The 2021 Startup Challenge Monterey Bay application is open for businesses

Seaside, CA, Feb. 24, 2021 – Businesses in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties less than 2 years old can apply to compete in the 2021 Startup Challenge before the deadline at 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 8.

Startup Challenge is an annual competitive acceleration process that teaches, coaches, mentors, networks, and connects entrepreneurs to knowledge and resources they need.

There are divisions in the competition for businesses intending to scale; small businesses; nonprofits and businesses with a social mission; and for students from middle school through graduate school.

Benefits include: workshops to develop business pitches; access to a panel of business experts for feedback; learning about starting a company; finalists receive mentoring and additional workshops; prizes, exposure to funding, and fast track to other programs.

All previous Venture division winners are still active and have raised more than $35,000,000 in funding. Main Street winners who have launched successful businesses include Nece’s Gluten Free Baked Goods in Monterey, New Bohemian Beer in Santa Cruz, Open Ground Studios in Seaside, and the Carmel Honey Company in Carmel.

For more information, visit (where participants will compete virtually on the new, online event platform) or email

The iiED resides in California State University Monterey Bay’s College of Business and promotes and fosters a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Monterey Bay region. Each year the iiED challenges and supports entrepreneurs with the Startup Hackathon, Startup Weekend, Startup Challenge, Startup Investment & Community Capital Expo, and Startup Launchpad business incubator program.

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