Volume 25 | January 2022

It’s an understatement to say 2021 created hurdles for businesses and entrepreneurs. 

While the past year was a challenge for the Institute of Innovation & Economic Development (iiED) at California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB), the organization went virtual to stay on target.

From Techstars Startup Weekend to Startup Challenge to Startup Investment & Community Capital (SICC) Expo to the monthly Startup Monterey Bay Connect meeting, iiED continued to provide events, mentorship, and other resources to virtually support entrepreneurs and businesses, while promoting inclusivity, diversity, ecology, and community throughout the region.

iiED Executive Director and CSUMB faculty Brad Barbeau is proud of iiED’s work in 2021 and feels confident about the year ahead.

“With all the disruptions, it’s created some very interesting opportunities and gotten people interested in having their own business rather than working for another business,” said Barbeau. “Every kind of change like that creates new opportunities. It disrupts and messes up how we do things, but it creates opportunities for new ways to do things. And that’s always an opportunity for entrepreneurship.”

Startup Monterey Bay Connect Logo

Join us as we hear from our region’s industry leaders on their outlook for 2022. The panel will highlight key sectors, including agriculture and hospitality, in the regional economy and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Panelists will discuss opportunities, challenges, and potential new directions for the Monterey Bay region. Where are the innovative edges? What is up-and-coming? What problems are regional industries facing? How can these challenges create entrepreneurial opportunities?

Learn how to think, work, and build like a startup in 54 thrilling hours. Over an action-packed three days, you’ll meet the very best mentors, investors, co-founders, and sponsors to show you how to get more done faster — and, maybe even start that business. 

 When Seeds4STEM co-founders Shannon Bliss and Samantha Avina met at Techstars Startup Weekend Monterey Bay 2021, it was kismet.

Seeds4STEM provides hands-on STEM experiences to parents of 3rd to 8th graders. 

After winning second place at Startup Weekend, the two participated in the Startup Challenge 2021 and won first place in the Social Venture division.

 Startup Challenge Monterey Bay— the Central Coast’s premier competitive new business accelerator— is accepting applications to enter this year’s competition!

Apply by Monday, March 7, 2022 to participate in this year’s challenge and gain immeasurable connections, visibility, and the chance to win funding and mentorship opportunities.

GetVirtual at California State University, Monterey Bay is changing the virtual landscape for local businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, websites, digital advertising, and social media marketing are essential tools for business sustainability. At GetVirtual, we are providing the knowledge and experience for small businesses that will allow them to grow and positively impact our local community.

Small, regional businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for free assistance through GetVirtual. Click here to apply now!

Help Invest in Tomorrow’s Regional Entrepreneurs!

The best way to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs is to invest in iiED programs to support our regional entrepreneurs. Follow the link below to make your contribution today.


The Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, California State University, Monterey Bay,
Seaside, CA 93955, United States