School:Menlo College

From University Innovation Fellows
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Menlo College is Silicon Valley's small private school with 900 students. Located in  Atherton, California, Menlo College offers degrees in business, as well as psychology. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley, Menlo College provides its students a unique approach to business: small class sizes with access to companies such as Facebook and Google, a short drive away from our campus. Menlo College provides 99% of students with financial aid and/or scholarships. However, Menlo College is such a small college, we lack many resources needed for a strong entreprenuarship and innovation program. Having the influence of such great entrepreneurial corporations around us is not enough to implement our own ideas as students without the necessary materials, mentors and an area to foster creativity. Therefore, the UIF Leadership Circle of Menlo College looks forward to identifying the gaps in our ecosystem, which need to strengthen in order for Menlo College students to fully embrace entrepreneurship and innovation.

Student Entrepreneurship

Menlo College students are passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation; except, there are only minimal assets for them to utilize on campus. Entrepreneurship is offered as a major for those pursuing a business degree and is a growing major at Menlo College. The large presence of clubs on campus gives students the extracurricular opportunities to explore their areas of interest, such as the Pioneer Club, an organization strictly designed for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers alike. Another club where students are exposed to innovation is the Paks Innovation Club. Menlo College Office of Career Services hosts a number of career-orientated workshops, such as how to create a cover letter and resume workshop to learning how to set up a Linkedin profile; these are just a few of the events Menlo College offers to support entrepreneurship in their students. In addition, this was the first year Menlo participated in the Hult Prize competition, a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship. With the success of this competition, Menlo College is looking to expand on-campus challenges. Moreover Menlo College has a Living Learning Dorm for Creativity and Innovation.

The Innovation Center is a space where students can be creative and work together on projects. It is used for design thinking classes but also free for students to come in whenever they want.

Menlo College students, with the support of faculty, have organized three successful Startup weekends. In November 2020, Menlo hosted, virtually, Startup Weekend Silicon Valley Womxn. More than 100 people attended.

Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Being in the heart of Silicon Valley, most of our faculty members are not only professors, they have either experienced in the world of business or are currently in the workforce.  Many professors share their entrepreneurial experiences in class, whether it is indirect or directly tied to entrepreneurship.  Menlo College students are grateful to be backed by administration and faculty, who see the potential and need for expansion into entrepreneurship and innovation on campus. Faculty participated in the Conrad Challenge to encourage innovation. Moreover there is a mentorship program between faculty and students to work together and support each other.

University Technology Transfer Function

Our school does not have a technology transfer office.

University - Industry Collaboration

As an undergraduate school, Menlo College does not host the amount of research as a graduate university. Many professors conduct research, furthering their professional area of study, but their work is not directly linked to students. As a possible solution, Menlo College can partner in collaboration efforts with Stanford University and other local univerisities for students to see and utilize the resources in their surrounding environment.

Menlo College offers a Silicon Valley Immersion and a Global immersion where students have the chance to connect with companies in the Bay Area and in Dubai.

Career services launched an internship class INT499/399 that helps students to connect with industries and gain working experience.

In addition there is a strong connection between Menlo College and the Startup Metabob, founded by an alumn.

Regional and Local Economic Development

Menlo College has a very low regional and local ecomonic development. Possibly due to the fact that our campus and its students do not have access to a specific entrepreneruship deparment or designated leader. There is a lack of awareness surrounding entrepreneruship and innovation on campus. Ultimately, this deprives students from pursuing their innovative business ideas as well as learning the steps to fully develop their ideas. 

The economic development in the surrounding areas of campus have shown a strong trend of growth in the past 5 years but there's low accesibility for students to take advantage and get involved. Menlo College itself as an institution is now playing catch up in comparison to surrounding organizations. Menlo College can be doing a lot more in the aspect of connecting students to more resources in the area, whether that be for conferences, lectures, company tours, etc. The focus on secured employment and internships on campus is beginning to overshadow the school's original entrepreneurial potential. As University Innovation Fellows it's our responsibility to remind the school of it's origins and innovative mentality. 


Menlo College participated as one of 24 universities around the globe in the UNM Anderson School of Management Global Scaling challenge to devise business growth strategies. The findings were presented their findings to a panel of judges, including the companies executives. The Menlo team consisted won second place in this years' global scaling challenge. Menlo provided a team of three students and a faculty mentor. In addition, 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 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