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Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Come join us!

Throughout the year we host speaker series that are open to students, staff, and faculty. During the academic year, we hold a Lunch with an Entrepreneur Series and EDVenture Lunchtime Talks. During the summer, we offer a Student Professional Development Series. All of our events are focused around innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset.

Through our , we host quarterly lunchtime talks bringing in guest speakers to cover legal and business topics for entrepreneurs. These lunches are open to SCU students, staff, and faculty.

Past Speakers:

  • Jennifer Woolley- Crowdfunding
  • Laura Norris- Legal Tips for Startups
  • Robert Shanklin- Ethics
  • Sarah Kate Wilson- Legal
  • Marty Schwarts (Silicon Valley SCORE)- Starting a Business
  • John Cabeca (USPTO)- Patents
  • Quinn Cao- Fundraising
  • Kumar Sarangee- Product Development

Through our KEEN program, we host a quarterly Lunch with an Entrepreneur Series. We invite local entrepreneurs to share their experiences and wisdom with students, staff, and faculty in an informal lunch setting.

Past Speakers:

  • John Giddings, '91 MS, '97 MBA
  • Shane Rogers, '13 MS
  • Dante Zeviar
  • Greg Defouw
  • Pravin Jain
  • Shawn Lange, '06 MS
  • Preet Ananad, '10 BS
  • Lloyd Droppers
  • Sreekanth Dayanidhi, '13 MS
  • Taylor Alexander
  • Jeff Ota
  • Elliot Martin, '13 BS
  • Linden Tibbets, BS
  • Nalin Gupta
  • Stacy Stephens
  • Brett Galloway
  • Maya Lim
  • Casey Schulz, '08 BS
  • Derek Pietz, '08 MS
  • Jack Jia, MBA
  • Ryan Kottenstette, BS
  • Frankie Roohparvar, '89 MS
  • Khanjan Mehta
  • Paulo Borges, '14 BS, '15 MS

Tuesdays from Jan 16th until Feb 13th we hosted Silicon Valley SCORE as they lead workshops on Simple Steps for Starting Your Business. These workshops were open to SCU students, staff, faculty and the public.

Designed by successful entrepreneurs who have been in your busy shoes, this mentor-supported program gives you the structure and support you need to set your sights on the future.


Jan 16th- Session 1: Startup Basics

This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing a business idea and identifying the key factors that influence startup success. Startup Basics provides an overview of the skills and tools needed when deciding to start a business. In this session, clients learn about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for their business, and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources.

Jan 23rd- Session 2: Business Concept

The second workshop focuses on the business concept and step-by-step guidance in researching your idea, market, and competition. At the end of the Business Concept workshop, the client will be able to identify their target markets, describe their products and services, and collect key competitive information to support their feasibility plan.

Jan 30th- Session 3: Marketing Plan

The third workshop provides clients with an introduction to marketing communication methods and tools to maximize your customer reach. The discussion in the Marketing Plan workshop covers pricing strategies, positioning, the difference between features and benefits, and different marketing strategies. At the end of this session, clients will know how to: outline their marketing strategy, test their marketing message, choose the right sales channel, and exercise their marketing strategy.

Feb 6th- Session 4: Financial Projections

This workshop uses exercises to help you better understand financial concepts. This session reviews sales and prices, financial risks and rewards, true startup costs, ongoing operating expenses, setting benchmarks for tracking progress and the organization of all your financial information. Using a hands-on approach, you learn how to use our financial model to forecast sales revenue and build solid pro-forma financial forecasts.

Feb 13th- Session 5: Funding Sources

The final workshop offers information on how to finance your small business. In this session, discussions include sources of funds, accounting, the six C's of credit, banking relations, ratio analysis, and monthly preparation and review of financial statements. At the end of the series, you have all of the tools necessary to decide whether or not to launch your small business.

