LAUNCH! Entrepreneur Magazine - Issue #5

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LAUNCH! Magazine celebrates the creativity,
dedication to responsible business practice and entrepreneurial spirit of students and alumni at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, principles fundamental to its mission and
that the school and its faculty have embraced and actively advanced for more than 40 years.

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LAUNCH! Entrepreneur Magazine - Issue #5

  1. 1. Noelle Nguyen’sAmericanLoveAffair +S. Paul Do II Dat Dietzel Varun Khanna Srinivas Rao David Rosendahllaunchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 1
  2. 2. S atu rd ay, M arc h 31 , 2 0 1 2 BSCHOOL.PEPPERDINE.EDU/BPLAN2 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  3. 3. LAUNCH! CO N TE NT S LAUNCH! Magazine celebrates the creativity, 16 dedication to responsible business practice and entrepreneurial spirit of students and alumni at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, principles fundamental to its mission and that the school and its faculty have embraced and actively advanced for more than 40 years. PUBLISHED BY GRAZIADIO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT ARE YOU READY TO GO FROM EMPLOYEE TO FULL-TIME © 2012 PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEUR? DEAN: LINDA A. LIVINGSTONE, PH.D. ENTREPRENEURS ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM: Larry Cox, Ph.D. PUBLISHING EDITOR: Dianne King EDITOR: F. Douglass Gore III 4 8 10 S. PAUL DIETZEL II VARUN KHANNA SRINIVAS RAO EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE: Anedot Vedanic. BlogCastFM Jaime Quigley PROFILES: Amy Biemiller 18 Lightstream THE SHORT 14 LIST CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHY: Leroy Hamilton 6 10 NOELLE NGUYEN Shutterstock.com DAT DO DAVID ROSENDAHL Derivatas, Inc. American Love Affair MindFire Inc.launchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 3
  4. 4. ENTREPRENEUR S. PAUL DIETZEL II Anedot A s most non-profit organizations know, the number of people who give is directly correlated with the ease of giving . Because today’s consumers are used to managing bills and making payments electronically, they expect that same utility when they want to make regular donations to a church or synagogue, support a local charitable event, or give to a cause that interests them. But it’s not always easy for charitable organizations to initiate and manage an electronic system to streamline giving. And when it comes to using electronic systems at temporary locations —say, a park for a fun run or multiple city sites for campaign events – the challenge only increases. “I worked with many clients who were finding it more and more difficult to effectively provide donors with an easy way to give at public events. I wanted to come up with an antidote for this problem,” says Paul Dietzel (MBA ’11), who developed Anedot in 2010. By harnessing software as a service, Dietzel devised a way for organizations to collect donations, organize information and streamline fundraising without having to install a server or software.4 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  5. 5. “Anedot is focused on the entire fundraising Key in that evolution have been a few important process and equips organizations with a powerful, mentors.S. PAUL DIETZEL II, MBA ‘11 easy-to- use and intuitive web-based application “I found early in my experience working on my that allows them to accept donations through any Company Name: MBA at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business modern web browser or mobile smartphone,” he Anedot and Management that the professors were a real says. Company URL: source for ideas and inspiration,” he says. In fact, www.anedot.com “Business is going great. We’re signing new clients those lessons-learned still guide him in his business Location: each day,” says Dietzel, fresh from a roadshow development strategy today. Baton Rouge, LA demonstrating Anedot’s potential to help “Professor Larry Bumgardner’s Business Law class Mission: politicians running primary campaigns. Optimize donations everywhere. has helped shape my business decisions from a Business Idea: Dietzel, a long-time entrepreneur, is used to acting legal and ethical perspective. Professor Augus Use Software as a Service to help political on inspiration. “I started my first business while in Harjoto commanded focus on the meaning of campaigns, nonprofits, and other high school and have never worked for a company financial data instead of just making the numbers organizations efficiently collect donations. as an employee,” he says. line up. Professor Larry Cox revived my inner Problem Set Out to Solve: imagination and reawakened the part of me that The more difficult it is to do something, “I love the adventure