What’s on Campus: Cal Poly Entrepreneurs

By: Lauren Arendt

The Cal Poly Entrepreneurs (CPE), one of the most diverse clubs on the Cal Poly campus, offers students a network of like-minded peers and countless learning experiences. The community of creative thinkers works together to manifest their entrepreneurial mindset, and even build world-changing ideas.

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Majors from various colleges are not only allowed, but encouraged to get involved with the CPE. The benefits provided by the club serve far more than only business and engineering students: from political science and journalism, to architecture and forestry, anyone interested in learning the skills associated with an entrepreneurial frame of mind will learn and grow.

“Mechanical engineering students usually don’t get to take businesses classes,” explained mechanical engineering student and third year at Cal Poly, Brannon Smudz. “Hearing about the full project development that happens with entrepreneurship really motivated me to get that experience in the entrepreneurship minor and get plugged in with things like the Hatchery, Elevator Pitch Competition and Startup Weekend.”

All members benefit from the various majors, skillsets and personalities represented in the club. More diversity leads to a richer network and more possibilities for inspiration and collaboration.  

“[The CPE] surrounds me with a group of people that want to take their ideas to the next step and I find a lot of passion and motivation in that,” said Smudz.


The only real qualification to join the CPE is an open mind to entrepreneurship. Coming in with a business idea is not only unnecessary, but rather uncommon. An estimated 60 percent of students in the club don’t have preconceived ideas, but instead an eagerness to surround themselves with the inspiration to build one.

Additionally, there are no club fees, making the club truly open to anyone. The only fees that come up are for optional, highly discounted trips to different cities and states that provide priceless opportunities to network.

Why CPE?

On Tuesday nights, when the CPE meetings are conducted, students from every walk of life at Cal Poly gather to listen to successful entrepreneurs share their stories, hold workshops, learn new skills, network and collaborate.

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