School:Menlo College

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Menlo College, nestled in the heart of Atherton, California, is an institution renowned for its intimate learning environment and dynamic programs. With a modest enrollment of around 900 students, Menlo College is Silicon Valley's cherished gem, offering degrees in Business and Psychology. Our privileged location provides students with many opportunities, as they benefit from small class sizes while being just a couple miles away from tech giants like Facebook and Google. At Menlo College, we are committed to supporting our students' dreams, offering financial aid and scholarships up to 99% of our student body. Yet, despite our advantageous surroundings, our small size can pose challenges for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. The UIF Leadership Circle of Menlo College is dedicated to bridging these gaps in our ecosystem, ensuring that our students have access to the resources, mentors, and creative spaces necessary to thrive in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation on Campus

In terms of academics, Menlo College offers its students the opportunity to major and minor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The Entrepreneurship program focuses on building student's understanding of design thinking, ability to produce effective business plans and sharpens their public speaking and oral communication skills.

To facilitate hands-on exploration and innovation in the field of entrepreneurship, Menlo College offers students access to the state-of-the-art Innovation Center. This specialized facility is designed to serve as an ideal place for design thinking projects. Within its walls, students delve into the practical aspects of business and prototyping, benefiting from a wealth of cutting-edge resources, including 3D printers, a laser cutter, sewing machines, and more. The Innovation Center stands as a testament to Menlo College's commitment to providing a dynamic and immersive environment for entrepreneurial pursuits.

Complementing these tangible resources, the Menlo College Office of Career Services takes proactive steps to support students' entrepreneurial aspirations. Through a series of career-oriented workshops, students are empowered with essential skills and knowledge. These workshops cover a spectrum of topics, ranging from crafting persuasive cover letters and resumes to mastering the art of creating a compelling LinkedIn profile. These events underscore Menlo College's dedication to nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship and career readiness among its student body.

In a significant stride towards promoting entrepreneurship and social innovation, Menlo College made its debut in the Hult Prize competition in the recent academic year. This global startup accelerator, focused on social entrepreneurship, marked an exciting milestone for the institution. Following the success of its participation, Menlo College is actively exploring opportunities to expand its on-campus entrepreneurial challenges, fostering a culture of innovation and impact. Furthermore, Menlo College takes pride in its unique Living Learning Dorm for Creativity and Innovation, which provides students with a vibrant and collaborative living environment that nurtures entrepreneurial thinking and creativity.

The entrepreneurial spirit at Menlo College is further exemplified by active student clubs like OIC (Oak's Innovation Club) and E&I (Entrepreneurship & Innovation), which serve as platforms for students to network, collaborate, and further their entrepreneurial pursuits. Moreover, Menlo College students, with the support and mentorship of faculty, have successfully organized three impactful Startup Weekends. Notably, in November 2020, Menlo College hosted the virtual Startup Weekend Silicon Valley Womxn, drawing participation from a diverse group of over 100 enthusiastic attendees. These initiatives highlight the vibrant entrepreneurial culture at Menlo College, where students are empowered to turn their innovative ideas into reality with the backing of a supportive community.


Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, Menlo College's faculty goes beyond the traditional classroom role. Here, our educators are not just professors; they are accomplished individuals with hands-on experience in the business world or active contributors to various industries. This unique mixture of academic - and real-world expertise enriches the educational experience for our students. The best part is that our dedicated faculty members generously share their entrepreneurial insights within their classrooms, seamlessly integrating their practical experiences into the curriculum. Whether it's through indirect references or direct ties to entrepreneurship, their wisdom inspires and guides our students on their journey toward innovation and business excellence.

University Technology Transfer Function

Our school does not have a technology transfer office.

University - Industry Collaboration

Menlo College, primarily an undergraduate institution, maintains a different research landscape compared to graduate universities. While many of our esteemed professors engage in significant research endeavors, their work often remains somewhat detached from the direct involvement of undergraduate students. To bridge this gap and offer students a richer research experience, Menlo College actively explores collaborative opportunities with esteemed institutions such as Stanford University and other local universities. By forging partnerships, our students gain access to the vast array of resources in their immediate academic ecosystem, enriching their educational journey.

In addition to these collaborative efforts, Menlo College presents unique experiential learning opportunities through programs like the Silicon Valley Immersion and Global Immersion. These initiatives enable students to establish connections with prominent Bay Area companies and international counterparts in Dubai, providing them with invaluable industry exposure and networking prospects.

Menlo College students are deeply appreciative of the unwavering support and commitment from both our administration and faculty. These visionary leaders recognize the immense potential and necessity for entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish on our campus. To further encourage innovation, our faculty actively participates in initiatives like the Conrad Challenge, igniting the spark of innovation among our students.

Menlo College is committed to providing its students with a global perspective on education and life. In addition to our immersive programs in Silicon Valley and Dubai, we offer a diverse range of study abroad opportunities in captivating destinations like Japan, Spain, and France. These enriching programs allow our students to broaden their horizons, immerse themselves in different cultures, and gain a deeper understanding of the global business landscape. Through study abroad experiences, Menlo College students not only develop their academic and professional skills but also cultivate a global mindset that prepares them to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

Regional and Local Economic Development

Menlo College finds itself in a unique position, with limited regional and local economic development, potentially stemming from the absence of a dedicated entrepreneurship department or leader on our campus. This void has led to a lack of awareness regarding entrepreneurship and innovation among our student body, ultimately hindering their ability to pursue innovative business ideas and develop them to their full potential.

While the surrounding areas have experienced significant economic growth over the past five years, our students face challenges in accessing and engaging with these opportunities. Menlo College, as an institution, is now striving to catch up with the progress seen in neighboring organizations. There is considerable room for improvement in connecting our students to valuable local resources, such as conferences, lectures, company tours, and more.

The prevailing focus on securing employment and internships on campus is beginning to overshadow the university's original entrepreneurial spirit. As University Innovation Fellows, it is our responsibility to remind the institution of its pioneering roots and foster an environment where innovation can flourish once again.dition, another facutly person and the Dean of Business were involved in the process. The collaboration between students and faculty was successful and resulted in the second final place in the Challenge!

Related Links

Student Priorities

Fall 2023 Fellows:

Filippo Sernesi Gori
Melisa Ibrahimovic
Ruby Juballa

Victoria Michelacci

Fall 2022 Fellows:

Chieri Abe

Dennis Vanin
Mali Korn
Raymond Juballa

Fall 2021 Fellows:

Lina L. Lakoczky-Torres
Andrea Restrepo Vives
Chara E. Higaki
Bryan Zaremba

Fall 2020 Fellows:

Courtney L. Cooper
Dezmond A. Fraizer
Basil Merk
Esteban Ramirez

Fall 2019 Fellows:

Rufus K. Pappy
Bianca Neme Barros
George Hofstetter
Christopher Overkämping

Spring 2018 Fellows:

Ethan Moengchaisong
Sachal Jogi
Ash Hunt
Esther Funez
JC Maroun
Brenda Flores-Reyes
Jonathan Garcia
Lucia Casadei Parlanti

Spring 2017 Fellows:

Jessica Carlson
Russell W. Perkins
Yasmin Gomez
Maxwell Barnes