ABOUT US

The UCSC Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) collaborates with academic, government, community and business partners in Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley, California and across the USA in order to foster inclusive innovation, venture creation, and education. We are a hub for entrepreneurs, startups, investors, mentors, innovation educators, and strategic industry experts.


CIED was founded in 1979 by Dr. Narinder Kapany, known as the "Father of Fiber Optics", along with a group of UC Santa Cruz faculty. Dr. Kapany served as CIED director for seven years, and under his leadership CIED was recognized as a pioneer in entrepreneurship education and innovation, helping UCSC faculty and alumni launch successful startups. CIED's achievements resulted in Dr. Kapany being invited to give congressional testimony to the Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives, 97th Congress, on July 14, 1981, as part of the Implementation of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.


In more recent years, our startups went on to win awards at CES in Las Vegas, NV, UC Big Ideas in Berkeley, CA, and Startup Grind Global in Redwood City, CA, as well as on our campus. We're proud members of a growing ecosystem of student and faculty founders, fast-growing tech startups such as Cruz Foam and Joby Aviation, community leaders such as Santa Cruz Works, and national partners such as the Blackstone Launchpad and National Science Foundation.

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