California State University, Fullerton
OC Entrepreneurship

2010 Study: Purpose

The goal of this study was to better understand how Orange County compared to its peer group comprised of some of the most entrepreneurial counties in the nation representing both California (Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and San Diego) and two other states, Massachusetts and Texas (Middlesex and Travis, respectively). While many factors can attribute to an entrepreneurial region, we focused primarily on finance, economics, education, demographics, culture, and infrastructure.


The Research Team

Our research team has included the following scholars:

  • John Bradley Jackson - Director of the CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship and Professor in Entrepreneurship
  • Dmitry Khanin, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Management, Department of Management and Director of Research for the CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Travis Lindsay - 2008 MBA Graduate and Business Consultant
  • Garrett Myklak – 2010 MBA Graduate and Business Consultant
  • Victor Macias - 2007 BA Graduate and Web Entrepreneur

Summary

One of our main objectives as members of the Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University, Fullerton is to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in Orange County and Southern California in general. In order to fully accomplish our goal we need to understand how we compare to our peers in the arena of business creation. Comparing ourselves to every county in America may not be particularly instructive due to the differences in the types and level of entrepreneurship. This is why we selected a peer group of counties known for their entrepreneurial oomph from the existing research. Our selected peer group consists of Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Diego, Travis (Austin being the major city) and Middlesex (Boston) counties. Additionally, we will compare Orange County with California and America as a whole in certain metrics.

Based on our examination, we have found that Orange County performs admirably in many areas although, in some areas, including venture capital funding, Orange County falls into the back of the pack in our peer group. Even though Orange County’s performance in the rarified air of venture capital funding is less stellar it is also true that Orange County performs better than the majority of its peer group when you just count new venture creation.

The overarching purpose of this initial study is to ferret out the variables that contribute to entrepreneurship, which we have defined as new venture creation, and to gather data on those variables. Our sources for this information range from readily available information from government bodies (the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, etc.) to studies that have been conducted in the area of entrepreneurship. While we do not reach a conclusion about what mixture of variables leads to entrepreneurship we have collected a variety of information on various metrics that we feel warrants further study.

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