping off an eight-year stint leading one of the largest metropolitan police forces in America.
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Traffic on McBean Parkway between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard will be delayed intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, January 22 due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at the Valencia Country Club.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia to Prompt Street Closures
Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update