Education Series

The Entrepreneur and Small Business Education Series is a partnership between the Downtown Long Beach Alliance and Long Beach State University’s Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The education series is focused on providing the tools and skills needed to start and run a successful business. The Entrepreneur and Small Business Education Series is an eight-week program. Long Beach State University will provide a certificate of accomplishment to those who complete the entire program, as well as the opportunity to apply for 3 months of business development services through MKCircle CEO Institute.


Curriculum schedule

The series is focused on providing the tools and skills needed to start and run a successful business.


Week 1 (January 20, 2024): The Value of a Business Plan

Mitch McNicol

  • Structure of a BMC / Pitch deck
  • Defining your Value Proposition
  • Who is your customer
  • Generating Revenue
  • “Producing” your product or service
  • Cost projections
  • Elements of a business plan
  • Organizational plan
  • Elevator Pitch basics
  • Putting it all together
Week 2 (January 27, 2024): All Things Accounting

Sabrina Lando

  • Financial Literacy
  • Basic accounting principles
  • Types of accounting platforms
  • Financial statements
Week 3 (February 3, 2024): Digital Marketing 101 + Finding Funding

Aleks Lason

  • Design and construct your website
  • Types of social and digital media
  • Email marketing
Week 4 (February 10, 2024): Writing a Marketing Plan

Ali Kowsari

  • Who are my target customers?
  • How do I reach them?
  • What channels do I use to reach them?
  • How do I price my products/services?
  • The 4 P’s (promotion, place, price, product)
  • Putting it all together
Week 5 (February 17, 2024): HR Basics & Putting it All Together

Jeff Bentley

  • When to hire your first employee
  • Basics on rules & regulations when onboarding an employee
  • Hiring a diverse team vs. a clone of yourself
  • How to interview applicants – what to say/ask and not to say/ask
  • Writing a position description
  • Writing a training protocol that can eventually become a training manual
Week 6 (February 24, 2024): Where to Locate & Lease Negotiations

Austin Metoyer & Karie Armstrong

  • Appropriately zoned site for your business
  • Foot traffic and parking requirements
  • Office specific requirements / suggestions
  • Retail specific requirements / suggestions
  • Restaurant specific requirements / suggestions
  • Putting it all together
  • Understand lease options
  • Do I need a broker?
  • Who pays for tenant improvements
  • What can I negotiate
  • Research the area prior to lease negotiations
  • Putting it all together
Week 7 (March 2, 2024): How to Get Funding

David Ochi

  • Traditional types of funding opportunities
  • Non-traditional types of funding opportunities
  • Applying for funding
  • How to choose the right bank
  • Access to Capital
  • Resource: Expert panel on funding sources
Week 8 (March 9, 2024): Building Your Strategic Plan

Kenji Klein

  • Setting 1 to 5 year goals
  • Acquiring partners & customers
  • Aligning with your value proposition
  • Alignment with target marketing and value proposition
  • What happens when there is a shock to the economy (e.g., Covid)
  • Managing a good/stable cash flow
  • Understand what happens if…
Week 9 (March 16, 2024): PitchMania

Participants present their business model at this end of workshop series celebratory event.

Sponsored by:

Register for the Education Series

Date: January 20 – March 16, 2024
Time: Saturday mornings (in-person) 9:00 to 11:30 with an optional instructor and attendees Q&A until 12:00pm.
Location: Studio One Eleven (245 E. 3rd Street, Long Beach CA 90802)
Cost to Attend: FREE to attend for Existing and Potential Downtown Business Owners and CSULB Students (Value of $1,350)