College of Business

iiED Offers Full Slate of Extracurricular Activities

iiED activities encompass events and programs to promote, educate and support both student and community entrepreneurs, and applied economic research to support regional economic development.


The Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED) in the College of Business was established at the California State University Monterey Bay in 2009 with a grant from U.S. Economic Development Agency to foster regional economic development through promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the university, the region, and by connecting the region to the global market. The iiED vision is to become a leading center for business and social entrepreneurship training, research and regional economic development on the West Coast.

Startup challenge new venture competition

The Startup Challenge is an annual competition that provides an opportunity for prospective entrepreneurs, start-ups and emerging companies to showcase their ideas and business concepts. The Challenge connects regional entrepreneurs to each other, to funders, consultants, support programs and venture capitalists.

The Challenge includes three divisions: Venture, for businesses intended to grow into large enterprises; Main Street, for small businesses; and Student, for high school through graduate students.

The Startup Challenge has served over 300 businesses in the 6 years of its existence. This year, there were 64 entries submitted to the Challenge and 14 selected to become finalists who will compete at the Venture Showcase. Two of the Student division finalist teams are from CSUMB.

Startup Weekend Monterey Bay

This year was the third Startup Weekend that the iiED has run, and included 40 students and 35 community members working together with 15 coaches over the weekend to design proposals and prototypes for 12 businesses. Four judges heard the final pitches and chose a winner, Undo Sushi. Three of the businesses from Startup Weekend went on to enter the in Startup Challenge, up from one last year. The 40 students in Startup Weekend also received course credit in an innovative marriage of course material and the Startup Weekend experience, which we plan to build on in the future.

Startup Weekend

Other events

The Venture Showcase is a redesigned event this year that will feature exhibits by competing businesses and past winners, special speakers, and the first Otter Tank competition among the three “final finalists” to see who will win the $20,000 grand prize for Top New Venture.

The iiED hosted two Innovation Salons this year, in which faculty, students and community members gather to hear about and discuss innovative ideas. This year’s topics included Conventional and Alternative Energy, and Making Learning collaborative, Social and Mobile.

The Entrepreneurship Forums are a series of talks, held once each semester, on subjects related to the practice of entrepreneurship. The forums are held jointly by iiED and the university’s College of Business. This year’s topics included Protecting your intellectual Property and the popular Tales from the Trenches forum.

This year the “hackathon” moniker was added to the Ideas of March name, as teams of students and software professionals produced working prototype Android apps over the weekend based on ideas proposed by Monterey Bay nonprofits and small businesses. This year’s Ideas of March Hackathon had 75 participants, 14 of whom were women and in addition to CSUMB students 9 students came from Hartnell College to participate.

Economic development

On the Economic Development side of iiED, we completed an economic impact study for the Salinas Sports Center, and are currently undertaking economic impact studies for several other events and organizations in the region. These studies provide information about the economic activity in the region event organizers and sponsoring organizations. The iiED heavily involves students in the research process, giving them excellent opportunities to learn about research and economics.

The iiED also received a grant from the EDA for $75,000 to develop entrepreneurship programs, which will allow us to further enhance our programs in the future.