Entrepreneur, educator and author Melissa Moreno’s new book inspires students to get their foot in the business door as efficiently as possible.
City College’s Enterprise Launch program is a unique opportunity for students to develop and sell a product over the duration of a semester. She has overseen the creation and progression of the program.
From it’s success, she has broke down the course outline and created a proven 20-step guide to starting a business.
“It went from experimental to obligatory,” said Moreno.
With the interest and success of these student businesses, she felt the need to document the core values aspiring entrepreneurs would need to drive their business goals.
Moreno has a diverse background in law and business, making her no stranger to the world of innovation and company ownership.
“Melissa is an entrepreneur herself. This gives her the insight into what small business owners need,” Valerie Ellis, fellow City College entrepreneur professor said.
After preforming developmental work at UCSB, as well as a career as a paralegal, Moreno had experience rebuilding and creating programs.
From this experience, she applied for her current position as director of the Scheinfeld Center at City College.
“I had to compete for this job,” said Moreno.
Her drive carried over to the creation of the program itself.
“The structure developed from trial and error,” Moreno explained.
The Enterprise Launch program began as an unstructured campus club, with Moreno’s guidance and the immense interested from City College students, it has become a credited class.
Debriefing the past eight semesters of the Enterprise Launch course has unlimitedly been the predecessor of her book.
“The book, ‘The Practical Guide to a Rapid Start-up’ is a fast-track, down-and-dirty way for students, or other readers, to explore the possibilities of a business idea and be ready to pitch it to potential investors- all in 16 weeks, “ said fellow businesswoman Ellis.
The book is meant to give student entrepreneurs the ability to start somewhere with as little of risk as possible.
“She has a down-to-earth style when working with students that allows them to understand their strengths and weaknesses, bringing out the best in their potential,” said Ellis.
While writing the book, Moreno applied this practical attitude to the reality of today’s economy.
“We’re teaching students to work for someone else,” said Moreno. “With the job market being so scarce, we need to provide an alternative option.”
With the Scheinfeld Center’s engagement with Dr. Jon Anton, a large supporter and contributor to the Enterprise Launch program, Moreno was able to find a publisher.
“He invested in me,” said Moreno.
Moreno is currently holding various lectures and events, further spreading her voice and guidance to future entrepreneurs
“Selling the book is the hard part,” said Moreno. “ I’m currently in an 18 month process of basically branding myself.”
The book is gaining interest on a local, state and national platforms.
Using it as a textbook for interested first-time entrepreneurs, as well as for facilitators and educators.
Moreno will be holding two book signing events, one at 9 p.m., Dec. 7 at Roy and another at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13, at Granada Brooks.