The CSUB Entrepreneurship Club is focused on two main missions: helping students get jobs with local small businesses and helping students, faculty, and community members build new businesses. Over the past two and a half years, we've helped bring roughly 60 students together with local small businesses for part-time, paid hourly work and full-time positions after graduation, and those students have earned over $400,000 for the work they've done over that time (over $175k for the part-time work and nearly $250k for the full-time positions). We've also helped over 30 startups through our venture incubator program, bringing in over $100,000 worth of in-kind services and seed funding for those businesses.
Take a look at some of our success stories below!
We told you a while back about the four students we connected with jobs at local digital transformation company Stria over the past two years, three part-time and one full-time. The three part-time students earned a total of roughly $20,000 during the time they worked for Stria, and the full-time graduate has earned over $40,000 this past year. In addition to the original video shout out we posted from Stria Managing Partner Scott Garrison, we now have video stories from each of the four students...check them out below!
Cole was a student in Entrepreneurship Club Faculty Advisor Dr. Jeremy Woods' small business management class and was a real standout student, both as a discussion leader and with his implementation project developing a website for a local artist and graphic designer. Throughout the class, he was steadfast in his commitment to finding a job in the aerospace sector. He coordinated with Dr. Woods regularly for help and advice in this regard, and his perseverance recently paid off when he landed a Copper Cap paid internship position as a contract specialist with Edwards Air Force Base. These Copper Cap positions are highly sought after, with a starting salary of roughly $50,000 and a career fast-track to GS-11 level at nearly $100,000. Check out Cole's story!
We helped long-time Entrepreneurship Club member Brendan Sales, a petroleum engineering major, land a paid research assistant position supporting a project led by CSUB entrepreneurship professor Dr. Sumita Sarma looking at the future commercial potential of purifying oilfield produced water (i.e., water which is extracted from the ground as part of the oil drilling process) for use in agricultural irrigation. Brendan worked for Dr. Sarma for several months, adding valuable work experience to his resume and earning over $2,000 during his time on the project. Check out his story!
Hunter is a very unique music/accounting double major who has been a member of the entrepreneurship club for about a year. We recently connected him with a part-time business analyst job at local garage door sales & service company King Door. Since starting the position a little over a month ago, Hunter has earned nearly $2,000, has already earned a promotion to bookkeeper, and is building valuable resume experience for his accounting career. Check out Hunter's story!
Justin was a student in Dr. Woods' Intro to Business, Small Business Management, and Strategic Management classes at CSUB and did a great job with all of his projects - including some very advanced web development work in the Small Business Management Class. His post-graduation goal was to find a finance position in the local aerospace sector, so Dr. Woods put Justin in touch with a contact at Edwards Air Force Base. That networking referral led to Justin landing a $50k+ full time position with the Air Force, which he started at the beginning of 2021. Check out his story!
Miguel was a student in Dr. Woods' Strategic Management class last semester and had a strong background and interest in pursuing a career in digital marketing. Dr. Woods put in a strong recommendation for Miguel for a full-time position as a digital marketing specialist for local vacuum producer MD Manufacturing, and Miguel got the job. He's earned over $10,000 since starting the position late last year, and the employer raves about his performance. Check out Miguel's story!
We helped connect Iris with local small business consultant Circe Cox to help Circe with a new initiative, Asistencia Latina, helping Latinx small business owners in the Bakersfield area grow and improve their businesses. Over the course of the last four months of 2020, in addition to learning a lot and growing as an entrepreneur herself, Iris earned over $3,000 helping Circe. Check out her story!
We've helped connect Bryan with three different part-time jobs over the past year, earning him nearly $5,000 in total. The first was a short-term web development job for a local catering company. The second two projects related to his major in petroleum engineering - outreach to local independent oil production company owners & managers for research Dr. Jeremy Woods is conducting on extraction decision-making and engineering research Dr. Luis Cabrales is conducting on the purification of oilfield produced water through electrochemical oxidation. The last project, which is related to a broader research project Dr. Sumita Sarma is working on regarding the commercialization potential of using reclaimed oilfield water for agricultural irrigation, even landed Bryan on the front page of the Bakersfield Californian recently! Listen to his story.
Clean Sweep Stone, Tile, & Carpet
We've placed three different students with Clean Sweep over the past couple years, mostly for social media marketing and customer outreach work, and those students have earned over $6,000 for the part-time work they've done over that time. Check out this video shout out from Clean Sweep owners Kathy & Ken Pistoresi!