and the challenge of can stare into the world, see problems and then the less likely people are to do it: we entrepreneurship, the ever-changing environment, come up with business solutions,” he continues. make it easy to give. the journey,” he says. “I enjoy helping people and Target Customer: showing people how they can become more Another professor who has had distinctive Political campaigns, non-profits, efficient by using technology.” influence on Dietzel has been Kyle Murphy, whose faith-based organizations, causes, and Strategy class, with its emphasis on real-world best individuals who want to raise funds on either Facebook, a website or a mobile While Dietzel feels he was born for the challenge practices, was inspirational. “He has since become phone. of entrepreneurship, he also sees it as something an advisory board member of Anedot and gives Year Founded: that continues to shape him as a person. great insight into my decisions with the company,” 2011 he says. “I am still very much Avg. Annual Revenue: evolving as an Dietzel derives great satisfaction in encouraging Confidential individual. I learn so other would-be entrepreneurs by sharing his own Number of Employees: experiences. much every day. 7 employees I have made hundreds “Never give up and never take no for an answer,” of mistakes along the he says. “If someone tells you that something isn’t way and will most likely possible, it’s only because they haven’t found the continue to make possibility yet. As an entrepreneur, it’s our duty to mistakes, but I try to create that possibility.”  learn from each one and improve,” he says.launchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 5
  6. 6. ENTREPRENEUR DAT DO, MBA ‘05DAT DODerivatas, Inc. Company Name: Derivatas, Inc. Company URL: www.derivatas.com Location: Los Angeles, CAD at Do (MBA ‘05) was successfully Mission: applying his skill as a valuation specialist/financial Provide our customers with engineer at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Los sophisticated, standardized valuation Angeles, when two “a-ha” moments presented tools and market insights that helpthemselves. First, he and some colleagues discussed the improve decision making for companypossibility of turning certain types of valuation management and investors.methodologies into an efficient, affordable standardized Business Idea:valuation process. Provide valuation software to solve complex valuation issues for“I suggested that the firm invest in developing software that privately-held companies that arewould perform these complex valuation calculations,” says backed by venture capital and privateDo. “While many people thought it was a great idea, it never equity.materialized because software development wasn’t Problem Set Out to Solve:considered a core business of a Big Four.” Startups need an effective and cost-efficient way to perform valuations. Target Customer: Venture capitalists, private equity firms, valuation firms, audit firms, and privately-held companies. Year Founded: 2011 Avg. Annual Revenue: Confidential Number of Employees: Three, plus a dozen software engineers when engaged in product develop- ment.6 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  7. 7. Dat DoSecond, an important client had a misvaluation, Supported by a cadre of trusted software develop- Entrepreneurship agrees with Do, stimulatingwhereby management unknowingly underpriced ers, Do marshaled the idea through the Beta creativity and relationships building.the company’s new financing round. testing stage and then to release in December. “So far, it’s been a great experience,” he says. “My“When the misvaluation happened, I thought this “I’ve been delighted by the market traction we’ve flexible schedule allows me to pick up my 5-yearwas probably a more common problem than most gained,” says Do. “We have a good virtual pipeline old son from kindergarten every day. Then I get topeople realize . Appropriate valuation models help of clients and there’s enthusiasm in the market help him with his homework for about an hour orto effectively determine the price of a future fi- place for our software platform.” so. It’s special to me because it’s a good bondingnancing round,” he says. “What was needed was a time for us.” While the software offering is meeting marketrobust software platform at a reasonable cost that Also special to Do is the newfound freedom to needs today, Do is already looking to the nextwould meet the needs of an underserved market.” dream, which entrepreneurship has provided. challenge.As would be expected of a financial analyst “I get to dream freely and to dream big,” he says. “We plan to raise another round of financing fromschooled in careful decision making, Do consulted “My software engineers keep reminding us that private investors in 2012. Part of the proceeds willwith several PwC