• CSUN Jeff Marine Bull Ring New Venture Competition

CSUN Jeff Marine Bull Ring Competition

Shark Tank Meets Matadors - Attend the Finals on April 24th!

CSUN's David Nazarian College of Business & Economics invites you to attend the 9th Annual Jeff Marine Bull Ring New Venture Competition! The event takes place on Wednesday, April 24th from 3-5pm in the University Student Union, Grand Salon. Please join us in supporting our five finalist teams as they pitch their businesses to a panel of distinguished judges, ultimately competing for $25,000 in cash prizes. The event is free to attend and open to the community.

The Bull Ring has been made possible thanks to the generous support of our founding and continuing donor, Jeff Marine and his family. Please see below for full competition details.

 

Finalist Student Teams

Congratulations to our 5 finalist student teams, who have emerged from two incredibly competitive rounds of competition:

ATLAS
Team members: Evan Jones & William Chavez
ATLAS is developing a mobility solution to help paraplegics and the elderly to access regular non-wheelchair accessible vehicles with a roof mounted wheelchair lift and stowing solution.

Media By Laci
Team members: Laci Sanchez & Paris Rayne
Media By Laci is a social media production company capitalizing on our existing strengths while expanding our service offerings to meet the evolving needs of our clients in the digital age. With a larger team and an expanded array of services, we aim to become the go-to destination for brands seeking to maximize their online presence and engagement.

Practice & Potential
Team members: Aileen Tang & Nashif Iqbal
Practice & Potential is building a distributed learning platform where scholars can learn math and computer science from highly technical, deeply empathetic instructors in a rigorous, yet compassionate environment.

ReCreate
Team members: Victoria Miteva & Luis Olmos
ReCreate is a social media skill sharing platform designed for anyone seeking creative and productive online engagement. It transforms mindless scrolling into active learning by prioritizing creative content and fostering a safe community for all.

Rethrifted
Team members: Andrea "Dre" Lopez & Iva Andrade
Rethrifted pioneers affordable clothing with innovative sorting and washing techniques, providing high-quality inventory for online secondhand resellers at uniform prices, regardless of brand or quality.

Keynote Speaker

Sachin Dayyar | Founder and CEO of Saviynt
Sachin is a recognized visionary in the identity and cybersecurity space, where he remains one of the few individuals to have founded several successful companies in these markets. Prior to returning as CEO at Saviynt, Sachin was the Founder and CEO of Securonix, a leading SIEM company that he successfully scaled and brought a $1 billion+ growth investment led by Vista Equity Partners in 2022. Before Securonix, Sachin was the Founder and CEO of identity management company Vaau, where he built the company from conception to a successful acquisition by Sun Microsystems.

Master of Ceremonies

Doug McIntyre | Novelist, Columnist, Radio Host
Doug is the author of Frank’s Shadow, his debut novel, published in July, 2023 and is the former host of McIntyre In The Morning on KABC 790 Los Angeles. He retired after 22 years in broadcasting in 2018. McIntyre is a long-time columnist for the Southern California News Group which includes the LA Daily News. Known for his active involvement in local politics and his passion for jazz, McIntyre's background includes work as television writer-producer with credits including Married... with Children, Full House, and the critically acclaimed PBS series, Liberty's Kids, which earned McIntyre a Humanitas Prize nomination.

Distinguished Judges

Catherine Grooms | Director, SBDC at College of the Canyons
Catherine is the Director of the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) at College of the Canyons, which is a no-cost resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them start new businesses and grow existing businesses. She leads a team of 20 professional business consultants and training professionals with a focus on improving the local economy through business starts, job creation and retention, sales growth, and capital infusion.

Zack Schuler | Executive Chairman of the Board, NINJIO
Zack is the Founder, Former CEO, and now Executive Chairman of the Board of NINJIO, a leader in the Cybersecurity Awareness Training space, recognized by Gartner Peer Insights as the highest rated in the industry. With over a 1,000,000 viewers a month, NINJIO AWARE empowers employees at some of the world's largest organizations how to protect themselves against cyber threats and cyber scams.

Neeti Dewan | CEO, Platinum AdvantEdge
Neeti is an entrepreneur, angel investor, author and motivational speaker who is passionate about helping executives and leaders lower their stress while enhancing productivity in the workplace. She is a Global Tax and Finance Executive who’s had leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies as well as the Big 4 CPA firms. Her books explore holistic ways of achieving success and are ideal for executives and leaders battling stress or healing from burnout.

