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California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

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Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship

Cal Poly creates an ecosystem of entrepreneurship which allows those from the mildly interested to the die-hard serial entrepreneur to explore the discipline; often you're shipped at their own pace. At the grassroots level, we have Cal Poly Entrepreneurs (CPE). CPE is a club on campus that holds biweekly meetings featuring local and nonlocal entrepreneurial speakers, and hosts workshops at staggered biweekly meetings. CPE is the main resource for reaching out and marketing innovation to the general student body. In addition, innovation has been prompted through advertising the concentration at the college's Open House, through marketing for events held by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), and through word-of-mouth from the pretty cool events hosted by both CPE and CIE. What Cal Poly lacks is an overarching theme that implores all majors to implement entrepreneurial and innovative thinking whether they are going into a startup or not.

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship

Cal Poly is not a research facility and also does not put a lot of pressure on faculty for innovation and entrepreneurship. But, faculty are always welcome to participate in any of the workshops, Forums, events, And most other resources intended for students. And we have had faculty from the mechanical engineering department for example pitch a product. This is another area in which Cal poly has room (A lot of room) to grow.

Actively supporting the university technology transfer function

There're not any TTO or TLO offices officially at Cal Poly but there is a technology park called C3RP which officially takes on these same functions in the name of the uniersity. The fuction of helping ideas tranfer to industry is also appearant in many of our competitions and the general environment that exists thus far. Such examples of this can be found in numerous successes out of innovation quest including YC admitant "iCracked". The goal of our programs are focused on the successful application of entrepreneurial skills, in the business discipline this usually alligns with the students goals as "become a successful Business". As such that is an outcome we hope to facilitate through providing resources like C3RP and a general focus on acheiving that goal.

Facilitating university-industry collaboration

Cal Poly offers internships with successful alumni student startups, and through the C3 RP Technology Park facilitates licensor licensee relationships. Of course there are A plethora of internship opportunities for companies like Apple or Google, But as far as grassroots and intrapreneur internships go these are the two main resources so far. The other focus that we are currently trying to build out is a program called start up showcase which is in essence a career fair in which startups can find employees. This resource brings in three levels of start up: current student projects/Start ups with no traction, current students start ups with good traction, And recently graduated alumni start ups with moderate to great traction, we will also be hosting silicon Valley startups as premium members of the show case.

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts

There are no programs specifically for regional and local economic development efforts at this time. That is not to say that it is not a priority of our ecosystem as well as our students and their startups. One local startup employs junvinile delinquents in a program to build their simple product and allow them an honest job with mentoring from the two army enlisted founders.

The Landscape Canvas

Related Links

Cal Poly Student Priorites

University Innovaiton Fellows:

Nicholas Sinai