colleagues whom he trusted and there’s no limitation to what software can do. So be used toward expanding our sales/marketingrespected before making the ultimate decision to as long as we can imagine it and conceptualize it, team. We also want to invest further in productleave the corporate world to pursue entrepreneur- it can be coded into software. How great would it development by adding features and functionsship. be if everyone could have a period of uninhibited that will help our clients achieve even greater“I loved working at PwC because of the caliber efficiency,” he says. dreaming at some point during their career? Justof people I was surrounded with as well as the imagine how much innovation would result fromopportunity to work on interesting projects,” says that!” Do. “But this is a special situation in which I feltthat the innovative business idea could be betterexecuted as a startup.”Armed with guidance and support from hiscolleagues, and a round of angel funding, Dolaunched Derivatas and stepped up to his firstchallenge: software development.“I quickly came to the realization that I’ve takensoftware for granted for so many years,” he says.“Building software has to be one of the mostdifficult things you can do. You literally have toconsider every possible scenario or permutationof users’ requirements as you design a softwareplatform. So before you start coding, you have toexhaustively map out all possible outcomes. Not atask to be taken lightly!”launchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 7
  8. 8. ENTREPRENEURVARUN KHANNAVedanic. W hen you measure popular opinion against personal experience, you may just come up with a new business. That was exactly what happened when Varun Khanna (MBA ’12) compared what he knew about herbal skincare with what he was witnessing in the marketplace. “As a reseller of high-end herbal bath, body, and beauty products from India for several years, I compared my products to those from other companies purporting to be ‘herbal’ and found they were using parabens, sulphates, and more8 LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 SPRING 20128 || LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 || SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  9. 9. than 200 other chemicals that essentially are and done in an ECOCERT (one of the highestbanned in many parts of the world,” he says. “It standard of organic and natural certificationswas time to launch a responsible line of herbal in the world) laboratories under strict FDA-ap- VARUN KHANNA, MBA ‘12skincare that used India’s ancient ayurvedic proved quality control.formulations of organic, natural, and herbal Company Name: The formula for Vedandic resonates with the Vedanicingredients.” company’s target audience – those who pay Company URL:Khanna’s business instinct has been as sharp as careful attention to what they eat, wear, drink www.vedanic.comhis product knowledge. Topical skin care is a and drive and who put a value on themselvesmulti-billion dollar industry, with skin care the and the environment. Location: Culver City, CAmost important category in the global beauty “We are proud of our products. They stand upmarket. Yet even with plenty of like-minded Mission: to the test. In the end the customer decides Establish an organic skincare line in the ma-entrepreneurs moving quickly into the category, whether the product deserves their hard earned ture bath, body and beauty market.Khanna researched for 18 months before he money,” says Khanna.launched Vedanic. Business Idea: Vedanic products are available online, and Develop a high-end skincare line using India’s“Typical manufacturers will spend all their ancient ayurvedic formulations of organic, Khanna has his eye on expanding the brandmoney rushing their product into the market- natural and herbal ingredients. footprint. “The next challenge is marketing,” heplace, yet will not consider that the ingredients Problem Set Out to Solve: says. “We need to establish our brand in the ma-are actually harmful to the skin,” he says. Many common skincare formulations contain ture bath, body and beauty market,” he says. To chemical that are damaging to the skin.Taking the time to develop the line correctly is that end, he has launched a niche target marketone of the distinctions of the brand. The other online ad campaign. Very shortly, Vedanic will Target Customer:is operating with the courage of Khanna’s larger Adults who are serious about all-natural skin- be advertised on Sony TV nationally, and a high- care and value the environment.convictions of responsibility and staying true end spa campaign will follow.to the origin of the company name. ‘Veda’ is Year Founded: As a consummate entrepreneur (he started his 2012Sanskrit for ‘science’ and ‘nic’ is part of the word first business at age 11), Khanna’s experience‘organic. (Sanskrit