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Startup Journey phases, with phase 1: Ideate highlighted


Thinking about a new product or business?

Idea generation is the start to your entrepreneurial journey, where new ideas are created. Researchers, inventors, and founders in this stage do not yet have a defined market opportunity and little-to-no funding. 

We love collaborating with innovators in this exciting stage! On campus, you have access to several incubators including The Basement at the Design and Innovation Building. At the Basement, you can apply for a formalized program or have casual meetups during open hours. In addition, there are opportunities to work on teams or take courses that introduce the basics of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Below you'll find our carefully curated programs and resources to help you through the challenges of this stage. If you have questions or you'd like to get connected you with one of these resources, please get in touch and let us know.


Check Out These Campus Programs

♦ The Basement Blackstone LaunchPad Incubator

For students
UC San Diego students (both undergraduate and graduate) with entrepreneurial or social impact interests are encouraged to apply to The Blackstone LaunchPad Incubator. Participants in the program gain the entrepreneurship skills and tools to develop their social impact or business idea.

♦ Essentials of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Open to All
In this course, you will discover new ways of thinking, learn to drive innovative initiatives, and approach business challenges with a fresh perspective.

i4NS: Innovating for National Security

For students
A quarter-long program on campus that offers the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) leaders an opportunity to collaborate with talented student teams to develop innovative solutions to their most pressing national security problems.

♦ Innovating for X (i4X)

For students
Innovating for X (i4X) is a variety of multi-quarter-long programs that offers student teams the opportunity to collaborate with leaders from a variety of sectors, including industry, non-profits, and government in developing innovative solutions with real-world impact. This program engages UC San Diego students from across academic disciplines (both undergraduate and graduate) to combine their collaborative, problem-solving, and educational skills to develop innovative solutions through the lens of entrepreneurship. 

Institute for the Global Entrepreneur

For all
A collaboration between Jacobs School of Engineering and Rady School of Management to inspire and prepare engineers to be entrepreneurial leaders and translate technology innovations to market to fuel the economy and benefit society.

Rady School of Management

For all
Rady is the business school of UC San Diego and offers a variety of STEM-designated programs that are hands-on, innovation-focused, and inspired by the cutting-edge research of our faculty.

 Startup Tree

For students / community members
This centralized, Entrepreneur Relationship Management™ platform allows you manage the entrepreneurial landscape in one place. Learn more about the perks and resources available to you on your entrepreneurship journey and maximize your impact.


There are plenty more campus programs. If you’re interested, visit Ideas Council Programs for more information on what's available campus-wide.

♦ Designates OIC program


Let's Talk Funding!

Secure the backing you need to succeed. Our office is dedicated to providing budding companies with internal funding opportunities and access to external investors.

View Funding Information