Powering the Innovation Ecosystem in the Monterey Bay Region


What We Do

Startup Monterey Bay supports entrepreneurs, innovators and the startup community in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties with training, workshops, events, competitions, information about local resources, and opportunities to connect and network. This is a great region to live and work and we want to enable local entrepreneurs, innovators and startups to be able to succeed in this region.

Startup Monterey Bay is a program of the CSU Monterey Bay Institute for Innovation and Economic Development. The Institute is housed within the College of Business, and serves the university and its surrounding community.

The iiED prepares highly motivated students and community members for success as entrepreneurs. We educate, incubate, and launch new enterprises. We seek out and serve underserved communities and actively promote inclusion and diversity.
The iiED is committed to the Central Coast region being an economically and environmentally rich and resilient region offering economic opportunity balanced with maintaining a rich ecology. The Central Coast is home to a vibrant entrepreneurial community creating innovative companies both large and small. This community is renowned for being an inclusive and sustainable community that offers encouragement and opportunity for all. It is a place where there are rich career opportunities for graduates of CSUMB and other institutions of higher education.

Meet Our Team

Leadership Team

Brad Barbeau, PhD.

Executive Director
Brad Barbeau, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the CSU Monterey Bay College of Business and Executive Director of the CSUMB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (iiED). As a faculty member, he teaches courses in entrepreneurship and new venture formation and finance, and is faculty lead for the entrepreneurship concentration for the College of Business. As Executive Director for the iiED, he devotes his efforts to building the entrepreneurial ecosystem and developing and accelerating entrepreneurial ventures in the Monterey Bay region.

Jennifer Kuan, PhD.

Deputy Director of Innovation and Research
Dr. Kuan is a member of the CSUMB entrepreneurship and economics faculty with a PhD from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She is currently studying the commercialization of publicly funded R&D and the history of venture capital. Prior to CSUMB, Jenny was a researcher at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research for over a decade. She also has a background in technology, with a decade of experience as an engineer in manufacturing at Apple and Solectron. In addition to her PhD from Berkeley, Jenny holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.

Dan Ripke

Director, Economic Development, Funding & Grants
Over the past 30 years, Dan Ripke has designed and implemented innovative projects, programs, and services designed to improve the economies of California communities. Dan was the director of an EDA regional University Center program for 30 years and the director of a regional small business development center network (Northeastern California) for 14 years serving 23 of California's 58 counties. He has secured over $50 million in grant funding for economic development.

Mary Jo Zenk, MBA

Program Manager
As Program Manager of the Institute for Innovation & Economic Development (iiED) at CSUMB, she coordinates workshops, speaker series, competitions, and conferences that foster innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development on campus and in the local region. She also teaches graduate and undergraduate level courses in public and non-profit finance and management and consults in the areas of government budgeting and community, housing and economic development programs.

Lynnette Lathrop

Program Coordinator
Before moving to the central coast of California, Lynnette obtained associate degrees in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, and Business Administration from Pasadena City College. Her background includes academic research, hospitality management, revenue management, events management, and project management. Lynnette has worked with the iiED team in the past as a student assistant in 2016 and has returned to work as iiED's Program Coordinator in 2020.

Student Interns

Kate Boyle

Marketing Intern
Kate is a junior at CSUMB pursuing a Sustainable Hospitality Management degree with a concentration in Sustainable Hotel, Resort, and Event Management. She is thrilled to be joining the team and is looking forward to pursuing a career in sales or marketing in the golf industry with a sustainability purpose. Kate’s recent experience assisting in planning, operating, and marketing weddings has taught her that she values both teamwork and creativity in her work. She is excited to build her professional skills and will assist with Startup Monterey Bay’s social media and email marketing.

Christie Cullen

GetVirtual Project Lead
Christie Cullen is a fourth year Marketing student at the College of Business. She loves watching true crime documentaries in her spare time and going on walks with her dogs! She loves the ability to be creative in her marketing designs, as well as reviewing success through analytics reports! Christie hopes to enter a career in digital marketing where she can focus on creating content and managing digital  marketing campaigns.

Chelsea Ferolino

Data Management Intern
Chelsea is currently a senior at CSUMB majoring in Collaborative Health and Human Services, and will soon be graduating in the fall. Chelsea’s had previous work experience in social media marketing, so she decided to pursue a role in the iiED’s GetVirtual program. Although Chelsea initially interned under the GetVirtual program, she became more acquainted with other roles and switched to data. When she graduates she plans on getting her Master’s in Public Health and becoming an Epidemiologist.