for organic science) Avg. Annual Revenue: has both informed his personality and delivered Confidential“It was important to me, not only to a feeling of success. Number of Employees:manufacture products that were produced with “Entrepreneurship gives me deep satisfaction,” Two co-founderspremium, handpicked herbal ingredients, but he says. “Being an entrepreneur gives me aalso to ensure the entire supply chain was held sense of ownership, responsibility and account-to higher standards,” he says. At Vedanic, ability, all of which help me be a better father,manufacturing and packaging is achieved using son, brother and husband.” fair trade practice which prohibits child labor,launchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 9
  10. 10. ENTREPRENEUR NOELLE NGUYEN American Love Affair® W here is the crossroads of fashion, business, and a sense of patriotism? One intersection is American Love Affair®, a company recently founded by Noelle Nguyen (Presidents and Key Executives MBA ’12). While the company itself is new, the genesis of the idea spans Nguyen’s formative years outside the United States. Born in Vietnam, Nguyen and her mother fled the country after the fall of Saigon and spent a harrowing two weeks at sea before landing in Thailand. They lived in a refugee camp for two years where Nguyen first came into contact with Americans. “I looked forward to the days when members of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army came to our camp and brought us food and clothing,” she says. That early experience was soon followed by other American influences in her life, including church members who sponsored her and her family when they immigrated to Maryland. “I’ve developed an unwavering appreciation for Americans, and an allegiance to the country I’ve called home for more than two decades,” she says. Today, Nguyen focuses that appreciation into a passion for designing, developing, manufactur- ing, and marketing American-made apparel and related products. The American Love Affair site sells only American-made brands.10 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  11. 11. NOELLE NGUYEN, PKE MBA ‘12 “We scoured the market and found a few She also counsels students to take advantage of hundred companies that manufacture in the the experience and advice of Graziadio Company Name: United States. We are highlighting about 50 of professors and advisors. “They inspired me every American Love Affair, LLC them in our launch,” she explains. day with their knowledge and intellect. Company URL: Understanding how they think allowed me to Entrepreneurship has given Nguyen an even www.AmericanLoveAffairOnline.com stretch my own thinking,” she says. greater appreciation of the American business Location: system. “You are free to take a risk and you have The driving motivation behind Nguyen’s business Los Angeles, CA is seeing four simple words—MADE IN THE USA— an opportunity to earn a return on your Mission: investment,” she continues. “This is clearly not a show up on more clothing labels. While she says One e-commerce destination freedom that many others around the world the mission of the company is to create stylish from which to purchase expertly crafted and superbly constructed clothing, the company’s experience. In America, with hard work and American-made fashion and consumer average intelligence you have a reasonable vision is to remind people to “fall in love again products. chance at success.” with all things that are uniquely American, be it Business Idea: country, community, or, perhaps, fashion.” Design and market American-made apparel; While Nguyen has embraced the freedom of provide a commerce platform for other Nguyen’s experiences, particularly during her working for herself, she says that structure is American brands. escape from Vietnam, her time in the refugee critically important for aspiring entrepreneurs. Problem Set Out to Solve: camp, and her early years in the United State, She advises current Pepperdine students who are A nationwide loss of pride in have shaped this vision for her company. “From interested in entrepreneurship “not to fly by the American-made products. these experiences I have developed an seat of your pants.” Instead, they should make a Target Customer: appreciation that may be difficult for someone plan. “ Those who support American who has never lived beyond the boundaries, manufacturing and would like to You must force yourself to adopt some level of safety, and charity of this country to fathom,” she promote the prominence of structure and planning while still says. “The greatest compliment I could be paid is the “Made in the U.S.A.” label. maintaining the flexibility and instincts to respond to be called a patriot—one who is pro-American Year Founded: to a changing environment,” Nguyen advises. and defends its greatness.”  2012 (e-commerce division) Avg. Annual Revenue: Confidential Number of Employees: 12 (e-commerce division)launchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 11
