What is the IDEA Hub? 

Led by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED), the IDEA Hub is a campus-wide initiative for students, created to spread social and creative entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz. A network of incubation facilities, fellowships, seminars, workshops, and mentorships provides students space to think critically about the challenges facing society and propose pathways for meaningful intervention.

The IDEA Hub is more than just a lab or mentorship program. It is a space where students are given the opportunity to collaborate with diverse interdisciplinary teams and develop ideas with technical knowledge to create projects with real-world impact. Participation in this program provides graduate and undergraduate students with the skills and capacity to conceptualize and execute their socially engaged ideas.


The IDEA Hub brings together a network of four independent incubation facilities, including the S-LabOpenLabEverett Program, and Digital Scholarship Commons. These campus workspaces, available to all Hub team members, provide access to hardware and software for hands-on development and innovation in design, manufacturing, communications, and data visualization.



Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise

IDEA Hub launched with its first pitch competition June 7, 2017, at Hotel Paradox, preceding the monthly Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup in the same location. The IDEA Hub accepted applications from individual students and teams with at least one student. Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise offered thirteen teams the opportunity to pitch original ideas to the local tech innovation community. Learn about the winners here.


Applications for financial support for social- and creative-enterprise projects that are past the proof-of-concept stage are accepted quarterly for quarter-length graduate fellowships, including tuition and fees, for fall, winter, spring, and summer.

Applications should include a one-page project proposal plus a work plan and budget. Some additional funds are available for project development. These fellowships are reserved for students working on projects that are past the idea stage, with these funds designed to move projects to implementation.

Hub Teams 

Students may apply in project teams for an opportunity to participate in this year-long program. The IDEA Hub Teams will be primarily affiliated with an incubation facility that most closely matches their project needs (to facilitate mentoring) but gain access to all four incubation facilities. Teams will be expected to participate in a series of seminars and workshops and will have mentorship opportunities and access to project seed funding.

To get more information on Hub Teams and become a team member, visit the IDEA Hub Fall Open House on October 11, 2017, at the Digital Arts Research Center (DARC).

IDEA HUB 2017 MeetUp Pitches: