Nine new startup business teams were created during the 2021 Techstars Startup Weekend Monterey Bay held February 5-7, 2021. This was the ninth year that the Institute for Innovation & Economic Development at Cal State University Monterey Bay hosted this event. This was the first year that the event was hosted completely online and with Spanish language interpretation. Seventy-one (71) participants (both students and community members) signed up for this event, 30 new business ideas were presented, and thirteen of those ideas were selected on Friday, February 5, to work on over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, fifteen mentors helped these teams develop their business ideas into new startup businesses. On Sunday, nine teams pitched to a panel of four judges which evaluated them on their business model, customer validation, execution, and design. The judges chose the following winning teams:
The first place winner and the recipient of the Crowd Favorite Award, ZenSpace, is an at-home immersive meditation pod that helps its users overcome anxiety and stress.
- Second Place: Seeds4STEM – provides resources to parents and educators to build STEM clubs for 3-8th graders.
- Third Place – Lilliput – a smart toy (Plushy Cat) to revolutionize literacy for bilingual early language learners
The other startup teams:
- Circle- An app to navigate well-being opportunities
- Every Farm – A community-based platform for small farms to expand their business
- FeedFo – Location-based social network with live chat feed
- GloProz – An e-commerce platform for talent acquisition and project management
- Igri – Empower local farmers with agri-technology to improve the quality of their harvest
- Micro Movers- Uber for moving your stuff.
Sponsors: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Economic Development Administration, Santa Cruz Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College, Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey County Weekly, and 90.3 KAZU (NPR for Monterey, Salinas, Santa Cruz), Google for Startups, and GoDaddy Registry.
Event Champions and Design Committee members: El Pajaro Community Development Corporation, Cal Coastal Small Business Development Center, Center for Nonprofit Excellence – Community Foundation for Monterey County, Monterey Bay DART, Santa Cruz Works, CSUMB Maker Space, CSUMB College of Business, Monterey County Mobile Fab Lab, CSUMB College of Science, and CSUMB College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
Techstars Startup Weekend is a program where everyone, from aspiring entrepreneurs to the merely curious, can learn about the process of starting a business. Over the weekend participants experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. As they learn how to create a real company, they’ll meet the very best mentors, investors, partners, and sponsors who are ready to help them get started.
Startup Weekend Monterey Bay is hosted by the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED), housed in the College of Business at Cal State Monterey Bay. The iiED hosts events such as Startup Weekend to promote entrepreneurship in the Monterey Bay region and foster the development of a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region.
Each year the iiED challenges and supports entrepreneurs with the Startup Hackathon, Startup Weekend, Startup Challenge, and Startup Investment & Community Capital Expo. The iiED also supports startups through the Startup Launchpad business incubator program to regional entrepreneurs. For more information, visit StartupMontereyBay.com.