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Meet John Bradley (JJ) Jackson of CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Bradley (JJ) Jackson.

John is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University, Fullerton. At CSUF, John is a Professor of Entrepreneurial Marketing, New Venture Creation and New Venture Launch. Known affectionately as “Professor JJ”, he brings startup experience along with practical marketing and sales knowledge to the classroom from both Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

He is the founder of the CSUF Startup Incubator which is located in downtown Placentia and on the CSFU Irvine Campus. The CSUF Startup Incubator embraces the Lean Startup methodology and has helped launch 36 startups.

At CSUF, he was awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation. The first grant, which was awarded in late 2013, was a $50,000 grant for the I-CORPS program which embraced “Lean Startup.” The second award was a $1,000,000 I-Test grant; awarded in Sept 2014, this grant stimulated junior high students to learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

His career began in high technology sales in the semiconductor industry at Signetics Inc., but he soon moved to high technology market research with Dataquest Incorporated. At Dataquest, he served as Vice President for nearly ten years and held a variety of roles in sales, marketing, and research. Later, he joined Bowne and Company, the world’s largest financial printer, and served as Senior Vice President responsible for sales, marketing, and operations. He also was Sales Director at Forrester Research Inc., an Information Technology advisory firm.

As an entrepreneur, he founded The BirdDog Group, a marketing and sales consulting firm that specializes in helping small and medium-sized businesses with marketing and sales strategy. In particular, he is an expert in digital marketing including social media, web development and search marketing.

In 2007, he wrote the book “First, Best, or Different: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Niche Marketing;” the book received rave reviews for its easy-to-read style and common sense approach. His second book is called “Déjà New Marketing” and was published in 2010. His third book is called “Socially Close: Social Media Marketing for Small Business” and was published in 2014. His fourth book was “Your Entrepreneurial Journey: Fifteen Guiding Principles” and was published in 2014.

John is very active in the southern California business and philanthropic community having served on numerous boards including:
• TeamKnit, Board Member, 2018 to present
• Titan Angels LLC, Founder and Board of Director, 2016 to present
• TriTech SBDC, Board Member, 2016 to present
• Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Board Member, 2012 to present
• Global Vision Holdings, Incorporated, Board of Director, 2012 to 2016
• O2Free LLC, Board of Director, 2014 to 2016
• BrandMixer, Incorporated, Board Member, 2011 to 2014
• Southern California Junior Achievement, Board Member, 1998 to 2005
• Los Angeles Triathlon, Board Member, 2002 to 2004
• Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, Board Member, 1999 to 2000
• Los Angeles Sports Council, Board Member, 1996 to 2002
• Los Angeles Venture Association, Board Member 1996 to 2001
• Orange County Venture Network, Board Member 1997 to 2001
• United Way, Board Member, 1987 to 1992

His resume also includes blogger, public speaker, angel investor, and horseman. He owns a small horse ranch in Norco, California with his wife and daughter.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
For me, opportunity has trumped strategy. I have found that being in the right place at the right time has helped, but I have needed to be open to new adventures and options. These unplanned adventures and options have been the most satisfying choices in my life.

Knowing my own core values has helped me make the right decisions. These values include making my family my first priority, giving to others unconditionally, and always being truthful.

This has meant saying no to things that are not consistent with my core values regardless of the financial gain or other rewards that I might get.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship – what should we know?
Today I am Director of Center for Entrepreneurship, Small Business Institute, and CSUF Startup Incubator and Professor of Entrepreneurship at CSUF.

I teach Entrepreneurial Marketing, New Venture Creation and New Venture Launch. I am the founder of the CSUF Startup Incubator which is located in downtown Placentia and on the CSUF Irvine Campus and has helped launch 36 startups.

I encourage students and startups to solve problems and embrace change, whether it be big or small. The goal is to make the planet a better place.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Listening. Continuous learning. Open to new ideas. Curiosity.

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