By: Lauren Arendt
Any student interested in learning about what it takes to start a business, or even form an idea for a business, is well suited to apply for the Hatchery, the on-campus hub for entrepreneurial-minded students. The Hatchery’s goal is to foster student entrepreneurship initiatives, whether that be forming a peer network, building relationships with CIE faculty, or learning skills essential to success.
Participating in the Hatchery is not limited to the students of the Orfalea College of Business. Rather, students from all walks of life at Cal Poly come together to collaborate and build upon each other’s ideas in the space.
“We have probably every college at Cal Poly represented in the Hatchery,” said Alexa Rozell, Hatchery Director. “Students from all majors are welcome at the Hatchery.”
Once students are admitted into the Hatchery, they receive 24/7 access to the shared workspace located in the Crochett Education Building. In this space, students have the opportunity to build a peer network, collaborate with mentors and attend weekly workshops.
“The Hatchery is a really great place to network with other students, as well as with different CIE faculty,” said Rozell. “Sometimes, we’ll bring in entrepreneurs and residents who talk about their experiences and give advice.”
Weekly startup assignments help entrepreneurial minded students to learn valuable skills in communication, goal-setting and leadership. All of these skills help students cultivate their ideas, as well as prepare them for launching their own companie.
Many of Cal Poly’s most distinguished entrepreneurs got their start at the Hatchery, including Atsa Foods, a current CIE incubating company. Students from various colleges and majors came together to create a cohesive snack food company with a strong social mission. Haley Pavone, Founder and CEO of Pashion Footwear, another current CIE incubating company, also utilized the Hatchery to help launch her business.
Applying to the Hatchery is as simple as filling out a form online and meeting with a faculty advisor to discuss ideas and goals. The advisors will help interested students determine what next steps to take, as well as lend a hand at every stage of the implementation of those steps.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and can be accessed at this LINK. Visit the Hatchery in building 2, room 206 to see future entrepreneurs in action, or visit this LINK to learn about other ways to get involved with the CIE.