  12. 12. ENTREPRENEURSRINIVAS RAOBlogCastFMW hile the blogosphere may sometimes be called the next great frontier, it is one that is already well populated. According to internet search engine Technorati, in 2011 there were 164 million blogs. This is the audience that Srinivas Rao (MBA‘09) successfully caters to.“Bloggers come from all walks of life. The one thing they all have incommon is a desire to build something they can call their own,” he says.To help them do that, Rao conducts one-on-one interviews with the bestminds in the blogosphere, best-selling authors, and successfulentrepreneurs, and podcasts them via his BlogCastFM brand. He hasinterviewed A-list bloggers like Marcus Sheridan about creatinginteresting content; Danny Brown about standing out in the blogosphere;and Gini Dietrich about getting on the radar of mainstream media.“I get to connect with amazing people who have interesting stories,” hesays.But Rao is quite the interesting blogger himself. He started his blog, TheSkool of Life, in 2009 and has over 3,000 subscribers. Followers describehis posts as unconventional, adventurous, intelligent and inspiring. Raowill tell you that he is simply sharing his experiences, struggles, andlessons learned in an effort to help others.In his search to make his blog better and more informative, he askedquestions—lots of them—of those who were already making a success inthe blogosphere. It was this experience that led him to start BlogCastFM.“I started a weekly series on my blog called Interviews WithUp-and-Coming Bloggers. After about 13 interviews, one of the guys Iinterviewed suggested that I start a separate site focused solely oninterviews,” he explains.12 || LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 || SPRING 201212 LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  13. 13. SRINIVAS RAO, MBA ‘09 Company Name: BlogCastFM Company URL: blogcastfm.com Location: Los Angeles, CA Mission: Turn BlogCastFM into a full-blown media empire Business Idea: Leverage experience blogging to help other bloggers grow their business Problem Set Out to Solve: Share blogging success tips from A-list blog- Now with hundreds of interviews logged and an two hands because you actually see the impact gers with millions of bloggers world-wide. average of 30,000 downloads each month, of your work,” he says. “I didn’t always know Target Customer: BlogCastFM is fast approaching Rao’s goal of where my next check was coming from or if it Internet marketers, entrepreneurs, small media empire status. was coming at all, but I learned exactly how business owners, and bloggers valuable my time is.” While the business has yet to provided Rao with Year Founded: a consistent income, it has provided him much Rao advises current MBA students to consider 2010 satisfaction in the things that make him happy. the extra opportunities graduate school provides Avg. Annual Revenue: to hone entrepreneurial skills. Confidential “Even though it hasn’t necessarily been super lucrative financially, it’s opened up a wide array “If all you do is go to class and do what’s re- of interesting opportunities. I’ve been able to quired of you, then you’re missing out on the speak at conferences, meet and interview MBA experience,” he says. “The great thing best-selling authors, and even live abroad six about being a student is that you have tons of months rent-free,” he says. time available and less of a need to make money right away. Use that time wisely.” That excursion aboard was to Costa Rico, where he was able to pursue his other passion —surf- One of the best ways Rao made use of his time ing—which served to fuel his creative fire. That was in network building. adventure also provided the freedom he craved, “When you’re in school anybody will talk to you and the focus he needed to build BlogCastFM because you’re a student. Do as many into a brand. informational interviews as you can and in this “I think there’s something incredibly fulfill- way you’ll build your network before you need ing about building something with your own it,” he advises. lla u n c h m a g ..c o aunchmag co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 13
