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Cultivating
Creativity

Activating
Potential

Seeking
Innovation

Fueling
Ambition

Energizing
Entreprenuers

Building
Community

The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) helps students and community members acquire the tools, develop the skills and cultivate the mindset of an entrepreneur so that they may create economic and social value throughout the world. While it can mean starting a new business, entrepreneurial careers can be found or created in just about every field, industry, and organization. At the center, students and community members are immersed in the entrepreneurial process through hands-on innovation programs focused on our three distinct areas: LEARN, PREPARE and LAUNCH.

News & Events

News

Novocuff Joins FI to Help Prevent Preterm Birth

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CIE Incubator helps researchers articulate the potential impact of Coconino County solar and wind power projects in terms of health for people and the planet.

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How Cal Poly Helped a Power Couple Launch Two Startups That Have Become Giant Success Stories – and Why They’re Paying It Forward

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College of Engineering Graduates Win Big at CSU Startup Competition

Events

Three startups won from $140k at AngelCon 2023!

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MLK Legacy Award Honors Biomedical Engineering Professor’s Commitment to Students and Innovation

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Cal Poly Magazine: Disrupting the Hospital

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Student Startup ‘Ryde’ Releases New Mobile App

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Microgreen business provides insight to student entrepreneurship at Cal Poly

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LADWP Offers New Direct Discount for Flume, a Smart Home Water Monitoring Device

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Cal Poly Demo Day 2022 showcases local startups

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Female-led startup gets $2.8M, encounter with retired engineer led to building gadget fighting Parkinson’s disease walk

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A Cal Poly Senior Project Is Making Virtual Labs A Reality

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Spotlight: the applications of deployables – with DcubeD

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Could These Students Improve the Global Food Supply? They’re Finding Out — One Tractor at a Time

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Cal Poly HotHouse company started as a senior project. It just sold for $240 million

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What Percentage of Small Businesses Fail?

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Four Cal Poly Grads Explain Why San Luis Obispo Is A Hub For Startups

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Cal Poly Startup Hopes To Shape Future Of California Wildfires

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International Alumni Work to Give Others a Home — While Creating Their Own

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Empowering the Innovators

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Anatomy of the Hustle

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Can ‘SLO life’ survive when tech comes to town?

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How Tech Expanded From Silicon Valley to Bubblegum Alley

Learn

Entrepreneurial careers transcend specific job titles, career paths and industries. We develop the entrepreneurial mindset with complementing class instruction and project-based activities.

Ivet Avalos

Learn

Ivet Avalos
College of Engineering
Class of '21

“The CIE can provide you with a space to grow. You don’t have to come in with experience, and you can still become an entrepreneur.”

Prepare

The center prepares students to become emerging leaders and career ready entrepreneurs who generate innovative solutions to real-world problems, research promising technologies and develop sustainable businesses.

Elevator Pitch winners Owen Works and Camille Boiteux holding their $1,000 and $500 awarded checks.

Elevator Pitch Competition

You know that idea you’ve always had? The one you think could make you millions? Well, this is your chance to share that idea with the world and possibly win $1,000. The Elevator Pitch Competition gives students 90 seconds to pitch their best idea to a panel of entrepreneurs and compete for cash prizes.

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Startup Launch Weekend

Starting a business usually requires months (or even years) of preparation. At Startup Launch Weekend, though, we give you only 54 hours to build a business with a team of strangers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find out what it takes to produce a viable startup in the modern world.

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The Hatchery

At the CIE, we understand that your best ideas can arrive before your diploma. In fact, the startups that change the world often begin in dorm rooms and classrooms. We designed the Hatchery to shape and grow student-led startups, enabling students to develop the proper tools for building a business from scratch.

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A group of students smiling and holding giant checks

Innovation Quest

A great startup requires more than just a great idea; it needs support from the market, clients and investors. Innovation Quest (iQ) serves as the support system that provides the fuel for great ideas. With a $15,000 grand prize and over $10,000 in additional prize money, iQ can transform your idea into a financially-backed endeavor.

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Camp PolyHacks

Cal Poly is home to some of the most creative programmers and designers in the world, so Camp PolyHacks we created a student-run, multidisciplinary hackathon dedicated to social entrepreneurship and human-centered design.

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Gabrielle Pollock

Prepare

Gabrielle Pollock
Orfalea College Of Business
Class of '23

“What intrigued us most about the CIE was the focus on students. There’s so much freedom to go where we want to go with our companies and so much fantastic support.”

Launch

The center offers students and community members highly customized paths that allow them to launch their own startups and become entrepreneurial leaders who create great economic and social value everywhere.

Sam Andrews

Launch

Sam Andrews
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science
Class of '24

“The CIE has shown me what entrepreneurship can offer, and that’s changed the course of my life.”

Mentors

The center’s elite entrepreneur mentors accelerate growth and enrich the educational experience of Cal Poly students by advancing their entrepreneurial careers and helping them accomplish more faster.

Learn more about the mentorship program, and how to become a mentor like Eric Meyer, Lisa Hufford and Jeff Witous.
Explore CIE Mentorship