The word incubator can mean many things but to us it is a place where a startup gets help validating its business model, gets expert advice on starting a business, and gets help preparing for launch.
A business model is how a startup provides value to a customer and gets money in return; this exchange allows the startup can become a sustainable company. Startups are company wannabees.
We help innovative, early stage startups with scalable business models. This approach favors product-based startups versus direct labor / service-based startups. We are a mixed use incubator with no industry preference.
For a period of six months, we provide one on one coaching from startup expert custom tailored to each resident’s needs. We start by creating an initial scope of work and drive the process using a “Lean Startup” new venture methodology. We assign a mentor to help guide the process and provide candid feedback along the way. If needed, we also can utilize student consulting teams to help accelerate the research process.
Lean Startup is a method for developing startups which shortens product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.
We have a pool of nearly 400 mentors made up of veteran entrepreneurs, attorneys, CPAs, bankers and other business people.
Under the direction of seasoned faculty, student teams of 5-6 students engage with the startup to assist with tasks such industry research, customer interviews, and customer development.
Most of our startups come in the later afternoon or early evenings to work independently or share ideas. We frequently have guest speakers who talk on a variety subjects such IP, business plan development, legal entities, etc.
The incubator uses a hotel concept with offices and conference space shared by all residents. We don’t rent offices.
The average incubator in the US charges $25K per year; most are set up to rent office space and provide coaching. Some incubators trade service for 6-10% equity in the startup. CSUF Startup Incubator only charges $5K for six months of residency. As a new incubator we are priced to make choosing the CSUF Startup Incubator an easy decision.
We quickly move the startup through the business model validation process. While some startups might need more than 6 months incubation, we feel most startups don’t need to linger in the incubator.
It is located at 120 South Bradford in downtown Placentia next to the Placentia fire station.
We currently have four startups in residence and have room for more.
We provide assistance for intellectual property protection, formation of a legal entity, business plan revision, and determination of funding requirements. The Incubator will also give innovators the tools to develop a website and modest administrative support. These basics will allow the innovator to present a professional appearance to prospective customers, suppliers, and investors.
Mentors – Our mentors have founded startups and successfully grown them into profitable companies.
Access to Funding – We are connected with savvy investors who specialize in early stage seed funding.
Like Minded People – Our incubator provides a gathering place for startup founders and investors who share similar visions of business innovation.
Custom Road Map – Our incubator will provide your startup with a custom road map of how to start up your startup. This includes what to do and what pitfalls to avoid.
Lean Startup – We embrace a learning culture based on building business models that work.
Professional Services – Our network includes intellectual property attorneys, CPAs and bookkeepers, insurance agents, and sources for manufacturing prototypes.
Accountability – We provide executive coaching to our startups to help the founders stay on task with their defined goals and milestones.
Resources – Our University offers innovative faculty and staff who will help you succeed. Other amenities include our world class library, laboratories, and 3D Printers.
Speed – Our incubation process is built around a fast-paced 6-month work process. Every day is a grand experiment that includes hypotheses, testing, measurement, and pivoting.
Alumni – CSUF has an engaged alumni network of over 200,000 graduates who live within 2 hours of the campus.
Go to http://business.fullerton.edu/center/Entrepreneurship#Incubator. You will need to submit the application with an executive summary and a business model canvas.