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Since its inception in 1979, the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) has supported UC Santa Cruz students along their path of entrepreneurship. We are a hub for entrepreneurs, startups, investors, mentors, innovation educators, and strategic industry experts. We collaborate with academic, government, community, and business partners locally and nationally to foster inclusive innovation, venture creation, and education.


CIED was founded by Dr. Narinder Kapany, known as the "Father of Fiber Optics," along with a group of UC Santa Cruz faculty members. Dr. Kapany served as CIED director for seven years. Under his leadership, CIED was recognized as a pioneer in entrepreneurship education and innovation, helping UCSC faculty and alumni launch successful startups.

In June 2024, the UC Santa Cruz Foundation celebrated 50 years of Narinder Kapany's contributions. Below is the movie created for this special occasion.









Currently, we support several dozen student-led ventures every year, with the support of national partners, such as the Blackstone Launchpad and the National Science Foundation. 

We have a growing ecosystem of student and faculty founders, fast-growing tech startups, such as Cruz Foam and Joby Aviation, and community leaders, such as Santa Cruz Works. Our internships have also served more than 150 small and locally-owned businesses. 

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