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The Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED) is an institute of CSUMB's College of Business that works collaboratively with other regional organizations to create and support businesses and entrepreneurs, promote inclusivity, community, and ecology, and create prosperity in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. By developing and spreading resources, collaborating with regional and global organizations, and delivering applied research, programs and events, the iiED has made a substantial impact on the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, creating opportunities for CSUMB graduates. iiED programs are open to all CSUMB students, faculty, and staff to support them in creating their own businesses and developing as entrepreneurs.

An integral part of the CSUMB community, the iiED supports CSUMB’s mission to provide opportunities for underserved and underrepresented students by encouraging student involvement in annual programs and supporting job creation in the local business community. Since its inception in 2012, the Institute’s annual programs have provided hands-on training for over 3500 students, assisted in the development of 750 student business teams, and supported the development of over 40 businesses in the region. From AgTech to social ventures, businesses developed through iiED continue to thrive and create jobs, including Parallel Flight Technologies, infinRel, HeavyConnect, and We Hike, Inc.

The iiED hosts a series of annual programs and events geared towards creating a supportive community of aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and mentors who guide each other through the business development process, from inception to acceleration. The Institute’s programs— including Startup Weekend, Startup Challenge, and the Startup Investment and Community Capital Expo, the monthly Startup Monterey Bay Tech Meetup, and the Startup Launchpad virtual incubator— create and develop talent, provide opportunities for CSUMB graduates, strengthen the region’s entrepreneurial community, and boost capital in the region.

If you are a student and interested in starting your own business, we can help.

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Spring 2021 Events

Upcoming iiED events

Help us support regional entrepreneurs

The best way to support tomorrow's entrepreneurs is to invest in iiED programs to support regional entrepreneurs. Follow the link below to make your contribution today.

Help Invest in Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs


Startup Monterey Bay Tech Meetup

2nd Tuesday of the month

Startup Tech Meetup

Startup Monterey Tech Meetup is a monthly networking event for aspiring and current entrepreneurs, students, innovators, investors, local startups, and businesses. The Meetup is the perfect place for students interested in entrepreneurship to learn and make connections with seasoned professionals, and is open to anyone who is interested in the latest innovations, trends, and technology.

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay

Finale: May 7, 2021

Startup Challenge Finale

Startup Challenge is the region’s premiere new business competition and accelerator program, featuring student, main street, social venture and venture divisions. While finalists have opportunities to compete for prizes, all participants walk away with knowledge and networking gained from workshops, mentoring, and professional feedback on pitches. Startup Challenge has launched many thriving businesses in the region, including Parallel Flight Technologies, infinRel, HeavyConnect, and HoweNeat, Inc.

Startup Weekend Monterey Bay

February 5 - 7, 2021

Startup Weekend Zoom screen capture.png

Startup Weekend is an annual new business formation competition open to students and community members, providing a hands-on experience to design, develop, and pitch a new startup company with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs. The weekend-long event provides students and community members a unique opportunity to build upon their skills, drive, and teamwork and build a startup from the ground up.

Startup Investment and Community Capital Expo

Sept. 28—30, 2020 (Online)

Startup Investment and Community Capital Expo

Startup Investment and Community Capital Expo is the region’s premiere investment conference, where the region’s fastest-growing companies meet with top-tier investors and alternative sources of funding. The Expo provides a platform for local companies to pitch to an audience of venture capitalists, bankers, angel investors, and others who can help them raise the capital they need to grow their business. Student attendees gain knowledge of pitch strategy, learn from inspiring keynote speakers and discover pathways to funding local and regional startup business projects.

Startup Launchpad

Applications are open!

Startup Launchpad

Startup Launchpad is a virtual incubator that offers advising, workshops, referrals to resources, assistance in obtaining funding, and connection to an extensive network of entrepreneurs, investors, advisors, and service providers. Matching entrepreneurs with a diverse pool of mentors, the Launchpad creates a supportive, educational community who can learn from one another while developing innovative businesses in the region.

GetVirtual (CSUMB)

The Get Virtual project is an amazing opportunity for CSUMB students to gain priceless digital marketing and business experience while helping local businesses affected by COVID-19. Students learn to assess the needs of applicant businesses and create websites, social media, and other tools to build their virtual presence. The service is free to client businesses and is aimed at those lacking knowledge and resources to perform or outsource the work themselves.

Institute for Innovation and Economic Development

(831) 582-3230