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  •  SCU Seniors Working for Themselves after Graduation

    Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2011 3:15 PM

    From making T-shirts to matching up nonprofits with needy groups around the world, a number of soon-to-be SCU grads are planning to spend their time after graduation building and working at businesses they created while on campus. 

    Josh Bois, a graduating senior in the OMIS department, will spend this summer ramping up a business that he’s built over the past three years or so -- Global Good Media, part of the Global Good Group network -- with an Atlanta-based partner. Their marketing and consulting business has helped about 100 businesses in the U.S. and worldwide with services including website management, search-engine optimization, technology consulting and social-media marketing. The company uses the services of about 10 graduate-student interns, and currently has about a dozen ongoing clients. 

    An entrepreneur since high school, Bois received a certificate in entrepreneurship from SCU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), which he praises for providing him with “great networking opportunities,” including contacts at venture-capital firms. 

    He expects the business to grow to support him after he moves back to his hometown of Orange County, and credits Santa Clara University with making him feel empowered for the future. “My business’s mission is to change the world by connecting people, businesses and information around the world,” he said. "Santa Clara helped me feel I can achieve that."

    Finance major Sol Tran, who just won CIE’s Outstanding Student Entrepreneur award, will be working on a business called SocialOven, which will use proprietary technology and his own skill at analyzing Facebook advertising opportunities to place ads for retailers and other companies strategically on Facebook pages. He’s doing similar work for another company at the moment, but he says they’ve worked out a deal where he’ll strike out on his own soon.

    “Eventually I’m going to want to build my own product and make it more sophisticated,” he says. “I’ll either find an angel investor or work a side job and gather the funds I need.”

    Another graduating student, Michael Kawamoto, will continue to work on his T-shirt business, Aloha Coterie, as a part-time endeavor when he’s not busy with his new full-time job in PricewaterhouseCooper’s tax department.

    Kawamoto has printed over 2,000 shirts for groups at SCU and other schools, and donates a portion of the proceeds toward raising $5,000 for the charity:water organization, which works on what Kawamoto calls the “oftentimes overlooked crisis” of clean water access worldwide.

    Daniel Aguiar, director of entrepreneurship programs at the Leavey School of Business, says entrepreneurship is picking up at SCU, with a rise in membership in the student club, a strong increase in internship opportunities at startups around Silicon Valley, and a revamped CIE to help with resources and classes.

    “The potential has always been here for significant entrepreneurship taking root here at SCU,” said Aguiar. “I think the years ahead are going to be very exciting for SCU-grown entrepreneurs.” 

    May 31, 2011

  •  New Business Leaders Sought for Entrepreneur Program

    Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011 8:30 AM

    Building on the success of nearly 20 new business enterprises in last year’s California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE), Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business is accepting applications for the next highly selective six-month entrepreneurship program that begins in June 2011. (see www.scu.edu/business/cie/CAPE-Application.cfm)

    Up to 30 companies will be selected by May 1 to participate in a series of classes, workshops, mentorships and networking led by Santa Clara business faculty and augmented by the School’s unique connections with Silicon Valley.  Selection will be based on the following criteria: a well developed business idea (or business in startup mode), guided by experienced leaders, and with a high potential to make economic contributions within a year of completing the program.

    “By the end of this year, we will have provided California with 50 new job-creating organizations,” said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of the business school’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a former entrepreneur. “This program is leading the way to prosperity for communities around California.”

    Emerging entrepreneurs are invited to apply for admission to the program by May 1. The  online application (www.scu.edu/business/cie/CAPE-Application.cfm) includes several exercises to assess potential for a successful launch. Applications will be screened by a committee of veteran entrepreneurs, funders, and faculty.

    Starting in June, CAPE participants will start virtual exercises, work with faculty coaches, and join colleagues in two weekend onsite sessions. In September, the cohort will come to the Santa Clara campus for an intensive, week-long workshop, after which they will prepare a business ‘pitch’ under the mentorship of individually matched Silicon Valley executives. Two post-workshop weekend sessions will prepare group members to compete in a $5,000 business plan contest in November. 

    “This curriculum equips the emerging entrepreneur with marketing, finance, and operations expertise essential to success in the marketplace,” said Aguiar. “The program also provides skills to navigate organizational dynamics, strategic management, and communication.”

    “Members of last year’s CAPE cohort saw their products fast-tracked to major retailers and national distributors,” said Drew Starbird, dean of the business school and co-creator of the program. “We are eager to see what this fresh group of new business people will add to our economy.”

    CAPE cohort members will participate in all classes, workshops, and events and no cost. Books, in-class materials, onsite meals, and housing for those who live outside driving distance to the University are also free of charge. Travel expenses to and from each session are not included in the program. The CAPE program is underwritten by the Leavey School of Business Executive Development Center and members of the School’s Advisory Board.

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