Information Session for Students about CIED and IDEA Hub

Calling all undergraduates, graduate students, and graduates interested in entrepreneurship, competing in Slug Tank, and finding out more about IDEA Hub and CIED opportunities!
Monday, 11/6 from 6:00-7:00pm at E2-599 (the Engineering 2 Conference Room)
Arrive by 5:30 for FREE pizza and soda!
At this information session find out about:
  • Responding to the IDEA Hub’s call for proposals for funding. Apply for funding for your socially beneficial and/or artistically creative enterprise. The deadline to apply is November 2, with funding awarded November 16. Find out how to submit a strong application!
  • Slug Tank, the 3-minute business pitch competition, happening November 30, 6-7:30 p.m., in Kresge Town Hall. Find out how to put together a video of your pitch to apply to compete live on November 30! Deadline to apply is midnight, November 16.
  • Resources for entrepreneurs at UCSC through CIED and IDEA Hub!

Apply for a 2019 Fellowship!!

The IDEA Hub is now accepting applications for 2019 Fellowship funds. Open to graduates, undergraduates, and graduating seniors. November 2, 2018 is the deadline to apply for financial support to move your project past the proof-of-concept stage and seed your enterprise ideas.

Click HERE for more information.

Fall Quarter’s IDEA Hub Open House

Are you curious to know more about the IDEA Hub? Thinking about applying for funding this year? Join us for Fall Quarter’s IDEA Hub Open House!  Register here!

Are you interested in pursuing an idea or venture related to either social or creative entrepreneurship? Connect with and learn about UC Santa Cruz faculty leaders and students who are pursuing innovative solutions to social problems and developing creative enterprises!

IDEA Hub Open House
Friday, October 19
3:00–5:00 p.m.
McHenry Library
David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons (ground floor)
VizWall area


3:00–3:15 Directors introduce campus incubation spaces
3:15–4:15 Student project presentations
4:15–5:00 Mingling with students who are tabling

Light refreshments provided!

Register Button

The four IDEA Hub incubation spaces on campus and their directors:

Questions? Contact Nathan Westrup at


Winners of the 2018 IDEA Hub Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise

IDEA Hub, under the aegis of CIED, sponsored the 2nd annual Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise, again prior to the June Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Sun Terrace of the Seaside Company’s Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Twelve creatively artistic and/or socially beneficial student business projects competed for $6000 in prize money:


First place, $3000


Team members: Randall Hill, Daniel Lopez, Denzel Mapp, Perla Plascencia, Jennifer Sowash
Glasses device that detects above-waist objects for the blind and visually impaired.

A consistent challenge that many blind and low vision individuals face is avoiding obstacles while traveling, especially in unfamiliar places. In a study of 300 blind and low vision participants, 41 percent reported head-level collisions at least once a month. These collisions can cause physical harm and emotional distress, which results in lowered confidence when traveling and reduces the frequency at which they leave their homes. While tools like the white cane or guide dog are popular within the blind community, they are only partial solutions. These tools have a significant range limitation that prevents users from being able to detect objects higher than their waists. To compensate for these field of range limitations, a practical solution is to create a head-level obstacle detection system encased in a pair of glasses. This provides an additional area of detection coverage that tools like the white cane or guide dog fail to take into account. The glasses, combined with the white cane or guide dog, extend the users range of detection head-to-toe. The product will alert users of any potentially dangerous object that resides within its detectable range of 6 feet.

Second place, $2000
Team members: Sheryl Ratnam
Food-ordering app for healthy, home-cooked meals

Third place, $1000
Team members: Tyler Shewbert, Justin Yau, Evan Zaro
Eddy current separators for efficient non-magnetic metal sorting for recycling

Honorable Mention, $500
Team members: Steffen Mahnke, Elliot Eckholm, Dana Licata
Crypto-currency investment management application

The four judges were:

The other student-led projects in the competition were:

Steffen Mahnke, Elliot Eckholm, Dana Licata
Crypto-currency management

Engineers Without Borders, UCSC
Toby Gay, Jamal Kamli, Rohan Kumar, Josh Land, Denice Leffew, José Ramos
Solar-powered home-lighting systems

Reem Aldayafleh, Luz Lule Camargo, Luke Chang, Michael Nygaard
Natural-gas-meter monitoring system

Let's Get Social
Parul Wadhwa
Affordable virtual-reality storytelling platform for non-profits

Qingyu Han (team leader), Stefan Berchtold, Randall Blankenship, Kobe Dong, Sterling Dreyer, Tyler Eaves, Sage Emerson, Dena Giovinazzo, Veronica Hovanessian, Rogelio Juarez, Natalie King, Daniel Lloyd, Giovanni Magana, Kevin Mai, Andrew Matthews, Sarah Mitchell, Sofia Pando, Calvin Ryan, Kelly Tu, Ryan van den Vlekkert, Azikiwe Wicker
Launching miniature satellites into low-earth orbit for communications use by amateur radio operators around the world

Smart Solar Siting
Andrew Guterres, Henry Hargreaves, Mattheo Ioannou, Sam Singh, Chris Smith, Nicki Thompson
Automated solar installation site evalution on a smart phone

Qingyu Han, Natalie King, Sarah Mitchell, Alec Reid, Kerry Veenstra, Chris Villalpando, Azikiwe Wicker
reliable, solar-powered emergency radio stations

Te Miti Sportswear
Grace Reed, K'Love Mercader
Sustainably produced, biodegradable bikinis and sportswear for watersports

