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.

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.

Jonathan Bagley-Rowe

Program Assistant
Jonathan Bagley-Rowe is a senior at CSUMB completing a degree in Sustainable Business Administration with a minor in Nonprofit Management. To iiED and the program assistant position, he brings a wealth of experience from a long career in hospitality and a passion for organizational excellence.

Team Members

Mirna Gonzalez

Print & Web Designer
Mirna Gonzalez is a recent graduate from CSUMB, majoring in Communication Design. She is the current IIED Print and Web Designer, creating marketing materials to promote upcoming events. She is seeking a new graphic design position specializing in branding and marketing design.

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.

Lilia Alvarez

Print Design Intern
Lilia Alvarez is a senior at CSUMB majoring in Communication Design with a Visual concentration. Lilia is currently working as a Student Design Intern. She is responsible for helping create graphics and visual support elements. Lilia is expected to graduate in Spring 2024. Lilia is interested in starting her own business someday and is excited to learn about and explore what IIED offers.

Angel Heredia

Data Management Intern
Senior with a major in Business-Accounting, last semester. Was interested in the internship because I want to learn more about different aspects of business and the startup environment and want to help contribute to IIED's mission in the process. And because I also plan on starting a business someday.

Diego Valdez

Web Management Intern
Diego Valdez is a Junior at CSUMB, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis in software engineering and a minor in Communication Design. He is excited to expand his web management knowledge and acquire valuable skills along the way with this team. Diego is passionate about the design and development process of web applications and hopes to continue pursuing a career in that specialty, but of course is always open to trying new skills.

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