Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Applications Due March 14 for Startup Challenge Monterey Bay

By Sara Isenberg
Founder, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, Santa Cruz Tech Beat

February 11, 2016 — Seaside, CA

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is a regional new business competition and acceleration program for entrepreneurs in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. The event is hosted by CSUMB’s Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, and will be held on the CSUMB campus.

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay's 2015 winners show off their big check. (Contributed)

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay’s 2015 winners show off their big check. (Contributed)

The Startup Challenge provides workshops and mentoring to empower entrepreneurs to communicate their ideas effectively to investors, customers and employees.

 “The Startup Challenge was very well organized and structured by organizers that gave its candidates the opportunity to package and promote our business models in a professional, panel-like forum.  The Challenge’s credibility and positioning for new business development is an invaluable asset to our community.”  Darius Sadeghi, Bio-check, 2012 Finalist

” The Startup Challenge prepared me to make an award-winning presentation to potential investors and business partners. I obtained a wealth of valuable insights”  
Rachel Handerson, International Proof System, 2015 Finalist

Who Is Eligible?

  • Start-ups (not yet operational) and emerging businesses may apply.
  • Existing early-stage businesses must be located in the Monterey Bay region (Monterey, San Benito, or Santa Cruz counties).
  • The business idea must be your original work that you can fully disclose.

Applicants compete in one of three divisions:

  1. Main Street Division: Local and regional businesses that are not intended to scale, but will still have an economic impact regionally.
  2. Venture Division: Businesses intended to scale nationally or internationally and provide venture capital-level returns in three-five years.
  3. Student Division: Student entrepreneurs and teams. Applicants under age 18 must have their parents or guardians sign the Liability Waiver Form at the Qualifying Round Pitch.

Register here:

Key 2016 Dates

  • March 14 – Applications Due
  • April 1 – Qualifying Round pitches, CSUMB
  • April 25 – Finalist Business Summaries Due
  • May 6 – Venture Showcase and Challenge Finals, CSUMB

Attend an Introductory Workshop

The Startup Challenge offers a series of workshops to help participants enter and prepare for the Challenge and move their businesses toward successful launch.

  • February 17,  6-7:30PM at CruzioWorks
  • March 3,  6-7:30PM at CruzioWorks
  • March 8, 6-7:30PM at Salinas SBDC ​


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