WaterLab 2.0
Matthew Cavallero, Jeffrey Chen, Daxing Deng, Kenneth Jones, Derek Quiroz
Self-contained and autonomous advanced water treatment system

IDEA Hub Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise

IDEA Hub, under the aegis of CIED, sponsors the 2nd annual Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise, again prior to the June Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Cocoanut Grove
Sun Room Terrace

If you have a creatively artistic and/or socially beneficial business idea, apply to compete in this competition by sending an enterprise summary with the following information (maximum of two pages) to

  • name of business or team
  • all team members and their affiliations to UCSC (at least one team member must be a UCSC student, undergraduate or graduate)
  • contact information for team leader
  • 1-sentence mission statement
  • problem the business solves
  • intended customers and value the business brings to those customers
  • competing products or services and why your innovation offers a better solution

The deadline to apply to compete in Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise is Friday, May 25, noon PST.

IDEA Hub accepting proposals for 2018

The IDEA Hub encourages students from all divisions to apply and seeks to accept projects strongly committed to social and creative entrepreneurship.

Undergraduates, including graduating seniors, may apply for a three- to six-month fellowship. Applications should include a one-page project proposal plus a work plan and budget. Some additional funding is available for project development. Fellowships are reserved for students working on projects that are past the idea stage, with funds intended to move them to implementation.

Applicants the IDEA Hub accepts into its program will receive:

  • Access to all four incubation hubs (Community Media and Mapping Lab of the Everett Program, OpenLab, S-lab, and VizLab)
  • Workshops for developing professional skills and projects
  • Mentorship to help bring projects to fruition
  • At least $500 to launch. Awards up to $2500 are available for projects that can prove their sustainability and marketability. Budgets will be required for additional funds.

Email your creative or social-benefitting business proposal to by May 18, 2018.

The next Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup is June 6, 2018

Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp offers opportunities to learn about new technology startups in the Santa Cruz region and to connect with jobs and key shakers in our tech ecosystem. UCSC students with valid ID receive a reduced entry fee. Regular entrance fee is $10 or $15 per person, depending on the venue. Admission includes food, beverage, live music, and company presentations.

The next Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup is:

June 6, 2018
6 p.m.
Cocoanut Grove (at the Boardwalk)
400 Beach St.
Santa Cruz

Join the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup online to register to attend this event.

McHenry Library to celebrate new visualization spaces that enhance digital scholarship

January 25, 2018


An opening celebration to formally launch the VizWall, a large-scale visualization installation, and the VizLab, a Virtual Reality and 360 Lab, will take place on February 7, at the David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons on the ground floor of McHenry Library.

The VizWall is a 14'x4' screen installation that enables large scale presentation of visual materials or simultaneous interaction with multiple pieces of digital content. It now offers the entire campus community a new space to visualize their research and create interactive digital media. 

The new VizLab creates an opportunity for students to experience and develop projects in Virtual Reality. It also provides the campus with access to a high performance, graphics intensive workstation with available 3D modeling, animation, and Virtual Reality software. These new spaces were created through partnerships between the University Library, The Humanities Institute, the Humanities Division, CITIRIS, and the IDEA Hub.

“The spaces highlight how collaborative infrastructure projects create new possibilities for research, teaching, and learning on campus, and the role of the library as a hub for scholarly experimentation,” said Rachel Deblinger, director of the Digital Scholarship Commons

“The vision and leadership of The Humanities Institute has fostered a dynamic community of researchers on campus that has opened up these new partnerships,” she noted. “We will continue to work together to build the necessary infrastructure to inspire and enable ever changing modes of scholarly production and presentation.”

Deblinger added that the lab space has already been used for curriculum.

“Arts faculty have been bringing their students to the VizLab to draw and create in 3D, and a number of history and other humanities faculty will be using the lab this quarter to have students explore virtual reality spaces.”

The opening reception will include a presentation by assistant professor of history Elaine Sullivan about her work with 4D models of ancient Egyptian temple sites. Demonstrations in Virtual Reality will also be available throughout the event.

The Digital Scholarship Commons plans to additionally host two lectures at the VizWall this winter.

The University Library’s reception to celebrate the opening of the VizWall and VizLab takes place on Wednesday, February 7, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the The David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons, located on the ground floor of McHenry Library. Admission is free. RSVP Here


Introductory Workshop in TouchDesigner

 Materializing Interactive Research (MIR) is a computing lab for artists and designers created as a IDEA Hub Student Enterprise. MIR focuses on how physical, social play can meaningfully inform the ways we use sensing technologies in digital art and new media. This exploration of the relationship between the human body, motion-sensing, and responsive environments finds its most meaningful expression through a series of immersive creative-coding workshops.
A focus on work that promotes human-to-human computer mediated interaction, rather than siloed human-to-machine interaction aims to disrupt the often isolating nature of computer artworks. During workshops, MIR instructors will guide participants through embodiment exercises where they will examine the relationships between the body and space, the body and technology, and the body with other bodies. These exercises are rooted in theater, dance, mindfulness, and play therapy.

We hope to encourage artists and designers to consider the importance of the body and embodiment in their work, and to offer a counterpoint perspective to the Descartian dualism that often dominates the dialogue about how humans and machines should interact. In addition to providing opportunities for artists and designers to create their own works, MIR will use its experience to also operate as a consultation service, providing guidance for installation considerations, and produce plug-in software tools for artists looking for turn-key solutions.