Startup Challenge Monterey Bay 2018 Hollister orientation, March 1

The City of Hollister is sponsoring an orientation to be hosted 6-7:30p.m. Thursday evening, March 1, at the Hollister City Hall Council Chambers

This article was provided by the San Benito County Business Council Executive Director, Kristina Chavez Wyatt.

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is an annual regional business competition and acceleration program for entrepreneurs in the Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. It is a competitive acceleration process that teaches, coaches, mentors, networks and connects entrepreneurs to the knowledge and resources they need. The Challenge provides workshops and mentoring to support the founding, funding and growth of new and innovative businesses in the Monterey Bay region, empowering entrepreneurs to communicate their ideas effectively to investors, customers and employees. Prospective entrepreneurs, startups and emerging companies showcase and develop their business concepts while competing for cash prizes and recognition.

The City of Hollister is sponsoring an orientation to be hosted 6-7:30p.m. Thursday evening, March 1, at the Hollister City Hall Council Chambers located at 375 5th Street in Downtown Hollister.

Applications are due by midnight, Monday, March 12 for the 2018 Startup Challenge Monterey Bay. The Challenge is open to all entrepreneurs and startup companies in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, as well as the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Applications are to be completed online at and are due March 12.

The competition has three divisions:

Venture division is open to businesses that are intended to scale and provide venture-investor level returns. The Winner receives $20,000 in cash and the two runner-ups each receive $5,000 in cash.

The Main Street division is open to small businesses, sole proprietorships and non-profits. The Winner receives $10,000 in cash; the two runner-ups will each receive $2,500 in cash.

The Student division is open to students in high school, community colleges, colleges and graduate schools. The Winner receives $1,500 in cash.

Key dates for the Challenge are the application deadline on March 12, the Qualifying Round pitches at CSUMB @ Salinas City Center on Saturday, April 7 and the Final Round and Venture Showcase at the CSUMB @ Salinas City Center on May 12.

The Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is organized by a committee of community volunteers and managed by the Institute for Innovation & Economic Development (iiED). The iiED supports the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem to provide resources entrepreneurs need to be successful. The Institute also offers programs that engage entrepreneurs and managers worldwide in learning about innovation and entrepreneurial practice. The iiED is an institute of the College of Business at CSU Monterey Bay. For more information, see or contact [email protected] (831) 582-3230.


San Benito County Business Council is a made up of “local business, agency & government leaders committed to actively contributing to the economic vitality and wellbeing of the communities of San Benito County.”

San Benito County Business Council

Established in 2002, the Business Council is a 501 C 6 non-profit organization comprised of more than 45 businesses, municipal, non-profit and community agencies, representing more than 2,500 employees in San Benito County and throughout the Monterey Bay region. The top 4 priority goals for 2021 identified by our member survey participants are as follows:

1. Retention, expansion, job creation and growth of existing businesses
2. EDC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Implementation - New business attraction
3. Measure G Implementation, roads, transportation, decaying infrastructure
4. Building relations with elected officials and staff