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Smith Center Start-It UP!
Start-It UP! Series Overview
Each year, the Smith Center organizes the Start-It-UP! Series with the UP! Club, where student entrepreneurs are mentored to create the perfect pitch for their startup. Students attend a series of workshops to develop their ideas and prepare to present to a panel of judges made up of VCs, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and industry leaders for a chance to win $10,000 in prizes.*
*Subject to CBE approval and not a cash prize.
Start-It-UP! offers students at Cal State East Bay a place to collaborate, innovate and support each other's aspirations; whether that is creating their own start-up or working with a team to realize theirs.
2022 Start-It UP! Series Calendar of Events
(Click on title of each event to register)
Start-It UP! Launch Month
Get to know more about the UP! Club, how to enter the Pitch Day Competition 2022, how to get accesss to exclusive events*, and career opportunities
With guest speaker Gary Prioste- President of Cloud Solutions at Quisitive.
Start-It UP! teams learn about finding a need for a business to address, researching and estimating the market size for the business idea, and work on related parts of the pitch deck. Resources to be used: https://bit.ly/1st-Workshop https://bit.ly/2nd--Workshop
Exclusive Access Apr 12-13* Sign up at the Start-It UP! Launch/Ideathon event on Mar 22nd or contact us directly.
Teams learn about proposing commercially viable products/services and delivery systems; they work on a symbolic prototype and related parts of the pitch deck. Resources to be used: https://bit.ly/3rd-Workshop
Access the Pitch Deck Template using the link above.
Start-It UP! Success Story
I can confidently say that the Smith Center's Start-It-Up! Series and pitch competition changed my life. Half a year prior to this Series, with the help of a team, I designed a card game that expands emotional intelligence, soft skills, and improves the quality of in-person communication. Playtesters loved it and there was a need for it in this world, but I didn't establish any plans to bring it to market because there was nothing giving me that direction and push. Then came the Start-It-Up! competition.
The Start-It-Up! Series gave me the opportunity to turn a passion project of mine into a career upon graduation. Participating in the workshops and winning second place in the competition fueled my ambition to dedicate my all to this product. I received fantastic mentorship from the Smith Center directors, Christian Roessler and Izzet Darendeli, and advisor Tim Wat. They genuinely cared about the success of our startup idea and provided constructive, practical feedback.
The workshops guide you in developing a business around your idea through an accelerated process which is challenging yet rewarding. We accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. The opportunity to conquer a challenge like this simply isn't possible in a typical classroom setting. The pitch competition was the highlight of my student experiene.
Sophia (Romanov) Weissman, CEO of Jest
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