Sunstone CSU Startup Launch

The annual Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition takes place on Friday, May 6 at the University Student Union starting at 8am on CSULB Campus!


8:00am to 10:00am - Registration/Continental Breakfast/Networking

10:00am to 12pm - Concurrent Pitch Tracks

12pm to 1:00pm - Lunch/Judges Deliberation

1:00pm to 2:00pm - Awards

*subject to change


Parking for the event:

lot G3 parking for the CSU Pitch Launch Event

The Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition is a groundbreaking partnership designed to level the playing field for aspiring collegiate entrepreneurs. In 2021, the Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition brought forth six mission aligned Cal State Universities to plan a regional pitch competition with the largest prize pool specifically for collegiate founded ventures. The CSU Startup Launch Competition is the only one of its kind, focusing specifically on supporting and recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of collegiate entrepreneurs.

Student pitching to a group of people

Who we are looking for graphic

Who We Are Looking For:

  • For-profit businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises
  • Up to $20,000 dollars in prices per category.
  • Current students or recent graduates (Graduation date must be May 2021 or later)
  • Products, Services and Impact Driven Models
  • We welcome applications from CSUN, CSULB, CSUDH, CSULA, Cal Poly Pomona, and CSUF
  • Interested in participating but don't see your school? Send us an email

**Notice: CSUN, CSULB, CSUDH, CSULA, Cal Poly Pomona, and CSUF are the only campuses participating in YR1 (2022). Other Cal State Universities will be invited for 2023 and on. Do you want your campus to be involved next year, let us know by emailing


SubmitIt, Team lead: Joshua K, CSUN

Octobit, Team Lead An An Chang, CSUN

PAVANAS, Team Lead Komal Gada, CSULB

The Spacecraft Company, Team Lead Gavin James, CPP

Gotta Go Foods, LLC, Team Lead Rachel Littell, CSUF

10-8 Systems, Team Lead Bryan Ruef, CSUF


Weekly, Team Lead Jonathan Witkowski, CPP

Fility, Team Lead Asger Mathiasen, CSUN

Haze Technology, Team Lead Jason Stone, CSUDH

Split, Team Lead Rudy St. Felix, CSUN

Prospect, Team Lead Raymond Garcia, CSUF

GRIDE, Team Lead Asli Sungur

ClassChat, Team Lead Emanuel Tafese, CSULB


Fresh Vend, Team Lead Jimmy Can Bacelis, CSULA

HSH Vetted Services, Team Lead Libby Donkor, CSUDH

Sustainable Bluefin Tuna, Team Lead Young Yang, CSUF

Familias Unidas, Team Lead Ashley Chetia, CSULA

Unwind–Meditation Trainer, Team Lead Arthur Varin, CSULB

Plants 4 the People, Team Lead Jacob Fry, CPP

Unstockable, Team Lead Elizabeth Masso, CSULB

Contact Your Campus Rep

John Bradley Jackson | CSU Fullerton

John Bradley Jackson headshotJohn Bradley Jackson is Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University, Fullerton. At CSUF Jackson is a Professor of Entrepreneurship; he teaches New Venture Creation and New Venture Launch.  Known affectionately as "Professor JJ", Jackson brings startup experience along with practical marketing and sales knowledge to the classroom from both Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Jackson has authored multiple books about marketing and entrepreneurship. He is the founder of the CSUF Startup Incubator which provides advisory services to early-stage startups. He also founded Titan Angels, LLC which invests in high potential, scalable startups. Jackson is married with 3 children and has a small horse ranch in Norco, California.


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Kenneth Lamb | Cal Poly Pomona

Kenneth Lamb headshotKenneth Lamb is the faculty director of the Student Innovation Idea Labs (SIIL) at Cal Poly Pomona University.  As Director, Kenneth oversees the university-wide maker spaces as well as the programming supporting creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  As a faculty member in the college of engineering, Kenneth also works directly with student innovators and creators to prototype and develop their market potential.



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Wade Martin | CSU Long Beach

Wade Martin headshotWade Martin, PhD is Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at California State University, Long Beach. He works primarily in the area of risk analysis related to business development and sustainability for local economic development.  He has worked on projects for the City of Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach Alliance, CalRECYLES, the World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the USDA Forest Service, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Government of Indonesia and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Institute for International Development. 


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David M. Ochi | CSU Dominguez Hills

David M. Ochi headshotDavid Ochi is a persistent entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in early-stage companies having started his first enterprise at the age of 13. Since then, Mr. Ochi has started over a dozen companies in diverse industries such as fashion, technology, international distribution, startup incubation, cleantech, biotech, mobile, social media, and education. In 2007, he moved to Viet Nam for nearly two years launching Disney Consumer Products into the Indochina market. He was the founding Executive Director of the ANTrepreneur Center at the University of California, Irvine, and is the co-founder and CEO of V1 Ventures, a health sciences & technology acceleration firm focused on exponentially growing scale-ups by facilitating rapid international expansion into global territories. Currently, Mr. Ochi is the Executive Director of the Incubator at California State University Dominguez Hills near Los Angeles, California where he focuses on expanding the entrepreneur mindset and skillsets into diverse communities.



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Elianne Rodriguez | CSU Los Angeles

Elianne Rodriguez headshotElianne Rodriguez is a serial entrepreneur with 15yrs of experience in small businesses, education, and tech. She believes entrepreneurship and technology are great disruptors to build accessible and equitable ecosystems. Elianne fosters community and designs culturally competent programming to connect diverse talent to opportunities that reflect the intersectionality of Los Angeles across racial, socioeconomic, gender, education, sexuality, and immigration status. Elianne is currently LEEAF's Director at Cal State LA, where she supports small businesses, tech startups and community projects at large. Through these projects, she has served 5,000+ clients, launched 100+ businesses, supported 12,000+ jobs and accessed over $40M in capital. Elianne serves on several advisory boards of grassroots organizations, small business collaboratives, educational institutions and tech advocacy groups.


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Tim Tiemann | CSU Northridge

Tim Tiemann headshotTim holds graduate degrees in Business (Marketing/Finance) and Science (Molecular Immunology) from the University of Rochester.  He was the global business lead for a business unit of Bayer Corporation, and led commercialization and FDA clearance for Motorola Clinical Micro Sensors eSensor.  He was the Managing Director of Life Sciences banking for Urchin Capital Partners and holds series 7 and 63 licenses.  As the Associate Director of Technology Commercialization at University of Southern California, he supported the launch of over 30 faculty startups, and licenses to life science firms.  He has founded, or been in senior leadership for several biotech ventures and today leads the I-Corps, Accelerator, and Innovation Incubator at CSUN.


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