We helped former club president Hector Ocampo land a cool internship with Deluge Consulting, a local niche consulting company focused on rainwater drainage regulatory approval for construction projects. The position was a major resume builder for him and earned him nearly $2,000 over the course of three months. Check out his story!
CSUB Small Business Development Center
We've referred four students to CSUB's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to work as Junior Consultants over the past 18 months, including two who are still working for the SBDC to this day. Together, the students have earned roughly $60,000 for the work they've done over the time they've worked for the SBDC. Check out one of those students' stories, Tyler Johnican, in this video!
Elle was the original student who, in many ways, helped to kick off the Entrepreneurship Club's Small Business Employment Program. She and two other teammates completed their Learning-By-Doing project in Dr. Jeremy Woods' small business management class by developing a comprehensive social media marketing plan for local bank Mission Bank. Mission Bank was so impressed with Elle's work that they offered her a paid internship after completion of the project and then a full-time job after graduation. She ended up earning over $20,000 in the two positions before moving on to a mortgage lending company in Nashville, TN to pursue a long-standing goal of hers to live and work outside California. Check out the description of her experience Elle recently gave to Dr. Woods' current small business management students!
Evan worked on an early version of our Aerospace Valley Futures venture incubator initiative as a brochure and social media project in Dr. Jeremy Woods' small business management class, and subsequently working as a volunteer to get the Aerospace Valley Futures website off the ground. He did such a great job with the Aerospace Valley Futures website that we connected Evan with local consulting firm K&A Consulting to do a paid web development project. He's earned $1,000 for the web development project and will continue to earn $200 per month to maintain the site going forward. He also continues to be a key volunteer member of the Aerospace Valley Futures team.
We helped Jaskaran secure a paid IT internship with Jaco Oil, a local oil & gas production and distribution company. The internship paid roughly $780 per month for a total of over $7,000 over the course of the 9-month internship.
We helped Sabrina secure two different part-time, sales & marketing oriented jobs. One was with Alan Jack's Lawn Service, a local landscaping company, and the other was with a local political action committee, Kern Island, working on the fall election. The two jobs combined pay over $2,000 per month.
Peter learned about grant research in Entrepreneurship Club Faculty Advisor Dr. Jeremy Woods' small business management class. He did such a good job with his class project, Dr. Woods coordinated with local small business services firm Specter Solutions to employ Peter as a grant writing assistant after graduation. He's already earned over $3,000 helping to prepare two multi-million-dollar grant proposals and continues to provide invaluable assistance to the club as we attempt to expand the resources we can bring to bear supporting entrepreneurship at CSUB.
CSUB Entrepreneurship Club Virtual Venture Pitch Competition
During the pandemic this past year, when it was impossible to host the Startup Weekend venture pitch competition that CSUB has organized for the past two years, we took the initiative to organize a 100% virtual pitch competition. The motivation was to maintain the fire of our members' enthusiasm and conduct a "dry run" for future, larger-scale virtual pitch competitions which will augment the need for additional pitch competitions in our growing Kern County entrepreneurial ecosystem. 20 participants from CSUB & Bakersfield College divided into 10 venture pitch teams on Friday, April 30, 2021. 7 of those teams continued to a Saturday coaching session with Ivan Slijivar (Aera Energy) and former Entrepreneurship Club Vice-President Iris Villalobos-Jauregui (CSUB Small Business Development Center). 5 of the teams continued to the Sunday judging session led by Iris, former Entrepreneurship Club President Hector Ocampo (CSUB Small Business Development Center), and Entrepreneurship Club Faculty Advisor Dr. Jeremy Woods (CSUB). Three of the ventures presented viable MVPs with the potential to achieve initial revenues and investment this year, and $300 in cash prizes provided by Dr. Woods were awarded. Check out our video of the entire 2-hour final judging session!
CSUB Entrepreneurship Club alum was one of the very first entrepreneurs we helped with our venture incubator over two years ago. She had a passion for growing and selling mushrooms but wasn't sure if she could make a business out of that passion. We encouraged her and provided some initial guidance to Annie on how to move forward, and she really took the ball and ran with it. She ended up bringing in nearly $10,000 in revenues from farmers' market sales before the pandemic hit and has been continuing to pivot and maintain the business over the past year and a half. Check out her story!
Kenia was a student in Entrepreneurship Club Faculty Advisor Dr. Jeremy Woods' small business management class, and she did a great job on her class project creating logos and branding schemes for a local consumer product business by teaching herself how to use all the functions and features of the Canva software package. She did such an outstanding job with that project, Dr. Woods started sending independent, paid graphic design projects her direction, for which she took his initial coaching on how to “teach yourself new things” online and quickly developed her graphic design abilities. She’s now earned nearly $2,000 in side income from independent graphic design work and is continuing to expand her business. Check out her story!
