New Businesses Inspired by Past Experiences

On April 30, entrepreneurship students presented their new businesses to alumni, fellow students, faculty and staff at the Spring 2015 Business Incubator Showcase & Presentations. Four teams from Dr. David Choi’s “Business Incubation” class shared their progress and achievements over the last semester, highlighting key aspects of launching a new business including industry demand, target market, competitor landscape and financial projections.

Featured new businesses included Delta Books, a children’s book publishing company that promotes awareness for social justice issues around the world; Float, a mobile banking platform that instantly provides consumers with an interest-free line of credit; Pocket Compression Gear, an innovative patented design that brings wearable technology to the fitness world; and Dortee, an online directory for finding a therapist that empowers people to invest in their emotional intelligence.

For several students, their businesses were directly inspired by past experiences. Delta Books founder John Ruffaine started the company because of his own lack of awareness growing up in Sacramento.

“It wasn’t until I came to LMU that I learned about social justice issues,” said John. “These books will help children become aware of issues like homelessness, environmental concerns, gender equality and diversity and encourage intelligent conversations with parents.”

Dortee founder Jasmine Foroutan launched her company out of frustration of not being able to find a good therapist when her parents went through a messy divorce.

“Mental health is a growing industry and so many people who are suffering don’t get the treatment they need,” said Jasmine. “Dortee gives both therapist and client more control over finding a match and creates a platform for lasting relationships.”

Launched in 2012, the Business Incubator gives students the workspace and guidance to prepare their businesses for the real world. Student businesses admitted to the Incubator receive advice from subject matter experts, alumni, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors. Over 25 student and alumni businesses have been launched in the Business Incubator since its inception.