Startup Challenge Monterey Bay
Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is a regional new business competition and acceleration program for entrepreneurs in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. The Challenge is held annually, organized by a team of community volunteers and hosted by the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development of CSU, Monterey Bay. It is a competitive acceleration process that teachers, coaches, mentors, networks, and connects entrepreneurs to the knowledge and resources they need. Prospective entrepreneurs, start-ups and emerging companies showcase and develop their business concepts while competing for prizes. The Challenge provides workshops and mentoring to support the founding, funding, and growth of new and innovative businesses in the Monterey Bay region. The Challenge empowers entrepreneurs to communicate their ideas effectively to investors, customers, and employees.
The Venture, Main Street, and Student Divisions
The Challenge offers three divisions – Venture, Main Street, and Student. The Venture division is for businesses that are intended to scale into large enterprises and that can provide venture-capital level returns to investors; the Main Street division is for small businesses, and the Student division is for students at the graduate, undergraduate, junior college, or high school level.
Workshops, Qualifying Round, Finalists, Showcase, and Resources
The Challenge begins with a set of Introductory Workshops that instruct potential applicants in how the Challenge works, and how to enter. Entrants complete an online application and are eligible to attend one or more Creating Winning Pitch workshops offered by the Challenge to help them prepare their pitches. Entrants then compete in the Qualifying Round, presenting a five-minute pitch to a panel of judges who also provide constructive advice to the entrants. Finalists in each division are selected from the Qualifying Round, who then are assigned volunteer mentors and attend an In It to Win It workshop in preparation for competing