During the summer, we host a Professional Development Series open to students, staff, and faculty. Stay tuned for upcoming events.
Summer 2017 Sessions:
Legal Tips
Tiffany Haberstick Duke and Alexandra Saddik, two students from the Law School's Entrepreneur's Law Clinic (ELC), discussed the ELC program and provided advice to engineers on intellectual property and issues to consider when creating new ventures.
Networking and Professionalism
SCU Adjunct Professor John Giddings will discuss networking skills and how to develop your own network of professional colleagues. He will also offer advice regarding on-the-job professionalism, particularly during your first few days in a new position. John teaches course in entrepreneurship at SCU and is the Founder of the Silicon Valley-based Tech Angel Group. He was previously the VP of Business Development at TeleLumen. He is a 2-time SCU graduate with an MSEE in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Marketing.
Developing Your Personal Brand
SCU Alums Michael Lourdeax and Nick Camilleri will discuss how you can develop your personal brand, to include how you present yourself in interviews, via resumes, and on social media. Michael is the CEO of 1776 Media Network and a Marketing Philanthropist; he has both a BS and an MBA from SCU's Leavey School of Business. Nick is a Success Strategy Coach at Interview Kickstart and has previously served as a recruiter and HR professional for LinkedIn; he has a BA from SCU and also completed SCU's California Program for Entrepreneurship through the Leavey School.
Pitching Your Concept
Quinn Cao, Angel Investor with Keiretsu Forum (a global investment community) and Managing Partner at Polaris Capital Group will be the guest speaker. Quinn is an experienced, operational, hands-on finance professional adept in supporting companies going through transistions, turnarounds, and high-growth scenarios. She will be sharing tips on how to pitch your venture concept to investors and will be covering topics such as articulating your value proposition, knowing your customer, etc.
Innovation Jeopardy
This week, we take a break from our standard presentations to play a special game of Jeopardy!  In this contest, participants will be challenged to answer questions regarding the innovation culture and ecosystem of Santa Clara University!  Come join in the fun - and see who winds up playing the role of Alex Trebek!
Making and Food
This week we'll be conducting an exercise to tweak your curiosity about manufacturing processes and their connections to something we all know about - making and preparing food!  Teams will compete to brainstorm as many food-shop making analogies as we can, with prizes to be awarded!  This activity will contribute to an Maker Lab outreach activity that we are developing and which links making to food preparation.
Creating your (Electronic) Portfolio
Jes Kuczenski will walk through the process of creating personal portfolios, to include typical content, examples, and tools that can be used for electronic versions.  Students interested in following up with a draft of their own portfolio will have an opportunity to obtain feedback on their work later in the quarter.  Dr. Kuczenski has been on the School of Engineering faculty since 2014 and currently teaches the School's Introduction to Engineering and Community-Based Engineering Design courses.  She has a special interest in tools for student success.
New Student Ventures
Current students Sam Bertram and Michael Neumann will describe their current work in starting new ventures.  Sam, a current graduate student, is forming a commercial start-up that intends to disrupt the agriculture industry.  Michael, also a current graduate student and a former Peace Corps volunteer, currently operates an established non-profit benefiting students in Tanzania.  With their perspectives from both the commercial and social enterprise world, they will share the experiences in creating new ventures to serve the needs of others.
Business Puzzle Escape
We conclude our series with another fun challenge, a puzzle escape activity with a theme of assembling the business model of a student enterprise.  Join us for this enjoyable activity and help us celebrate the end of another great summer!
Networking Opportunities
As shared by John Giddings during our session on Networking and Professionalism, here are some great resources for networking opportunities in the bay area.

Pitching Your Concept

Guest speaker, Quinn Cao, asked that her presentation slides be shared with everyone. If you missed the talk or want to review her presentation, here are the Pitching Your Concept Slides.

If you would like to watch all of the pitches from The Expat Woman, here is the link to the full YouTube video-

Electronic Portfolios

Professor Kuczenski, shared tips on creating and what to include in eFolios. If you missed the talk or want to review her presentation, here is the ePortfolio_SlideDeck.

Contact Us

Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Guadalupe Hall, Bldg. 455

408-554-5474 fax

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