Unique Program At South Coast College Helps Budding Entrepreneurs

KCLU’s Lance Orozco reports on a unique Santa Barbara City College program which helps students learn the ropes of turning ideas into businesses

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We’ve come to rely on our mobile phones, and perhaps nothing is more frustrating when your phone runs out of power when you need it most.

Two former South Coast college students used some of what they learned in a one-of-a-kind Santa Barbara City College program to take a solution they developed to the dead phone issue and turn it into a business.

Dan Friedman is co-founder and Chief marketing officer for FuelBox, which developed the all-in-one chargers. They even have built-in cords, so you never have to look for missing connectors. 

Friedman says having the idea was one thing, but developing it into a product ready for sale was another. He says the Scheinfeld Center’s Rapid Launch Intensive Program helped with everything from a business plan to key mentoring. 

Julie Samson is Director of the Scheinfeld Center. She says the Center has been around for a decade, but has stepped up its enterprise efforts during the last few years. There’s a cap of just over 30 students in the 14 week program at a time, to insure students get one on one time with instructors. 

The idea is to bundle classes in a way to help budding businesses owners, whp have ideas for everything from a new app to a cutting edge clothing line. 

Students develop a plan during the course of a semester. And, there’s even a business plan and pitch competition, sort of like the TV show Shark Tank, which awards seed money and scholarships to winning finalists.

Samson says the hope is that students can do as well as the two students who created Santa Barbara based “FuelBox,” which was one of the highlighted projects at the huge Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month. FuelBox co-founder Dan Friedman admits it’s been a lot of work, but says they hope to have their mobile electronics charging devices available to the public online, and in stores by the end of the year. 

The Spring Semester of the Rapid Launch Intensive program launches next week at the Scheinfeld Center.

Link to FuelBox: myfuelbox.com

 

 

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