David Walblom's Lapidary Tools & Supplies / ROSPICO LLC
CSUB Entrepreneurship Program alum Kris Chaisson has been very successful with two small businesses since graduating four years ago. His family's gem & mineral business, David Walblom's Lapidary Tools & Supplies, has amassed an inventory of nearly $1 million worth of precious stones in varying stages of refinement, including agate, jade, obsidian, serpentine, and petrified wood. Kris also started a real estate investment company after graduation, ROSPICO LLC, and has managed to grow his initial $1,000 investment into nearly $500k worth of properties, including two abandoned gold mines with retained mineral rights, over the past four years. Check out his story!
Ridgecrest Economic Outlook Conference
Entrepreneurship Club Faculty Advisor Dr. Woods has been increasingly involved in helping to foster entrepreneurship in Aerospace Valley over the past year. He recently hosted a panel discussion of entrepreneurs at the Ridgecrest (CA) Economic Outlook Conference. In addition to being home to China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center, Ridgecrest has a great population of local entrepreneurs, including my three panelists: Caiti Whitfield, owner of the Flightline Tap Room, Kristina Cross, owner of Ridgecrest Grocery Outlet, and Dakota Andekin, Founder of Ridgecrest Restoration Ministries. Check out our discussion about how to foster more home-grown entrepreneurship in Aerospace Valley!
Kern County Knives
We helped former club president Hector Ocampo take the first step in starting his own knife retail business and have been giving him periodic advice since he started. Since starting the company, he's established one in-store display sales location and a number of trade show sales tables, generating roughly $2,000 in revenues to date, and he's currently looking at expanding his activities with production of his own knives. Check out his story!
U-Bites was one of the top student ventures from our Startup Weekend competition held in February 2020. They won over $5,000 worth of in-kind support and services from local small business vendors at the competition, but that was just the beginning of their 8-month odyssey trying to pivot, solve problems, and launch their MVP in the middle of the pandemic and economic crisis! Dr. Jeremy Woods has been meeting with them on Zoom every week since February to help them persevere and has invested several hundred dollars in the venture himself. We're SUPER proud of how much they've grown and how far they've come over the past 8 months, to the point where they finally launched and earned their first revenues in October 2020. Check out their story!
We helped CSUB MBA student Ammar Rashik and his family business, Saif Industries, enter a new software system for managing aerospace industry spare parts into the 59 Days of Code venture competition. The venture won $5,000 in prize money last fall, and we're now helping them find a student code programmer to continue building out functionality in the software. Check out their pitch!
We helped CSUB grad Mason Pawsey enter his new software app venture, Sylvstrr, which does sentiment analysis for Tweets on Twitter, into the 59 Days of Code venture competition. The venture won $2,500 in prize money. Check out his pitch!
The Entrepreneurship Club Experience
Hector Ocampo was our club president for the 2019-2020 academic year, and he really got the "trifecta" of value out of his time with us - a small business job, help in starting his own business, and bonding with great, like-minded entrepreneurial friends & partners. Check out his description of the experience!
We helped Aleeah leverage some great work she'd done developing a new cream to treat eczema to create a health care app which she subsequently entered in the 59 Days of Code venture competition. She got some great feedback from the judges at the competition and has been diligently continuing to work on her venture idea ever since. We're now helping her identify board of directors members for the non-profit she recently founded, Code 4 Care, based on the the app she created for the competition.
Dami Agbonkonkon has shown awesome diligence and persistence pursuing his goal of opening a real estate investment company. Our Entrepreneurship Club connected Dami with CSUB's SBA-funded Small Business Development Center, and he's made great progress with SBDC consultants Tom Weir and Tyler Johnican over the past year developing his business plan, running financial projections, and most recently starting to meet with alternative lenders who might be able to provide some startup capital. Now that he's graduated, we're helping him find a good "day job" in our local real estate sector so he can broaden his network and build more capital of his own to bring to the table.
Angie has been invaluable over the last two years as our club Secretary and Treasurer, and we've also given her advice on an event venue she wants to open in the future.
Small Business Management Learning-By-Doing Projects
For the past 6 years, Entrepreneurship Club Faculty Advisor Dr. Jeremy Woods has had each student in his Small Business Management class complete a learning-by-doing project for a local small business. Student teams from this class have completed projects for over 200 small businesses over this time, generating over $200,000 in value. Click here for more details!