Zohar Ziv | Entrepreneur and Advisor
Zohar has over 25 years of executive management experience across a diverse set of business environments, including large to small size and public and private companies, rapid growth, M&A and traditional businesses. His background includes serving as a COO of a $1.8 billion footwear company, CFO of public and private companies, co-founder and general partner of an early stage consumer goods venture fund, and angel investor.

Prizes

Prizes

Grand Prize: $10,000
2nd Place: $5,000
3rd Place: $2,500

Additional awards:
Audience Choice: $2,500
Social Impact Award: $2,500
Best Use of Technology: $2,500

$2,500 of free legal services (courtesy of NovusGC) and $2,500 of free marketing/branding services (courtesy of IntersectLA) will also be offered to each of the top 3 teams.

Additional funding available over summer!

Full Competition Schedule

Competition Schedule

Sunday, March 3rd
Application Deadline

Friday, March 8th
20 Semi-Finalist Teams Announced

March 11th onward
Coaching & Mentoring Period

Friday, April 5th
5 Finalist Teams Announced

Wednesday, April 24th 3-5pm
Bull Ring Final Event
Free Audience RSVP

Application Details

Application Details

Applications were due Sunday, March 3rd, 2024 and required:

(1) a 10-25 page slide deck *or*
     5-7 page executive summary, AND

(2) a video not to exceed 2 minutes.

The Fine Print: Rules & Eligibility

The Fine Print: Rules & Eligibility

1) The competition is open to ALL current CSUN students.

2) The competition is intended for student-created, -managed, and -owned ventures.

3) Teams must be comprised of at least 2 members.

4) At least 50% of team members must be current CSUN students as of the 2023-2024 academic year (Fall 2023 graduates eligible). The "pitch" must be delivered by a CSUN student.

5) Businesses currently earning >$15K in annual revenue are not eligible.

6) Business that have already raised >$50K in funding from outside sources are not eligible.

7) Both for-profit and non-profit business concepts are eligible; however, sources of revenue must be addressed.

8) An individual may only be a member of one team.

9) 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners from past Bull Ring Competitions are not eligible.

Thank you to the Marine Family

We would like to honor and formally thank the Marine family for their support and generosity in making this competition a reality. Both born and raised in Los Angeles, Joni and Jeff Marine are deeply passionate about elevating the educational opportunities available to children in the greater L.A. area. The family’s philanthropy has also led to the creation of the Alliance Joni and Jeff Marine High School, which opened in 2017 in Sun Valley. The school brings rigorous college-preparatory instruction and powerful learning experiences through interdisciplinary projects and integration of real-world applications. Jeff and Joni have three daughters, Jenna, Jillian, and Jaslin, all three of whom attended the University of Michigan studying Political Science, Art History, Film, and History.

Thank you to our Mentors

The Bull Ring has been designed to include a 6 week "incubation period" mid-March to late-April for the 20 teams selected as semi-finalists. During this period, each student team is paired with a dedicated mentor to help refine the value proposition, set goals and priorities, and generally, push the venture forward. We would like to thank our distinguished mentors for their support of the competition and the entrepreneurial community at CSUN.

Adel Villalobos
Alan Sugano
Andi Mysza
Avetis Antaplyan
Bandhana Katoch
Cesar Montoya
Danny Stein
Emily Serebryany
Hector Garcia
John Ko
Kevin McVearry
Lewis Dvorkin
Loren West
Michael Letson
Nishit Rathod
Paul Mazbanian
Scott Glassberg
Steven Sarfati
Sylvia Martini

Last Year's Competition (2023)

The 8th Annual Jeff Marine Bull Ring New Venture Competition concluded on April 20th, 2023. Please see below for more details:

View Photo Gallery
Read Press Release

Center for Social and Technology Entrepreneurship (C-STE)

About CSUN's Center for Social and Technology Entrepreneurship

The Center for Social and Technology Entrepreneurship (C-STE) promotes and fosters entrepreneurship and innovation, with a unique specialization in both technology and social entrepreneurship, within the DNCBE, CSUN, and the greater Los Angeles community by leveraging strengths in networks, research, interdisciplinary initiatives, curricular and co-curricular programming, and community/industry engagement. C-STE also offers a unique specialization at the intersection of technology and social entrepreneurship (socio-tech entrepreneurship) which is a newly emerging and quickly growing area of entrepreneurship that offers exciting opportunities for technology-focused ventures to develop scalable and profitable socially impactful ventures.