  14. 14. ENTREPRENEURDAVID ROSENDAHLMindFire Inc.F or David Rosendahl (BSM ’05), entrepre- neurship has been a calling to work with creative people in order to help others solve business problems.“I was involved in founding a startup around age18, and from that time, I was bitten by the bug,”he says. “I’m not sure I chose entrepreneurship —sometimes I feel like it has chosen me.”In the late 90s, he surrounded himself withdesigners, engineers and marketing experts andfounded an Internet service provider that offeredInternet access, email service and web market-ing. When that company was acquired, he leapedinto web-based software, developing productsfor small businesses. Then in 1999, he took upthe challenge to help marketers synchronize theirdirect mail campaigns with the Internet.14 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  15. 15. “When my partner Moe Farsheed and I decided to Rosendahl’s entrepreneurial success has not been DAVID ROSENDAHL, BSM ‘05start MindFire, we didn’t have a specific without challenges. “Learning to cope with mytechnology idea. We just wanted to help Company Name: own weaknesses and delegate to those who have MindFire Inc.marketers bring buyers and sellers together in complementary strength has been a learningmore meaningful ways,” he says. Company URL: process,” he says. “Also, learning to take time www.mindfireinc.comKey to getting their idea off the ground was away from the business (like vacation) has been hard. Only in the past few years have I been able Location:carefully listening to what really was a problem Irvine, CAfor marketers: managing and tracking the results to do this successfully. I think I’m a recoveringof cross-media campaigns. work-a-holic.” Mission: Enable our clients to successfully leverage“While meeting with a marketing agency and a Another challenge has been learning to manage multi-channel marketing, improve their ROIlarge bank’s marketing team, I realized that conflict properly – an issue most business people and take the guess-work out of what worksmarketers needed help, but were severely can relate to. Rather than shy away from conflict, through analytics.hamstrung by technology, obstacles, and a Rosendahl approaches those situations expecting Business Idea:dizzying array of options. They needed a simple to benefit from them. Personalized cross-media marketingsolution to help them make sense of their off-line solutions. “I’ve learned that success in life is directlyand on-line marketing,” he explains. correlated with the number of uncomfortable Problem Set Out to Solve: It is very difficult for marketers to use theRosendahl and Farsheed started work on that conversations you’re willing to have. Whenever variety of media available to them in a waysolution, which has become LookWho’sClicking, I’m in a situation that requires an uncomfortable that is orchestrated and intelligent.the company’s flagship product. It automates the conversation, I think of this maxim, and how true Target Customer:creation and management of highly-effective it has been to date,” he says. Print and marketing service providers.direct marketing campaigns using landing pages, A key skill Rosendahl learned during his studies at Year Founded:personalized URLs, QR codes, SMS text messaging, Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business 1999email, microsites, response tracking and more. Management has also paid off in making his Avg. Annual Revenue:“Today we have over 500 clients in 24 countries, business a success. “As an entrepreneur, it Confidentialand we are the leading provider of personalized sometimes feels like you’re the only one with Number of Employees:URL and landing page technology to the world’s challenges. I learned the value of speaking to 40graphic arts and marketing communities,” he says. as many people as possible about my goals and aspirations in order to gain perspective,” he says.Developing and retaining strong relationships “I have found that more often than not, someonewith his business partners, vendors and clients is else has been in a similar situation, and a goodkey to his success, Rosendahl explains. “As I have conversation can make a big difference.” gotten older I have realized how much businessis about relationships,” he says. “The relation-ships we have developed with team members andclients have been hugely rewarding.”launchmag.co SPRING 2012 || ISSUE NO. 5 || LAUNCH! MAGAZINE || 15 SPRING 2012 ISSUE NO. 5 LAUNCH! MAGAZINE 15
  16. 16. Are You Re ady To G o Fro m T he very idea of leaving the cube behind to become full-time entrepreneur can be exciting. But Em ploye e To Full-Time the grass is always greener on the other side, and while entrepreneurship has E ntrepre neur? its benefits, there many things fledgling entrepreneurs should consider before BY NATHALIE LUSSIER deciding to go it alone. If the lure of “firing your boss” is calling you, here are 10 things to ponder before you make the leap to 1 full-time entrepreneurship. YOU’RE THE MAN, OR NOT. If you want to become an entrepreneur because you don’t want to work for “the man” anymore, consider that working for yourself might mean working for a meaner boss. Also, when you take on clients and customers you end up working for more 2 than one person instead of just for yourself. UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS. If you’re going to become a solo-preneur and go it alone, there are essentially three different types of businesses you need to be aware of, and any business can be a combination of these. You can either 3 provide a done-for-you service, a consulting service, or a product. START WITH A SERVICE BUSINESS. Until you build up enough of a customer base, you will likely be providing high end services. This is a good place to be because you are fine tuning your knowledge16 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  17. 