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Ciocca Center's Mission

Vision of Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Vision - Our vision is to be a globally recognized leader in expanding the entrepreneurial mindset through education and scholarship, while guided by Jesuit principles.

Mission - Ciocca Center’s mission is to instill and expand the entrepreneurial mindset in SCU students, faculty, staff and alumni, throughout Silicon Valley and across the world. Ciocca Center embraces an inclusive approach that engages responsible innovation to address pressing human needs and create long-term value within our communities.

Strategy - We accomplish our mission by bringing together diverse perspectives, funding relevant academic programs, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, and helping students learn to start their own ventures.

When we refer to the entrepreneurial mindset at Santa Clara University, we do not mean starting a business venture. Although starting a business venture requires an entrepreneurial mindset, the mindset is useful for so much more than that. The key elements of the entrepreneurial mindset include:

1. Empathy for customers, stakeholders and audience

2. Naturally viewing problems as opportunities

3. Willingness and ability to tolerate risk

4. Championing long-term value creation

This mindset is equally useful in big companies and small; in navigating family challenges and personal development; in working with people in our community and across the world, and more. Ciocca Center supports several academic programs to enhance the University community's understanding and practice of innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Ensuring that current programming such as the School of Engineering’s prototyping Maker Lab receives ongoing funding and staffing support

  • Supporting enhancements to programming such as startup competitions, mentoring, and the entrepreneurship minor in the Leavey School of Business; virtual- and augmented-reality experimentation in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Imaginarium; and the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic at the School of Law

  • Augmenting existing entrepreneurial programs on campus such as the social entrepreneurship programming in the Miller Center, the business pitch competition in the business school, the Maker Lab prototyping space, and SCU’s participation in KEEN, a collaborative network of colleges and professors championing the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering undergraduate students.

  • Considering new academic programs for submission to the Academic Affairs Committee

  • Funding for faculty research on the future of work, entrepreneurship, the gig economy, and more

  • Funding faculty to find innovative and entrepreneurial ways to advance their own teaching methods

  • Infusing entrepreneurial thinking and design thinking into and across a broad set of academic disciplines

  • Bringing to campus speakers and workshop leaders in key areas such as innovation in the context of responsible entrepreneurship, among others.

  • Promoting three dimensions of innovation and entrepreneurship that set SCU apart from other university centers of entrepreneurship, and elevate our impact throughout the world. The dimensions are Jesuit ideals, a responsible entrepreneurial mindset, and a deep commitment to experiential learning

  • Ensuring that all such efforts across campus benefit from a holistic view where collaboration, networking, and cross-pollination of ideas become the norm

  • Engaging more serial entrepreneurs as mentors and professors of practice

  • Hiring new tenure-track professors in disciplines such as entrepreneurship, innovation, design thinking, business ethics, and/or workforce innovation

  • Providing faculty development funds to professors to introduce concepts of design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship into their courses