Associated Students hope to help students become entrepreneurs

Abed Rah, speaks to U.S. about funding.
Abed Rah, a senior marketing major, speaks to A.S. during open forum to request funding for a Management Association event before the officers approved the amount on Oct. 26. (Yvonne Zimmerman / The Sundial)

Associated Students leaders are working to bridge the gap between the CSUN communities’ innovative ideas and the ability to become entrepreneurs, as discussed at their meeting Oct. 26.

Guest speaker Kevin Randolph of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, A.S. reaffirmed its current initiative to assist more students in developing their ideas, while providing funding and networking opportunities through the incubator, and reach out to more students with this opportunity.

“This is entrepreneurship. This is what we are trying to bring here – is for you to have the opportunity and for the rest of the students, faculty and staff, and the community of the valley, to have an opportunity to see what it is to start something that maybe no one has ever thought of,” Randolph said.

LACI, created four years ago by the city of L.A., provides coaching from advisers for business growth and access to prospective customers for leaders who have ideas and want to explore marketing those solutions.

LACI is focusing on a global footprint and allowing ideas to spread across markets. Five companies are in the Northridge portfolio with LACI, according to Randolph.

These companies include Pick My Solar, which was started by a CSUN alumnus and connects people with solar options. Got Gift Cards, also begun by a CSUN alumnus, allows gift cards to be stored on cell phones.

According to CSUN Senator Kimberly Worland, the Entrepreneurship Club, a new club on campus, will work with LACI to connect students to the assistance provided by LACI.

LACI will also be moving into the CSUN’s newly purchased building on Reseda Boulevard as one campus entity available there to students.

“The fact that they are bringing this opportunity to the student body and really trying— because that’s what we have been doing this year is bridging that gap between LA Clean Tech and the students,” said Sevag Alexanian, A.S. Vice President. “And seeing that they are such a great organization and they offer so much and students will be able to utilize that now. It’s a really great opportunity for students to take advantage of.”

A.S. members also approved the allocation of $6,000 for Zimride, which is a carpooling system that will be implemented on campus within the next semester.

According to A.S. President Jorge Reyes, Zimride operates similar to Uber. It will allow students who are commuting from the same area to campus to ride together and negotiate their own compensation.

The program will be available solely for CSUN students and is made possible at a discounted price from partnerships with Enterprise.

“Now that that passed, all the goals and initiatives that we set forth we are starting to see one by one get accomplished, which is really a great feeling,” Alexanian said. “All the hard work put in — all the strategizing, figuring it all out — it’s all coming into fruition.”

Highlights of the meeting:

· The possibility of building a hotel on campus, along with the discussion of any need for a hotel. It will be discussed in two weeks, according to Reyes.

· If the concept for a hotel is approved at the Nov. 17 Board of Trustees meeting, it will be acted upon further by A.S.

· A.S. allocated $3,000 to Management Association for entrepreneurship event with David Nazarian.

· Zarina Ceniza was appointed as an A.S. elections committee member.

· Emily Samvalian was appointed as an A.S. sustainability committee member.