As 2017 is underway, more opportunities to start your business are budding. Whether you're interested in business, or want to grow your own, the UCI ANTrepreneur Center has plenty of ways to get you started. Our second female entrepreneurial panel, Girlboss, was just last Monday, and the deadline to apply for our next event, Founders' Frenzy, is this week !

Outside of the ANTrepreneur Center, Startup Weekend is happening this weekend. And not only is UCI Applied Innovation developing a new way to support your startup, the United States government is offering $70,000 in prizes for its upcoming contest, InnovaterHer !

Check out more in the news below!

Happy February,
UCI ANTrepreneur Center
What to Catch Up On

The Frenzy Awakens! 

Last year's Launchpad Lunacy  was a huge success, so it's back this year as Founders' Frenzy

This UCI ANTrepreneur Center-hosted is a pitch competition, where 64 teams go head-to-head against each other but only one team will take home the grand prize. Last year, the winning team brought home $5,000 from Ideator as well as $2,000 in kind from Pivotal Law Firm. Founders' Frenzy is open to all SoCal college students, including schools like UCLA, USC, Chapman University, and Concordia University.

Feeling lucky? Be the Anteater that takes home the grand prize! #ANTrepreneur

Packed Launchpad Thursday at the ANTrepreneur Center! 

Last Thursday, February 2, we had a full house at the ANTrepreneur Center. Matthew Evilisizor was our speaker. He is the founder of Conscious Bean, a mindful, micro-roast, and eco-conscious caffeinated coffee designed in Orange County.

Conscious Bean focuses on rare, single origin, special grade coffees from reserve, and passion project farms, which are infused with intention.

Matthew spoke about how he wants to provide people with a transcendental morning coffee experience. Students enjoyed his charismatic and intriguing conversation. Matthew focuses on being a mindful social entrepreneur. Many students stayed after the event and connected with Matthew. We will definitely be seeing him more at out events! We really enjoyed having him! 

New Venture Competition Forges on
to the Semifinals
by Lucy Guo

The 2017 Beall New Venture Competition, held at the Paul Merage School of Business, is open to all UCI students and faculty. Over the course of just six months, individuals will form teams and compete to fund their idea.

There are several workshops designed to help the competitors prepare for their business plans, revolving around topics such as creating a concept paper and transforming an idea into a business plan. On Wednesday, January 25, the competitors attended the workshop on Intellectual Property and Protection to learn about how to protect the products and services they created.

Alvin Viray, associate director of Invention Transfer Group at UCI, led a presentation explaining that intellectual property (IP) is an asset which receives specific legal protection: trade secrets, trademark, copyright, and patents. He gave multiple examples of intellectual property, such as Coca-cola, virtual reality equipment, and medical goods & services, to clarify that how intellectual protection applies to real business models. He also introduced the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) requirements for businesses requiring an IP.

“I would not know such knowledge of intellectual property and protection if I did not come to this workshop,” a doctoral student from the UCI Medical School said. “My business idea relates to chemicals, which probably could not be protected as a whole, since nothing made by nature can be patented (such as DNA).” The night ended with participants networking with each other.

Semifinalists will be announced by the UCI ANTrepreneur Center all day from February 14 to February 17. After that, the teams will be paired with coaches on February 21.

The next workshop of this competition is on March 8 at Paul Merage School of Business, and will discuss financials for startups. If you still need more help, please feel free to come to UCI ANTrepreneur Center events and consultations to get prepared!
Night of Stars at GIRLBOSS 2.0
by Will Khaine

Last Monday, over 80 members of the UCI and Orange County communities gathered at The Cove to listen to the panelists of our second annual female entrepreneurial panel, GIRLBOSS. Bulletin CEO Esosa Agbonwaneten, master chocolatier Amy Jo Pedone, Toastmasters international finalist Josephine Lee, serial entrepreneur Cassandra Miller, and author Mamta Jain Valderrama shared experiences and insights about starting their own businesses. All of them touched on similar approaches on how to connect with customers and other businesspeople on a personal level while constantly developing their firms. 

Among other advice given, UCI alumnus Esosa explained the importance of improving herself and her company. Originally coming from a Pre-Med background, she switched her major to Public Health Science and picked up a Digital Information Systems minor to develop the skills and network necessary to power Bulletin, an academic time management application. The firm not only underwent changes to design and use, but also on how to make those revisions. For example, after the team realized that group feedback encouraged groupthink, Bulletin encouraged authenticity through one-on-one interviews.

Amy Jo of Valenza Chocolatier mentioned the change she experienced when starting her own firm, from the competitive corporate environment to the “pay it forward” mentality of small businesses. “This is what entrepreneurship is,” she stated. “People helping each other pursue their passions.”

The chocolatier also discussed social media strategies, and pointed out that each platform has its own purpose. While Instagram's focus on pictures make chocolates look more savory, Facebook can notify followers of deals and promotions. 

A common theme in The Pointe Shop founder Josephine’s statements was listening, whether it was to customers or employees. Listening to customers led to the creation of a subscription based service, addressing ballet shoes that wear out often. “Your business will grow when you listen to your customers, because you are not the expert of your business,” she remarked. Since customers use your product, “your customers are."

Cassandra’s company, See Jane Go, provides a safer alternative for women to access the drive share industry. Smaller but successful businesses can be found, Cassandra said, by filling in a need that larger companies do not cover. Competitors of See Jane Go, for instance, have yet to emphasize women-driving-women services.

