Entrepreneurs Share Their Innovative Spirit with CBU Students

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(This article was published on calbaptist.edu on November 12, 2019)

A crowd of California Baptist University students filled Innovators Auditorium to hear from a panel of entrepreneurs at a Faith and Enterprise event on Nov. 11. The event hosted by the Robert K. Jabs School of Business featured several business owners who shared their start-up experiences.

Nolan Gouveia, a lecturer at the School of Business, served as the moderator for the event, leading discussions and fielding questions from the audience.

Panelists included Geoff Gouveia, a soccer artist who has worked with Adidas, Starbucks and Facebook; Mathew Irving, CEO of SystemGo IT, a web design company; Alexis Andra, owner of The Shift Creative, an art installation, and product styling company; and Charles Lee, CEO of Ideation, a marketing company.

Lee said he actively seeks ways to integrate his faith and love for God into his craft.

“Faith is just part of who I am and so if you're going to work with me and our business, that kind of comes with it. I think faith and the teachings of Jesus definitely shaped how we treat our employees, how we treat our independent contractors, our vendors, how we treat our clients,” Lee said.

Irving said as an entrepreneur, he has taken calculated risks.

“Entrepreneurs aren't all about taking risks. I'm not trying to jump out of a plane without a parachute. I'm trying to do everything I can to make sure I succeed. And then take that calculated risk,” Irving said. “The other side to that is a nine-to-five with a very steady trajectory until you retire or die. That to me is risky, because of the great recession where people lost jobs and homes, so there's nothing guaranteed in life. I like the idea of saying, ‘I'm going to bet on myself.’”

Geoff Gouveia explained the importance of persistence.

“The way to make it as an artist or as someone who's creative is to be there again tomorrow knowing that you might get beat up today,” Gouveia said. “I have to show up tomorrow knowing the client may not like my proposal; but I know that the magic is in showing up tomorrow.”

Alexis Flores, an international marketing sophomore, said she was excited about the topics addressed at the event.

“Even though as a business majors in a field that is very profit motivated, I learned that we can also worship the Lord and look to him to ensure we are headed in the right direction,” Flores said.

Audrey Alexander, a biomedical science sophomore, appreciated the variety of perspectives the speakers offered.

“The piece of advice that resonated with me was when Geoff Gouveia stated no matter how difficult something is, you need to show up tomorrow,” Alexander said. “As a biomedical science major, it feels really relevant because there is a lot of pressure and you feel like giving up. But you should just hang in there and see what God has in store.”