17. and skills to be able to package them upinto more scalable product offerings downthe line. You’ll want to jump into fulltimeentrepreneurship before you get to the 7 THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY IS NOT A JUSTIFICATION FOR OR AGAINST ENTREPRENEURSHIP. If you want to start a business, there you can’t take on more work than you can manage. Other times you’ll know you need to quit your job when your business becomes more profitable and motivating.  4 will never be a more perfect time than whenproduct phase. you’re ready. Starting a business is the most PLAN TO SAVE MONEY. powerful force for personal development I’ve As you look at the best time to ever experienced, so get ready for the ride of a 8 leave your job, put together an lifetime and don’t make excuses if you put it off. estimate of how much money you BE A SPONGE.need to bring in on a monthly basis to Learn as much as you can before,sustain your lifestyle. If it doesn’t seem during, and after you start yourfeasible, look for ways to scale back on your business. It’s not necessary to gospending. Start saving now so that you have back to school or to spend years researchinga nest egg when you do leave your job. It your idea and market. However, it is necessary toalways takes longer to become profitable read books about business, you business 5than you might think. industry, and marketing. It’s your job as the SURROUND YOURSELF WITH business owner to stay informed and to keep an OTHER LIKE-MINDED BUSINESS open mind to new ideas and tools, because the 9 OWNERS. business landscape is constantly changing. Nathalie Lussier got her Bachelors in Software It’s easy to stay in a job that isn’t Engineering then promptly turned down a “stable”serving you if all of your friends are doing START ON THE SIDE. job on Wall Street to start her own online business.the same thing. Instead, find yourself a group of The best way to know if you can make She’s an online business triple threat who teachesaccountability buddies who are in a similar it as a business owner and if your people how to get techy with their business as asituation to you, or a few steps ahead so they ideas are viable is to start your digital consultant. Find Nathalie at nathalielussier.can give you guidance as you navigate this new business on the side. Check with your boss and com. company policies before going ahead with the 6path in your career. side business, and then hang your shingle up. Courtesy of The Young Entrepreneur Council BE WILLING TO PIVOT. Watch what happens, how you feel, and who About the YEC. The Young Entrepreneur Council 10 As human beings we think we’ve got responds to your offers. (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization all the answers figured out. When it comprised of the world’s most promising young comes to business though, you need GET READY FOR GROWTH. entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurshipto be flexible and listen to the market and Once things start to take off for as a solution to unemployment and underemploy-response. If you’re working your tail off trying you, you’ll need to make a choice ment and provides entrepreneurs with access toto sell a product or service and it’s not giving as to whether you want to keep tools, mentorship, and resources that support eachyou the returns you’re looking for, consider your business on the side or make stage of their business’s development and growth.what your audience and market is spending the leap to full time. Sometimes you need to theyec.orgmoney on. It’s possible that what you’re offering leap before the income is there, simply becausejust isn’t a good fit.launchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 17
