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Meet the emerging businesses of Monterey Bay at the biggest startup competition in the region!

The Monterey Bay community is invited to join us for a public event to showcase all of the finalists from this year’s Startup Challenge Monterey Bay competition.

Attendees will have the chance to meet the finalists during the Venture Showcase, vote for Crowd Favorite, enjoy refreshments, and tune in for the awards ceremony!

The Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is an annual new business competition for entrepreneurs in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. Prospective entrepreneurs, startups, and emerging companies showcase their ideas and business concepts, receive helpful advice from mentors, and compete for over $30,000 in prizes.

This event is open to the public; prior registration is required. There will be an award presentation in addition to refreshments provided.

Program Agenda:

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm – Doors open for attendee check-in 

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Venture Showcase exhibits open and attendees will vote for the Crowd Favorite with “Otter Dollars”

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Awards Ceremony

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm- Networking Time (refreshments provided) & Close

Startup Challenge History

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is the premier competitive startup competition for new businesses across Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, with a mission to provide a platform for visibility, connections and funding to local entrepreneurs and offer them the tools they need to succeed in the marketplace.

The Startup Challenge began in 2010 as the Monterey Bay Regional Business Plan Competition, and was created by the Marina Tech Cluster, a business incubator located at the MBEST Center in Marina. When the Marina Tech Cluster closed in 2013, the Challenge moved to its current home at the Institute for Innovation & Economic Development (iiED) in the College of Business at CSUMB.

Over the past 13 years, the Challenge has provided a launch pad for a variety of businesses across the Central Coast. Since 2010, over 840 businesses have entered the Challenge. Past finalists include Yoderm (now Apostrophe), Cruz Foam, HeavyConnect, infiniRel, New Wave Programs, Monterey Bay Moves, Nece’s Gluten Free Baked Goods in Monterey, New Bohemian Brewing Company in Santa Cruz, Open Ground Studios in Seaside, and the Carmel Honey Company in Carmel and Monterey.

PARKING FOR THE EVENT: We recommend parking in lot 71 (across the street). Click here for campus and parking maps. To purchase a parking permit in advance (highly recommended), click here to get a parking permit.

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