Being part of a business is also a compelling opportunity for self-development. "Have great personal advisors," Cassandra reflected. "Learn from everyone in the company." 

Last but not least, Mamta underscored the need to "hustle" and persevere. The process for writing her book, A Girl in Traffick, was long and arduous. It took three years to write about a child personally affected by organ trafficking, and she had been thinking of the idea for eight. She also wrote the last half of the book while pregnant, demonstrating how dedicated one needs to remain in order to grow and succeed as an entrepreneur.

The night ended with a chance to get to know the panelists on a personal level. Each entrepreneur had her own booth stationed at the edges of the room, where attendees huddled around to ask for more advice on starting their businesses.

Making a Mark with Bulletin
by Lucy Guo

College students in the US always have many tasks to deal with, including school work, part-time jobs, and extracurricular activities. In fact, there’s so much to do that more than 55 percent of students get fewer than seven hours of sleep. 

“The traditional means of getting information were just adding to my stress level. And my own experience of struggling and trying to keep up everything was exhausting and incredibly trying.” said ANTrepreneur Esosa Agbonwaneten, founder and CEO of Bulletin, a mobile platform that keeps students organized and up-to-date with all the latest course news. “It’s not only study for the class, but how to make sure that you are doing the right things at the right time to move to the next level.” Staying organized and scheduled is important for college students living a stress-free life.

Launching a startup is never a simple task for college students. Originally a UCI Biology Science major, Esosa switched to Public Health and minored in Digital Information Systems & Anthropology after consulting with professors and realizing that she needs to accommodate for business and coding skills to start and develop her idea in her senior year. 

Meanwhile, David Ochi, Executive Director of UCI ANTrepreneur Center, encouraged Esosa to apply for the proper business competitions. To prepare for them, he helped her pitch and network with other skilled people.

The most valuable lesson Esosa gained was to ask help before you need help. For college ANTrepreneurs, surrounding yourself with a group with complementary and diverse skill sets could help reduce mistakes and promote your startup faster. Also having many different conversations with advisors and other competitors provides you more opportunities. 

After one year of training by attending many business forums and competitions, Esosa and her team will focus on developing their application and then exploring fundraising opportunities with investors.

To keep up to date on Bulletin, check out the  website  and  Instagram .
The Month Ahead

Come to the Beall and Butterworth Kickoff TODAY!

Got Ideas? Want to become an ANTrepreneur? Then come to the kick-off event of the Butterworth Product Development in ICS and Beall Student Design in Engineering competitions! While both competitions encourage the development of products with potential for commercialization, Butterworth is focused on creating new technologies and software, and Beall is open to solutions to current design problems and hardware.  

Today, from 12-1pm at Donald Bren Hall 6011, any UCI student may come not only for free pizza and soda, but also to find team members to participate in both of these events. There’s a lot at stake; $30,000 in cash prizes will be distributed to winners of the two competitions! 

If you’re interested, check out the rules and RSVP. For questions, please contact Kristin Huerth, Associate Director, Engineering and ICS, at khuerth@ics.uci.edu.

From UCI Applied Innovation: Wayfinder Incubator Underway! 

If your business uses UCI-owned intellectual property or has an active team member who is a UCI student, faculty, staff, or alumnus, listen up! 

UCI Applied Innovation is rolling out a new incubator, Wayfinder, that targets scalable startups addressing an important problem. Be prepared to address your value proposition, competitive advantage, milestone completed, customer discovery process, goals, needs, and other important information.

Not only will your team have access to mentors, investors, and startup resources, but exclusive workshops and learning experiences, free collaborative work space, and opportunities to build relationships and gain exposure in the middle of the OC!

The deadline to apply for the next cycle is March 3. Direct all questions to wayfinder@uci.edu .
Come to The Cove for a Focus Group THIS SATURDAY! 

Win Grant Money with InnovateHer!

To unearth innovative products and services that help to impact and empower the lives of women and families, the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the third annual InnovateHER competition! 

Up to $70,000 will be offered in cash prizes to those who have the best measurable impact on the lives of women and families, potential for commercialization, and fill a need in the marketplace. Entrepreneurs who apply will compete at the local level, where the semi-finalists are to be selected. Ten finalists will then be invited to pitch at the national competition on July 27.

If you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity, check out the application process. The deadline is May 12, 2017, but act fast: competitors must submit a business plan. 

Check out the concept of Startup Weekend
by clicking on the video. 

Begin Your Business in a Weekend with Startup Weekend!

If you’ve been trying to find the time to launch your business idea, this weekend is your chance! Startup Weekend is a 54 hour marathon to turn your ideas into actions. 

While you’re creating a real company, you’ll be under the guidance of coaches and be able to meet the best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors! And if you’ve enjoyed our GirlBoss panelists, one of them, Josephine Lee, will be judging!

The event will be held at PeopleSpace. Meals provided. RSVP ASAP!
Visit our Weekly Events!
Mark Your Calendars: February 2017
For additional entrepreneurial events throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County areas,
please visit  www.socalcal.com.

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About the Writers

Zejin (Lucy) Guo  is a first year Business Economics major wishing to explore her potential. She is a newsletter editor at the ANTrepreneur Center, and always dreamed of becoming a good entrepreneur through hands-on learning and experiences.
Will Khaine is a second year Business Information Management major and the ANTrepreneur Center Newsletter Editor in Chief. He's interested in supporting socially responsible startups, and spends his spare time programming, eating chicken sandwiches, and drinking coffee. Lots of coffee.
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