The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Shark Tank for Matadors comes to CSUN

Iva Andrade, the director of sales for Rethrifted, changes the clothes on the dress form/mannequin inside the Northridge Center during the The Sustainable Fashion Expo on Monday, May 6, 2024. Andrade, Dre Lopez, and their team at Rethrifted won second place at the 9th annual Jeff Marine Bullring New Venture Competition on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

The ninth annual Jeff Marine Bull Ring New Venture Competition on April 24 was a Shark Tank-style event where students from different majors and backgrounds showcased their businesses.

The teams had a seven-minute time limit to present before the judges asked questions about marketing strategies, funding needed and offered suggestions.

ATLAS, or the Advanced Transport Lifting System for wheelchair-bound people, made by electrical and computer engineering students Evan Jones and William Chavez, was the most revolutionary idea of the competition.

Jones and Chavez will provide low-cost wheelchair lifts that are compatible with smaller vehicles and do not need modifications.

Around 200 students, entrepreneurs and supporters attended the event this year and were excited to hear the business ideas.

The judging panel consisted of Platinum AdvantEdge CEO Neeti Dewan, who is also a motivational speaker, author and angel investor, founder and executive chairman of the Board of NINJIO, a cybersecurity awareness business Zack Schuler, director of the Small Business Development Center at College of the Canyons Catherine Grooms and Zohar Ziv, an angel investor and advisor.

The student teams that shared their businesses were ATLAS, LS Trust Marketing (MediabyLaci), a social media production agency made by Laci Sanchez and Paris Rayne; Practice & Potential, a virtual learning platform made by educational therapy major Aileen Tang and Nashif Iqbal, a software development engineer at Amazon, ReCreate, a social media platform for skill sharing made by computer science majors Victoria Miteva and Luis Olmos and Rethrifted, a company for high-quality inventory for secondhand resellers made by Andrea Lopez and Iva Andrade.

They had a chance to win the grand prize, which was $10,000, as well as $2,500 of free legal services courtesy of NovusGC and $2,500 of free marketing services from IntersectLA. Additional awards were audience choice, social impact, best use of technology and second and third place.

Before announcing the winners, Sachin Nayyar, keynote speaker for the event, gave business advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. The advice consisted of what to expect, working hard and enjoying the journey.

Second place went to Rethrifted while third place went to ATLAS, which also got the audience choice award.

The social impact award went to a semifinalist named TheElevenShop, a candle company made by Diamond Evans and Cheyenne Cobb which is dedicated to foster youth. Evans shared her experience of being in foster care and starting this business to give back to foster youth.

The Best in Technology award went to ReCreate, while Practice & Potential got the Entrepreneurial Spirit award, made possible by an anonymous donor.

The winner of the grand prize was MediaByLaci, which described itself as a one-stop shop for businesses that want to maximize their customer base.

Ryan Holbrook, entrepreneurship program director at CSUN’s Nazarian College, started overseeing the event in 2015 when he first came to the college.

Holbrook said the two major things that have evolved over the years are how advanced the student businesses are and the energy around the event.

“I think CSUN had, at that point, traditionally been known as a fantastic teaching institution and a staple of the San Fernando Valley. But as it relates to innovation and entrepreneurship, it just hadn’t been a priority,” Holbrook said. “That was one major thing that David [Nazarian] wanted to see accomplished through his gift.”

Founding donor Jeff Marine and long-time investor for the College of Business and Economics David Nazarian started the event after brainstorming ideas over lunch to feature student businesses at CSUN.

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