Mission & History

CIED is located in Clark Kerr Hall, Division of Graduate Studies wing, Room 282

Welcome to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) at the University of California, Santa Cruz


CIED promotes the development, research, and teaching of innovation and entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz and its global partners.

To accomplish this mission, CIED

  • Works with UCSC faculty, postdoctoral scholars, students, alumni, and companies to identify promising areas of entrepreneurial development and sources on and off campus to develop these ideas further.
  • Matches internship opportunities for UCSC students with the needs of entrepreneurs and companies.
  • Works with the community to promote community-wide events, including the annual competitions Slug TankCruzHacks, the Business Design Showcase, and the IDEA Hub’s Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise.
  • Offers workshops and seminar series to promote networking and skills training and to share experiences at UCSC with our surrounding communities.
  • Works to clarify and streamline procedures for interactions between UCSC faculty and students and entrepreneurial organizations and industries.
  • Promotes research on entrepreneurship, particularly focused on increasing participation by groups that have been historically underrepresented.
  • Advertises seminars, workshops, and classes related to innovation and entrepreneurial development in Santa Cruz County and the surrounding communities.  
  • Coordinates an 8-week Summer Entrepreneurship Academy and certificate program to help new entrepreneurs transition their innovations into sustainable businesses.
  • Is developing a graduate minor (designated emphasis) in innovation and entrepreneurial development.


The UC Santa Cruz Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) was formed in 1979 by Dr. Narinder Kapany and a group of UC Santa Cruz faculty. Dr. Kapany served as CIED director for seven years, and under his leadership CIED was a pioneer in entrepreneurship training and helped successfully launch several startups by UCSC faculty and alumni. Read more about the original CIED here. The success of CIED resulted in Dr. Kapany being invited to give congressional testimony to the Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives, 97th Congress, on July 14, 1981, as part of the Implementation of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.

In 2011, a new group of faculty worked with Santa Cruz alumni to start the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) in the Baskin School of Engineering. This center successfully launched a business design showcase, held brown-bag lunches, reinvigorated the Project for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) with the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development office, helped establish new classes in entrepreneurship, and helped launch hackathons at UC Santa Cruz in collaboration with the Santa Cruz business community.

To expand and grow the C4E initiatives with additional campus-wide support, C4E moved from the Baskin School of Engineering to central administration in the Division of Graduate Studies, where it will serve graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty with support from the Division of Undergraduate Education, the Office of Research, and the other five academic divisions. In honor of its history, the relocated center adopted the original name of the Center for Innovation and Entreneurial Development (CIED).