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Application Process

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Basic Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

  1. All applicants must be a currently enrolled student (in good academic standing) in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) programs at California State University San Bernardino.
  2. All students applying to the Fund must submit specific information that will include an overview of the business opportunity, amount of funding requested, applicable experience of the student(s) and a timeline and milestones for the business venture. Each interested student will be provided with an application form where all required information can be detailed.
  3. All requests for start-up funds will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Fund’s investor panel, due to the varied needs of startup ventures. The Fund may research typical startup costs of similar ventures, to ensure students receive adequate capital and to verify that their startup costs are reasonable.
  4. Preference will be given to startup ventures that have their primary base of operations within the Inland Empire region.
  5. Startup costs incurred by the student venture will vary; therefore, the capital amounts will be proportional for the Fund. Most grants will fall into the $5,000 to $25,000 range. It is desired that the funding would not exceed 80 % of the total funding required to launch the venture.
  6. Successful applicants will be required to work with a mentor assigned by the Fund and submit monthly reports on progress and status of the venture to the Fund and the assigned mentor.
  7. Each application must provide to the Fund a specific “sources and uses of funds” statement and present evidence of how funds will be used (e.g. invoices, receipts). Invested funds will be drawn down and paid out based on this evidence.
  8. Student must sign a binding investment agreement before receiving funding.
  9. The Investor Panel, which consists of representatives from the Fund as well as active Angel and Venture Capital investors, may have members that elect to invest additional capital in the startup, using their own investment funds. Such investments will be negotiated between the applicant and the investor as a separate transaction outside of the Fund, and will likely require that the student allocate equity shares in the new venture to the investor in exchange for the additional capital.
  10. All potential applicants are required to attend an application workshop that will be held the week of April 25-29 (dates/times to be announced).
  11. The Fund reserves the right to reject any application if the proposed or existing startup venture Is deemed to be in violation of the CSUSB Code of Ethics; violates any local, state or national law; and appears to be pornographic in nature.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. The entrepreneur has identified a significant market need.
  2. The product offering/technology is the solution to the market need.
  3. No one else has the solution (or there is room in the market for a few competitors).
  4. The company can achieve significant revenues and create job opportunities in the local community.
  5. The product, service or technology is market ready or nearly market ready.
  6. There is a capable team to take the business forward (or the team can be properly mentored by the Fund).
  7. The company has a clear plan and strategy on how to take advantage of the market opportunity.
  8. The opportunity will likely be of significant interest to follow-on investors that could provide additional funding to the startup to help fuel its growth.
  9. The case for the company must be sufficiently compelling to justify its selection from among the other potential candidates that may be under review during any given quarter.

Evaluation Process

  1. Each submitted application will be reviewed by the Fund to ensure that it meets the basic eligibility criteria.
  2. Eligible applications will be forwarded on the Fund’s Investor Panel, which will review the business venture using the aforementioned evaluation criteria.
  3. The Investor Panel will select the most promising applications and those startup ventures will be invited to make a full presentation to the panel. The presentation to the Investor Panel will entail a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation with a 15-minute question and answer period.
  4. Immediately following the presentations, the Investor Panel will meet to discuss the potential of the startup ventures and make decisions on which company or companies should receive funding. The Investor Panel decision will be contingent on digging deeper into the business opportunity and conducting timely due diligence. This process could take an additional 30-60 days.
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Application Process Timeline – 2011

  1. May 13, 2011 – Student applications due. All applications must be submitted electronically by 5:00 pm on that date to
  2. May 27, 2011 – Initial screening completed.
  3. Week of June 6-10, 2011 (tentative) – Formal presentations to Investor Panel.