  18. 18. THE SHORT LISTAmerican Love Affair Business Simply Put FCearth Layla Quantumsphere TrustyMaxAmericanLoveAffairOnline.com www.businesssimplyput. www.fcearth.com Singer/Songwriter/Fashionista; www.qsinano.com www.go2socket.comDenim and fashion apparel com Eco-friendly, culturally a music phenomenon Nano catalysts and integrated Maker of go2socket – grips Strategy and financial informative soccer gear and Darlene Kiloglu, MBA ‘11 catalytic solutions bolts other sockets cannotNoelle Nguyen, PKE MBA ’12 management apparel Kevin Maloney, MBA ‘02 Tim Kim, MBA ‘10Anedot Lori Williams, MBA ‘05 Jeff Rozic, MBA ‘06 LearnItByEar.comanedot.com MP3 audio course-oriented SG Biofuels, Inc. VedanicOptimizing the way we give Capchure LLC Global4PL flashcards www.sgbiofuel.com www.vedanic.com www.capchuresystems.com www.global-4pl.com Brett Fisher, MBA ‘11 and Jatropha as a low cost, Premium organic & naturalPaul Dietzel, MBA/MPP ’11 Advertising Network for Tech Stephen Yeoh, MBA ‘11 sustainably produced oil Bloggers Supply chain solutions skincareArtful Gentleman Aaron Moskowitz, MBA ‘07 Sergio Retamal, MS ‘04 Kirk Haney, MBA ‘95 Varun Khanna, MBA ’12www.artfulgentleman.com Linked Orange CountyMen’s fashion done better EndPlay Global Wave Networking and business con- Shadys Webventurous.com endplay.com globalwavegroup.com nections www.shadys.com End-to-end web solutionsJake Wall, MBA ‘08 Web content management Bryan Elliott, MBA ‘99 Custom branded canvas golf Financial technology Dhaval Doshi, MBA ‘09 solutions cart coveringsBehind the Brand company Christos M. Cotsakos, MBA ‘83 Locaxion Jaime E. Parker, MBA ’99behindthebrand.tv Zubin P. Mehta, MBA ‘06Expert insight to grow your www.airvuegolf.com DeJant Group Corp. GPS-enabled smart phone apps Shark Bite Scubabusiness identifiDesign www.dejant.com www.sharkbitescuba.comBryan Elliott, MBA ‘99 identifidesign.com for golfers Maker of award-winning The Natural aphrodisiac drink Taking brand communica- Pratish Shah, EMBA ‘10 Tank Dolly® Omid Semino, MBA tions to the next levelBeyond the Olive Kimberly Isaac, MBA ‘10 Nick Norris, MBA ‘09 Lolay, Inc.www.beyondtheolive.com Derivatas www.lolay.comPremium retail olive oil SkoolofLife.com www.derivatas.com Jobonomics.com Location-based mobile appsproducts Personal Development Business valuation software Empowering job seekers Bardia Dejban, MBA ‘10Crystal and Chip Reibel, MBA Srinivas Rao, MBA 09 Dat Do, MBA ’11 and Geoffroy Sameer Gupta, MBA ‘09‘09 Dubuisson, MBA ’11 LSR Lifestyle Smile Brands Inc. Jungo LLC www.lsrlifestyle.comBizible www.smilebrands.com DermaShoppe jungotoys.com Wholesale cigar company Support services to general andbizible.com/Small-Business- www.dermashoppe.com Flickerz - Flickable flying toy Jordan Rockwell, MBA ‘10 multi-specialty dental groupsMarketing-SEO High-end, physician-dispensed discs Steve Bilt, PKE MBA ’01SaaS marketing for local skin care products Michael Cheshire, MBA ‘11 Markex Globalbusinesses Jimmy Nguyen, MBA ‘09 and www.markexglobal.com SohveAaron Bird, MBA Patrick Leroy, MBA ‘09 Krav Maga Worldwide, Strategetic international trade www.solve.com Inc. Kasra Ferasat, MBA ‘10Blindbid Strategic consulting DevDugal.com kravmag-kids.comwww.blindbid.com Nick Mitchell, EMBA ‘07 Youth self defense MindFire Inc.Bid for leads instead of share Business strategy advisor; The Matt Romond, MBA ‘12 www.mindfireinc.comthem Redwood Bar & Thirsty Pockets Superhero EnterprisesMichael O’Hare, MBA ‘09 founder Personalized cross-media www.superheroenterprises.com Kensel & Co marketing solutions Dev Dugal, MBA ‘04 Character-based publishing and www.kenselandco.com David Rosendahl, BSM, ’05BlogcastFM.com merchandising Middle market investmentProven social media advice Docstoc.com Davien L. Watkins, BSM ‘08 servicesSrinivas Rao, MBA 09 Online document warehouse Personal Care Physicians Brendon Kensel, MBA ‘00 Jason Nazar, M.B.A ’05, J.D. ‘06 www.mypersonalcarephysi- SwitchStream, LLC can.com www.switchstream.com Troy Medley, MBA ‘03 Management advisory services and venture investing Kyle C. Murphy, MBA ‘0518 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 launchmag.co
  19. 19. launchmag.colaunchmag.co SPRING 2012 | ISSUE NO. 5 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE | 19
  20. 20. ENTREPRENEUR’S JOURNEYFAST PITCH COMPETITION2012 FIRST PLACE WINNERDiane Jenkins, MBA ‘12“ I was preoccupied shopping one day. I had put my purse down for what I thought was a second. Butwhen I reached for it, it was gone. I had nowarning that someone had just stolen mypurse.I have come up with a solution that I callthe Charm Alarm. It is a fashionablebracelet with a charm that activates asmart card that looks just like a credit card.Put the card in your wallet and you cango shopping and travelling with ease. Themoment these two are ten feet apart, thebracelet will let out a beeping warningsound. And when they are 15 feet apart itwill let out a high pitched shriek, which isthe perfect deterrent for any pickpocket orthief. This security device works with andcomplements jewelry lines such as Pandoraand Brighton. A variety of marketing willinclude a website, infomercials,magazine ads and retailers.So take it from me, Diane Jenkins, “with a Charm Alarm you are bettersafe than sorry. 6100 Center Drvie | Suite 400 | Los Angeles, CA 90045 | bschool.pepperdine.edu20 | LAUNCH! MAGAZINE| ISSUE NO. 5 | SPRING 2012 © PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY. All Rights Reserved. GSBM.DG.030312 launchmag.co

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