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Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program

Money Talks with Brad Sandstrom

December 15, 2015

“Technology allows you the opportunity to do business with the entire world, not just the people in Fresno.” -Brad Sandstrom

Written by: Angielee Soto

Last week, the Laval Entrepreneur Mentor Program (EMP) session was held in the Sebra Think Tank at the Lyles Center. Elisa Ramos provided a delicious lunch of Italian subs and yummy pasta, courtesy of Sam’s Deli. The energy in the room was light hearted, but also a bit nostalgic since it was the last meeting of the semester.

Following the meal, Shervin Zoghi shared his entrepreneurial journey with the group. He talked about his childhood, as well as some of his first entrepreneurial encounters. Zoghi discovered the world of entrepreneurship at a young age, shoveling driveways and investing what he earned in a machine to string tennis rackets. He also spoke about his passions, which include politics, engineering, and his plans to attend graduate school.

After Zoghi’s presentation, mentees ware lucky enough to hear from Brad Sandstrom, vice president of Commercial Banking at Citibank. Right away mentees began asking questions regarding loans for start-ups, purchasing a home, investments and the stock market. Sandstrom’s presentation was both entertaining and informative, as he shared valuable knowledge and insight with the group. 

Sandstrom asked who planned to go directly into entrepreneurship. More than half of the group raised their hands. Sandstrom asked everyone to keep their hands up while he retrieved at stack of cash from his pocket. “Here is one dollar,” he said. “Everyone says bankers never loan out money. I just gave it to you, but I do expect a return.”

Sandstrom told mentees one of the most vital things to remember in business, the ABCs: attorney, banker and CPA. When asked for the most important piece of advice he could give, Sandstrom replied, “be prepared, do your research, and answer truthfully any questions your banker asks, because if you don’t, he or she will find out.”

EMP would like to thank Brad Sandstrom for taking the time to share his knowledge, his advice and his dollars. EMP would also like to thank all of the people who’ve been involved over this semester; it’s truly been a great experience!