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Get Started – Orange County Event


I grew up in a Small Business.

My parents immigrated to the States to make a better life for us after the War.  Most of my early life my parents struggled with a variety of small businesses to survive.  I stocked goods at my parents convenience store, helped put together furniture at my parent’s small chain of furniture stores, even worked on inventory and accounting.  Being the eldest, my responsibility was always to help in any capacity I could. You never got accolades for helping, nor did I seek it, you just get the satisfaction of knowing you did something helpful that benefits the family business.

This experience really has provided the core of my belief in American small businesses, and in America’s ability to grow and operate important businesses that can compete with the large corporations and still be successful.

Last night, I attended the Get Started event in Irvine CA, sponsored by COX Communications and INC magazine.  This was an annual competition of startup businesses and ideas that competed by pitching their idea to a distinguished panel of experts. The winner took home over $10,000 in prizes including a Cox Business technology package.

The live session was modeled after the TV show “Shark Tank,” where a group of judges listens to startup ideas and weighs investing in entrepreneurial concepts. Five Finalists then delivered two-minute pitches and got immediate feedback from a panel of business experts. The panel included Lindsay Blakely, event moderator and Los Angeles bureau chief for Inc. at Inc.com; Michael Sawitz, Founder and current CEO of FastStart Studio and a partner in MedDevCo; Richard Sudek, Executive Director of UC Irvine Applied Innovation; David Glickman, Founder and CEO of Ultra Mobile and Primo Connect; and Ken Kraft, vice president of Cox Business Marketing. The experts reviewed each of the plans and selected a winner based on innovation, ease of implementation and consumer/community benefit.

In the end, the winner of the event was Los Angeles-based Envi, a waterless car cleaning and waxing on demand business with an integrated app that provides convenience and quality service without harming the environment and at the same time delivering social benefits through improved pay and conditions and clean water project funding.  The startup’s apps run on iOS and Android has currently a large following on Yelp and other social media platforms.

When you consider how many small businesses surround you in your everyday lives, it is impressive to think about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working individuals contribute to make their businesses both come to life and stay alive.  Small businesses deliver a community character and economic advantages to the area, but also strengthen partnerships among neighbors, residents, other small business owners, community leaders and even schools by offering social and economic relationships.

Just as these startups are venturing out into the community, CSP Networks began as just a dream filled with a tremendous amount of hard work, long days and tired nights. CSP Networks is very proud to be a part of a growing community of businesses supporting and encouraging new and innovative ideas and businesses that will help drive growth within our community.

#getstarted #startups #cspsupportslocal