Japan PRIME Trip: Prologue – To Kyoto and Beyond

In retrospect, I didn’t have a real concrete, educated expectation on what Japan would be like. In looking at pictures of Japan and hearing stories from people who have previously been there, I’d hear a lot about these historical sites scattered around Japan, hearkening to the Sengoku Era on back. I’d hear about these luxurious hot springs out in the mountains. But most of all, I heard about the cityscapes and just how crowded and active they were. With people yelling, hawking their wares or announcing the latest sale. With bright lights that were hypnotic, drawing your attention and curiosity. And the transportation systems which were convenient, even efficient, but absolutely jam-packed. And living spaces that are small and cramped (dryers are rarely used because space is such a luxury). Urban sprawl. Born out of Japan’s rebirth from the ashes of World War II as it rose to become an industrial power and bathe itself in the machinery of modernity. Read More »

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EA President Frank Gibeau Speaks at USC: The New Game at EA

On November 8, 2011, Frank Gibeau, President of EA Worldwide Studios, spoke to a sizable crowd of USC students at the School of Cinematic Arts where he provided a lot of great observations and insights about where video games are heading in the next few years. The key point that I got out of the talk is that games are drifting away from content delivery on one platform to a more integrated approach on multiple platforms so that gamers can constantly engage with the product anywhere, anytime and turn that into a key strategic advantage. Read More »

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The Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum – The New Realities of Early Stage Funding

The more I go to these kinds of entrepreneurial events and seminars, the more confirmations I seem to get about the common themes that crop up when talking to startup founders. For many entrepreneurs, there’s oftentimes no greater source of worry than having the capital to continue on with their venture, so startup funding is a subject that’s near and dear to their hearts. That was what the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum’s latest event focused on: early stage startup funding and how much of that has changed since the dot-com bust and the credit crunch. Read More »

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My Takeaways from Steve Blank’s Talk at UCLA

Steve Blank’s anecdotes and lessons that he’s shared with us through his blog have helped many of us (and by that, I mean entrepreneurs) figure out our businesses better and provide that wake-up call. For that, he has a sense of mystique about him and you can tell that the startup community treats him as a sort of oracle. So given his reputation and the fact that I’ve been following his blog quite a bit, you can imagine how excited I was to hear that he’d be presenting at UCLA on Thursday, October 6! This was one opportunity to hear what new wisdom he had to share with budding entrepreneurs. Read More »

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My Group for USC Startup Weekend – Site Unseen – Takes First Place

As I mentioned in my last post detailing my entrepreneurial activities, from Friday night to Sunday afternoon just this last weekend, I took part in the USC Startup Weekend.

In the time span of 54 hours, we got the opportunity to pitch ideas, select a project to work on, and make a workable prototype. I ended up working with fellow MBAs Alfred Chung and Warren Wong on Alfred’s idea for Site Unseen, a mobile app that dynamically generates walking tours based on the user’s preferences and interests. The app also has an augmented reality component that helps tourists get their bearings in the event that they get lost.

After all that intense coding and customer/business validation, we were set to present our business plan as well as provide audiences with a demo of our product, all of which can be seen below:

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