Photo Op/Media Advisory for Tuesday, April 26, 2016: CSUN Students Compete for More Than $50,000 in Prize Money at Inaugural Bull Ring New Venture Competition

What:             Five teams of students in disciplines from across the campus will pitch their ideas for a new business venture in the final round of California State University, Northridge’s inaugural “Bull Ring” competition — CSUN’s version of “Shark Tank.” Third place will be awarded $5,000, second place will get $15,000 and first place will receive $25,000 to help start their business.

The idea for the Bull Ring New Venture Competition grew out of a lunch meeting between entrepreneur and philanthropist David Nazarian and former CSUN classmate and businessman Jeff Marine. While discussing ways to encourage entrepreneurial thinking among CSUN students, the conversation strayed to a discussion about “Shark Tank” — a reality television show that has aspiring entrepreneur contestants make business presentations to a panel of “shark” investors — and the idea for the Bull Ring was born.

The teams were asked to submit a five- to seven-page written executive summary, a 10- to 25-page slide deck and a two-minute video about their idea. The ideas were judged on their feasibility, market potential, traction and quality of presentation. Of the 58 ideas submitted, 20 were selected to take part in the preliminary competition April 7 and to receive a $250 prize. The top five winners in the preliminary competition were chosen to take part in the final round.

When:            3 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 26

Where:          The Northridge Center of the University Student Union
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330
(The University Student Union is located on the east side of the campus.)

Who:              Five teams of students:

  • CTHRU (team members Narek Zaribian and Ish Hunanyan) straddles stationary print and video to create an innovative marketing tool.
  • EduCode (team members Arman Aivazian, Jazmin Perez and Ibram Uppal) bridges the gap between computer science education and the real world by teaching K-12 children how to codes in a hands-on collaborative environment.
  • Take Sessions (team members Jonathan Saeidian and Joseph Saeidian) is a mobile platform offering private music sessions to students in nearly every musical category around the U.S.
  • ThinkFit (team members Mark Swanson, Brian Swanson and Rene Sanchez) is s service provider that helps patients better manage and reduce their symptoms by combining psychotherapy and physical exercise.
  • Vibe Probiotics (team members Abed Rahman, Erika Elizalde and Katie Teevin) produces beverages, powder sticks and chews that combine a unique delivery method with a proprietary mix of probiotics, prebiotics and electrolytes.

                        The judges:

  • Jeff Marine, CEO and president of JEM Sportswear and Awake Inc.
  • David Nazarian, former head of Qualcomm, Inc., and current founder and CEO of Nimes Capital.
  • Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, co-founder and executive vice president of OPI.
  • Zack Schuler, founder and former CEO of Cal Net Technology Group, now head of Ninjio, LLC.
  • William Wang, founder and CEO of Vizio.

Media Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, CSUN Media Relations, (818) 677-2130