Mirna Gonzalez

Print & Web Design Intern
Mirna Gonzalez is currently a Senior at CSUMB studying Communication Design. Originally coming to CSUMB as a Visual and Public arts major, she changed majors to CD after discovering her passion for graphic design. The change combined her interest in art with new elements and technologies while continually providing her with new challenges. She has been doing design for over three years and aspires to continue working in design after graduation as a branding and marketing specialist.

Asher Handy

Management Intern
Asher Handy is a business administration student at CSUMB, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. During his internship, he has been helping fellow aspiring entrepreneurs get access to valuable tools to help them turn their ideas into a business. He is always looking for new business opportunities!

Kayla Lee

Print & Web Design Intern
Kayla is currently a junior at CSUMB majoring in Communication Design with a minor in Business. She is delighted to be the new Print and Web Design Intern at iiED, and she looks forward to working with fellow interns like herself. After graduating from CSUMB next spring, Kayla hopes to work with a skincare company as their Brand Designer and eventually Art Director after building up more experience as a budding designer. She also has plans to possibly start her own brand in the future.

Rachel Martinez

Event Coordination Intern
Rachel Martinez is a junior at CSUMB, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. She is excited to be developing new skills through her internship, As well as creating meaningful relationships and memories through coordinating Monterey Startup events. She has always been interested in getting involved with her community and nonprofit organizations.

Hannah Norby

Video Production Intern
Hannah Norby is a cinematic arts student at CSUMB

Vighnesh Prabhu

GetVirtual Project Lead
Vighnesh Prabhu is from India learning computer science and business administration at CSUMB.

Alex Wooddy

Web Development Intern
Hello, my name is Alex Wooddy. I am currently studying for my Bachelors of Communication Design at CSUMB with an emphasis on Web Design. I also work with Student Disability resources at my campus, I strongly believe in advocacy for those with vision or hearing conditions and their need to also be able to use any and all spaces within the web and out of it. I will be graduating this December, and I am excited about my journey with IIED.

Advisory Council

  • Bob Margevicius, – Specialized Bicycle Components
  • Brad van Dam – American Casting Co.
  • Brooks McChesney – Retired CEO and Investor
  • Brigid McGrath-Massie – Author and Professional speaker
  • Carmen Herrera – Director, El Pajaro Community Development Corporation
  • Carrie Nikitin, Chief Business Strategist, Powerful Women International Connections
  • Charly Franklin – Retired attorney, Real Estate Manager, Developer
  • Colton Bollinger, CEO, Jumper Media
  • Craig Vachon, CEO, AI Redefined
  • Dave Côté, Advisory Board Chair, Switchboard
  • Dennis Donohue – Director, Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology
  • Doug Erickson – CEO, Santa Cruz Works
  • Harvey Dadwal – Owner and CEO, Marriott Springhill Suites at the Dunes
  • Ian Oglesby – Mayor, City of Seaside
  • Jennifer Dacquisto – SVP, Bank of America
  • Joel Gambord – CEO, Joel Gambord Investments
  • John Dicconson – CEO, Tech Care Now
  • Kelly Crampton, Strategic Advisor, Excelligence Learning Corp.
  • Martha Watson – Principal, Watson Consulting
  • Marylou Shockley, Interim Dean, College of Business at California State University Monterey Bay
  • Paul Powers, Partner, Paul Power Associates
  • Rene Mendez, City Manager, City of Watsonville
  • Scott Komar – SVP, Driscoll’s Berries
  • Shyam Kamath – Founding Dean, College of Business at Cal State Monterey Bay
  • Tom Armstrong – White Summers Caffee & James, LLP
  • Associated Professors and Researchers

    • Angie Nariswari, PhD, College of Business
    • Dante DiGregorio, PhD, College of Business
    • Eric Tao, PhD, School of Computing and Design
    • Heiko Wieland, PhD, College of Business
    • Jenny Lin, PhD, College of Business
    • Joel Ryman, PhD, College of Business
    • Joshua Gross, School of Computing and Design
    • Miguel Lara, PhD, School of Computing and Design
    • Paige Viren, PhD, College of Business
    • Rosalyn Sandoval, PhD, College of Business
    • Shwadhin Sharma, PhD, College of Business

    Thank You to Our Sponsors

    Thank You to Our Marketing Partners