Startup Monterey Bay supports entrepreneurs, innovators and the startup community in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties by providing information about local resources, training, workshops, events, competitions, 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 an institute of the College of Business at CSU Monterey Bay’s Institute for Innovation and Economic Development.

Startup Hackathon contestants

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.

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
Lynnette received her B.S. in Sustainable Hospitality Management with a concentration in Sustainable Hotel, Resort and Event Management from California State University, Monterey Bay's College of Business in 2018. 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

Blanca Esparza

Project Management Intern
My name is Blanca Esparza I am 20 from originally from Norwalk California in Los Angeles. I moved here at a young age and graduated from Salinas High school. I attended Hartnell Community College where I obtained 2 AA’s in Business Administration and one in Economics. This is my first semester of my junior year at CSUMB where I am studying Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting Info systems.

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.

Aliah Ibarra

Connect Coordinator
Aliah Ibarra is a senior at CSUMB, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in management. She has previous experience in event staffing, planning and is looking forward to working with local start up companies. She plans to pursue a career after graduation in human resources working in a non-profit organization. In her free time she enjoys taking her dog to the beach and exploring Monterey Bay. 

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.

Andy Rabago

Video Production Intern
Andy Rabago is a senior at CSUMB studying Cinematic Arts and Technology. He has a passion for learning how video production works in different areas of the workforce. As a Video Production intern with iiED at CSUMB, he helps produce videos for upcoming events for their social media platforms.

Mary Ann De Souza

Marketing Intern
Before moving to California, Mary de Souza studied design in Brazil, in which she developed artistic techniques and software knowledge. Also, Mary obtained a comprehensive cultural understanding, along with fluency in the Portuguese language. In California, Mary prevailed a general education degree at MPC. In addition, she developed the Spanish language at an advanced level. Furthermore, Mary continues to acquire marketing skills at CSUMB, currently as a junior student. In the meanwhile, Mary is in the IIED marketing internship program.

Svetlana Titova

Instructional Design Intern
Svetlana Titova completed the MIST program at CSUMB and has a Master of Science in Instructional Science and technology. She began her internship at iiED as an instructional designer. Having a background in screenwriting, she is passionate about visual storytelling, online learning, and technology. Svetlana will be happy to apply her skills to help create engaging courses for iiED.

Sophia Torres

Data Intern
Sophia Torres is a fourth-year statistics student that will be graduating in the spring. She is a graduated member of the CSUMB volleyball team. Sophia began her internship as a service learner for the Statistics department and has continued on with the iiED for the remainder of her undergraduate education. After concluding her internship, she hopes to find a job as a data analyst in one of her fields of interest.

Alexander Verdugo

Web Manager Intern
Alexander Verdugo is a senior at CSUMB majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Engineering. What really sparked his interest in computer science was his love for new and exciting technologies and passion for problem solving. When he graduates he hopes to have a career working as a Software Engineer. In his free time he likes to see movies, hangout with friends and play video games.

Staff

Advisory Council and Committee

  • Bob Margevicius – Executive VP, Specialized Bicycle Components
  • Brad van Dam, CEO, Marich Chocolates
  • Brooks McChesney – Retired CEO and Investor
  • Brigid McGrath-Massie – Author and Professional speaker
  • Carmen Herrera – Director, El Pajaro Community Development Corporation
  • Craig Vachon – CEO, Chowdahead
  • Daniella Russo, CEO, Think Beyond Plastic
  • Dennis Donohue – Director, Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology
  • Doug Erickson – CEO, Santa Cruz Works
  • Doug Yount, Project Director, Marina Community Partners, Inc.
  • Harvey Dadwal – Owner and CEO, Marriott Springhill Suites at the Dunes
  • Ian Oglesby – Mayor, City of Seaside
  • Ignacio Velasquez, Mayor, City of Hollister
  • Jennifer D’Acquisto – SVP, Bank of America
  • Joel Gambord – CEO, Joel Gambord Investments
  • John Dicconson – CEO, Tech Care Now
  • Kelly Crampton – SVP, Lowell Farms Inc.
  • Martha Watson – Principal, Watson Consulting
  • Marylou Shockley, Interim Dean, College of Business at California State University Monterey Bay
  • Paul Powers, Partner, Paul Power Associates
  • Ray Corpuz, City Manager, City of Salinas
  • Rene Mendez – City Manager, City of Gonzales
  • Rock Clapper, CEO, NGB Markets
  • Sara Isenberg – Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Santa Cruz Tech Beat
  • Scott Komar – SVP, Driscoll’s Berries
  • Shyam Kamath – Founding Dean, College of Business at Cal State Monterey Bay

Associated Professors and Researchers

  • Dante DiGregorio PhD, College of Business
  • Jennifer Kuan, PhD, College of Business
  • Miguel Lara, PhD, School of Computing and Design
  • Angie Nariswari PhD, College of Business
  • Joel Ryman, PhD, College of Business
  • Heiko Wieland, PhD, College of Business

Name, Degree Pursuing, Job Title