The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Programs at San Francisco State University (I&E @ SFSU) is housed in the Lam Family College of Business, but offers university-wide programming. We believe that our students and extended community fundamentally have the creativity, insight, and spirit to positively affect the world around them. Our mission is to foster an ecosystem that encourages and enables thoughtful innovation, and to facilitate and enable successful entrepreneurship across the entire University. At its core, I&E @ SFSU exists to find, nurture, and maximize the viability of student innovation and entrepreneurship.
I&E @ SFSU continues its mission through the development and ongoing delivery of programming designed for current students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. Programs are designed to provide resources, mentorship, networking and opportunity to those that otherwise may not find access through traditional means.
If you have questions, please reach out to us.
The Minor in Entrepreneurship is an 18-unit (6 courses) program designed to provide a streamlined business education specifically for students looking to start a small business or start-up. The program is made for non-business majors that are looking to explore ways to commercialize or build a business around their major course of study.
Find out more about the minor in the University Bulletin listing.
Launching in Fall 2023, the Innovation Hub (The HUB) will be a 1,700 square foot co-working and mixed use space for students, faculty, and SFSU alumni to network, ideate, meet, relax and work. The HUB includes a convenience MakerSpace, bookable office space, printing resources, and open communal and ideating space.
Stop by Humanities Building Room 125 to check out our progress, meet like-minded Gators, and maybe get a little work on your startup done!
Fall 2023 Hours:
- Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 9AM - 5PM
- Tuesdays, Thursdays 8AM - 5PM
We offer free, open consultation hours for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the general community. If you have question, want to bounce ideas off someone, or just want to meet some like-minded innovators and entrepreneurs, we welcome you to drop by for open hours. Use the hours to get some work done, or to consult with an expert. Either way, no reservations are necessary, and there is always coffee and some of the best views of the campus.
- Fall 2023 Schedule:
- Wednesdays 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in HUM125a
- Closed November 22 - Fall Break
We offer free, open legal consultation hours on business and business formation topics for students, staff, and faculty. If you have questions related to a start-up, small business, intellectual property, etc. we can help you to understand the options and legal frameworks that are involved. Consultation is first come first served, but reserving an appointment is highly recommended. Please schedule an appointment here. All appointments are held in HUM125a.
- Fall 2023 Schedule:
- Wednesday, October 25 at 3:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 7 at 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, December 6 at 3:00p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
We offer free, open, in-person technical consultation for startups. If you have an idea for a web or mobile application, but don't know where to start, our technical consultants can point you in the right direction. Maybe your concept is a physical product or good, and you want help setting up your website and online store presence - we can help with that too. Come chat with one of our technical geniuses to have your technical questions answered. Topics can include:
- Mobile application development
- Full stack web development
- Cloud-based computing
- Online game development
- Technical design documentation
- Building a website and webstore
Consultation is first come first served, but reserving an appointment is highly recommended. All appointments are held in HUM125a. Email ie [@] sfsu.edu for reservation requests.
- Fall 2023 Schedule:
- Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m.
- Closed: November 22 - Fall Break
NEW to I&E!
Boot Camp is held once a semester during the academic year. Each boot camp is two full days (Friday and Saturday) of hands-on workshops designed to get any SFSU student from small business idea to a working business pitch, web-front and ready to make your first sale.
Boot camps are FREE for currently registered SFSU students. But because space is limited, you must fully attend both days of the boot camp. For more information, visit the program at Boot Camp.
- Fall 2023 - eCommerce/Online Retail Boot Camp
- November 17-18, 2023
- (FULL - Registration Closed)
- Spring 2024 - Food & Beverage Retail, Restaurants & Service Boot Camp
- March 8-9, 2024
- (Registration opens January 2024)
The IncuGator - The San Francisco State University IncuGator (SFSU Gator + Incubator) is a startup incubator designed to develop and accelerate the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial visions of SF State students of all majors and levels. IncuGator accepts approximately seven new concepts each academic year. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the annual cohort is full.
Concept founders and their team will spend their time in the IncuGator:
- building a prototype and/or minimally viable product (MVP)
- testing and finding validation of proof of concept
- identifying, speaking and working with potential customers or development partners
- exploring business and revenue models
- developing a pitch, and a pitch deck
Based on the concept progress and completion of development milestones, concepts will have access to seed funding to further their product development, market research and manufacturing goals.
We are proud to host, sponsor or support multiple pitch competitions for the SFSU community. If your SFSU academic department or affiliated group is interested in collaborating to host a pitch competition, please reach out. The following is a list of pitch competitions that we host and/or participate in.
- Innovation Pitch Competition is an annual business pitch competition, open to all concepts where the founder and/or co-founder is a current SF State student.
- AY 23/24: Competition on April 12, 2024.
- Lam Family College of Business Pitch Contest is an annual pitch contest open to current Lam Family College of Business (LFCoB) undergraduate and graduate students with an innovative business idea or a startup.
- AY 23/24: Competition on March 15, 2024.
- Computer Science Pitch Competition Launched in 2023, this is a business pitch competition created in collaboration with the Computer Science department and the SFSU chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Join the ACM Discord for more information.
- AY 23/24: Competition TBD.
- CSU Startup Launch Competition is the California State University wide pitch competition. SFSU will be sending two (2) teams to compete against 17 other CSU campuses.
- AY 23/24: Competition on TBD May 2024.
We know that creativity and entrepreneurship does not stop outside the boarders of campus or after graduation. As The City’s University, we look to facilitate the entrepreneurial dreams of our broader communities by sharing our expertise and resources through a variety of events, programs, and other activities, including:
I&E @ SFSU is committed to fostering innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship in scalable, tradeable sectors. We are looking to partner with high schools in the Northern California area that want to develop or grow STEM research and innovation focused programs, and are in need of resources.
I&E @ SFSU is the Northern California Regional host of the Junior Sciences & Humanities Symposium (JSHS). JSHS is a national, high school STEM research competition, a program backed by the United States Tri-Services in an effort to develop domestic STEM talent. Each year, the JSHS Northern California region awards $4,500 in scholarships, and selects five (5) delegates to represent the Region at Nationals where student researchers are eligible for a college scholarship of up to $12,000.
Initiative Leadership & Partners
Innovation & Entrepreneurship are collaborative endeavors that require interdisciplinary skills and collaboration. Our ability to provide resources, programming and opportunity to students is a testament to the passion and dedication of faculty, community, and alumni partners. Learn more about the Initiative leadership and partners here.
MUFG Union Bank Foundation
The MUFG Union Bank Foundation, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, serves as an agent for charitable contributions made by MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Throughout its history, the Foundation has supported the bank's commitment to help meet the needs of the communities it serves.