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.

Associate Director
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. These include events, economic development research, technical assistance and policy presentations to support the creation and expansion of small businesses. 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. She 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

Sitem Aytar

Events and Project Management Intern
Sitem Aytar is a senior at CSUMB, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. After being part event planning and marketing efforts for years at her local church, Sitem started as project management intern for iiED in early 2021. Not only is she a full-time student and part-time intern, but Sitem also works at a News Station, where she discovered her interest in marketing. Sitem is an honors student who takes great pride in her work and education, and one day would like to pursue a graduate degree in Psychology. Though frequently busy, when she has free time she likes to crochet, read, and catch up with friends over PC games.

Aya Cabero

Design Intern
Rochelle Ayana Cabero, also known as Aya, is a senior at CSUMB majoring in Communication Design with a concentration of Visual Design. She is a Design Intern who is responsible for print and web design. She implements creative ways that support the marketing team for iiED. Her passion is learning innovative ways that help hone her capabilities as a graphic designer. Recently, she has been approached by FitBit and the Monterey County Youth Museum to assist them. When she's not busy, she loves to walk her dog, play the violin, and paint.

Nina Cornelius

Events Intern
My name is Nina Cornelius and this will be my last year at CSUMB. I will be graduating in the Spring! My major is Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Spanish. I am currently the Event Management Intern at iiED and I am also the head of all of iiED’s Monthly Tech Meetups. Additionally, I am a Peer Mentor for TRIO Student Support Services. I am pretty involved on campus with clubs and events on campus, as well as I have served on the Dean’s Advisory Council. In my free time, you will find me doing arts and crafts, cooking, creating new fashion and makeup looks, spending time with family, enjoying Disney+ , reading a good book or traveling and taking mini adventures with the people I love! My plans for after graduation include attending graduate school and obtaining my MBA. The ultimate goal is to own my own Event Planning company.

Pernille Dahl

Website Developer Intern
Pernille Dahl is a UX/UI Engineer & Website manager working with CSUMB iiED and GetVirtual. She graduated from California State University Monterey Bay in 2020 with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, concentrating on Software Engineering and with a minor in Web Development. She is also volunteering as a mentor for a capstone project at CSUMB called GAAME.

Jeannie Davis

Web Manager Intern
Jeannie is a senior at CSUMB majoring in Computer Science. She specializes in website and mobile app development. She has a passion for building web applications and is an avid gamer. She spends most of her free time playing video games or working on her side projects.

Marta Gubanova

Instructional Design Intern
Instructional Designer with 9 years of intercultural experience in Digital Marketing, Content Development, and IT QA Management. Marta brings a global perspective, her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Translation (English/Spanish-Russian) and a Master’s in Area Studies.
Currently, Marta is finishing up a Master’s program at CSUMB and working on Launchpad Learning - an online learning platform for startuppers in the Monterey Bay area. As an intern at the iiED, she helped to design lessons and workshops on Entrepreneurship and Marketing.
Marta is passionate about delivering great user experience and creating engagement and excitement in training.

Celina Harris

Assistant to Executive Director
Celina Harris has been an intern with iiED since 2019 where she began her first event, the Startup Investment & Community Capital Expo. The quick start assured her of her interest in the business realm. As she pursues her degree in business marketing, she continues to improve her core skills in management, perseverance, and resilience. She is an honor student and a Pay It Forward Scholar. Celina executes these skills through her roles as a coach, mentor, assistant, and volunteer. With this experience, she plans to become a sports marketer and open a studio gym to pursue her life-long passions for sports and health!

Naseeb Hayat

Marketing Intern
I am a multi-media creative and content creator from Monterey studying marketing at CSUMB’s COB. I recently got hired as an intern for the IIED. I have been able to create for brands such as Forever21,iHeartRadio, and HeartBlasters and I am excited to demonstrate my marketing skills and communicate the IIED’s message and branding to aspiring entrepreneurs. 

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. Will it be a skincare company? A cafe? A boba shop? She does not know yet, but she is excited!

Kenneth Olsen

Marketing Intern
Kenneth is the marketing intern for IIED, as well as the student Co-founder of CSUMB's GetVirtual Branch. This Fall 2020, He will be graduating CSUMB with a Bachelor's in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business & Management. Before deciding to continue his education, he started a small business in Santa Barbara, CA, and was able to sell the company before coming back to Monterey. He has been familiar with the entrepreneurship community and is happy to work for a distinguished organization here on the Monterey Bay Peninsula. As a marketing intern, he has been able to focus his skills in helping build our brand awareness and engagement through our growing social media. After graduation, he plans to continue the entrepreneurship journey, while also getting into real estate. His hopes are to work in commercial real estate in his later years.

Chase Paparotti

Video Production Intern
My name is Chase Paparotti and I am the Video Production Intern at iiED. I am a second-year student here at CSUMB majoring in Cinematic Arts and Technology with a minor in Journalism and Media Studies. On campus, I love meeting new people and I get to do just that as the treasurer of the Cinematic Arts club. Prior to working at iiED, I have worked as a video production intern at various online media companies and I also worked at the Cinematic Arts department on campus checking out film equipment for students. During my free time, I love to work on different students' capstone films, watch movies, and listen to music. I am very excited to be working at iiED and I can't wait to use my love of video production to help market upcoming events and promote business innovation in the Monterey Bay region.


Anjika Grinager

Graphic Design and Web Management
Anjika Grinager assists companies with developing and presenting their corporate culture through mindful design. Uncluttered, clean design that provides an efficient and compelling user interface is her goal.

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
  • 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