IDEA Hub News + Events

Congratulations to Simon Boas, IDEA Hub team leader for MidGray Collective for winning 2nd Place in UC Berkeley's Big Ideas competition for their project "Last Night" in the Art & Social Change catagory. 

Last Night is a workshop and fully developed card game that opens up a space for conversations among college-aged players about how to discern when a sexual situation may not be clearly consensual. The emotional and educational impact of Last Night hinges on shifting the perspective in a story that players help write. Competitive gameplay traditions encourage players to collect cards that construct a narrative about a date they hope was successful, but players learn in a post-play epilogue that their date may have seen their actions differently–sometimes as disrespectful or even hurtful. Last Night and its accompanying workshop form a creative tool to inspire conversations about consent and respectful dating behavior.

Big Ideas is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.” Since its founding in 2006, Big Ideas has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation. By encouraging novel proposals and then supporting concrete next steps, Big Ideas is helping contest winners make an impact all over the world. 



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

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

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

Honorable Mention, $500
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.


Friday April 23, 2018. The Sustainability Lab (S-Lab) will hosting a project fair outside of the Barn near the Pollination Pod to demonstrate some of IDEA Hub projects create with the lab

Click HERE for more information. 



The IDEA Hub is now accepting applications for 2018 Fellowship funds. Open to graduates, undergraduates, and graduating seniors. April 18th 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. 



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:

April 4, 2018
6 p.m.
Santa Cruz Dream Inn
175 W. Cliff Dr.
Santa Cruz

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


Friday, 2-4pm, February 16, 2018

Learn how to output vector and 3D objects on different media using the Art Department 3D Fabrication space known as the HiVE.

Click here for more information


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. 

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.

Click here for more information


Materializing Interactive Research (MIR) to host a workshop February 24 & 25.

MIR is a computing lab for artists and designers, that 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.

Click here to RSVP


IDEA Hub project “BEES OF THE CENTRAL COAST” given the Webster Fellow Award

Congratulations to the IDEA Hub project  "Bees of the Central Coast" for being recipients of the Webster Fellowship Award. This project seeks to translate real world research at UCSC into a non-academic publication that highlights the amazing diversity, beauty, and ecology of these wild bee species.  This illustrated handbook to the bees of central coast will highlight both common and rare species through illustration and poetry compiled from the work of undergraduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz.



VizLab Open House

The Digital Scholarship Commons is hosting an Open House in the VizLab, January 24 from 1 - 3pm.
If you’ve never tried VR before, this is your chance. Explore the new DSC VizLab and experience Virtual Reality. They invite you to test the HTC VIVE headset, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Cardboard Headset. DSC Staff will be available to answer questions and introduce you to available resources and hardware. The event is designed for IDEA Hub fellows, but open to anyone.
Click here for event flyer

Cosponsored by the IDEA Hub, Institute for Humanities Research and the Digital Scholarship Commons.


Congratulations to UCSC IDEA Hub finalists for the BIG IDEAS contest!!!

Congratulations to The MidGray Collective, Seeking Symbiosis, and Parul Wadhwa as  finalists in the 2017-2018 Big Ideas Contest in the Connected Communities category!

Big Ideas is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.” Since its founding in 2006, Big Ideas has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation. The Big Ideas Contest, which now spans across 11 universities, received over 300 applications and the top 20% will participate in the final round.



Announcement mega phone

IDEA Hub has Funds for the 2017–18 Academic Year.

A new group of IDEA Hub Projects, strongly committed to Social and Creative Entrepreneurship, have been a ccepted CIED’s IDEA Hub for the 2017–18 academic year. Check out current student enterprises under development at IDEA Hub Student Enterprises. These enterprises and potentially more applicants for IDEA Hub funding will compete in the second annual Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise on June 6 at Hotel Paradox, prior to tabling at the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup.




UCSC Professor Sue Carter testifies to the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Research and Technology

Dr. Sue Carter, Director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) that oversees the IDEA Hub, testified to the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Research and Technology on December 6. You can watch the full hearing (lab market review of the NSF Innovation program) on the subcommittee site for the hearing.



 IDEA Hub workshop at the Imagining America (IA) Conference at UC Davis

Faculty and students participating in IDEA Hub will be workshopping the challenges of  social and creative entrepreneurship on colleges campuses at the 17th Annual National Conference on October 13, 2017 at UC Davis. The IDEA Hub workshop will focus on developing best practices for diversity, inclusion, networking, social equity, assessment, and public engagement. For more information about this workshop and the conference please visit the Imagining America Conference website.


 IDEA Hub Open House, October 11, 2017

Students interested in becoming involved with IDEA Hub, please come to our Fall Open House on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 to learn more about projects, programs and opportunities.

Students apply in project teams for an opportunity to participate in this year-long program. The IDEA Hub Teams gain access to all four incubation facilities, a series of seminars and workshops, mentorship opportunities, and project seed funding.

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


IDEA Hub winners of Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise

Santa Cruz Tech Beat published an article about the IDEA Hub winners of Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise

By Sonya Newlyn
UC Santa Cruz, June 8, 2017

The UC Santa Cruz IDEA Hub’s Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise competition featured thirteen teams with widely varying ideas from low- to high-tech to benefit society. The judges had a very difficult time selecting the first, second, and third place winners, so awarded two honorable mentions in addition.

The judges were:

  • Pete Cartwright, founder and former CEO of Calpine
  • Brian Johnston, CEO of Somagenics
  • Roger McConville, VP of Global Support Sales at BMC Software
  • Yvonne Rodriguez, Ph.D., M.B.A., former deputy director of SACNAS, Public Policy Fellow in Association for Women in Science, and Government Relations & Public Policy Associate in Society of Women Engineers

The winners are:

  • 1st place, $3000: WaterBug, a water-distribution-system monitor that provides real-time data to save water and energy. (Grant Ly, Alec Reid, Wyatt Smith, Tin Thurein)
  • 2nd place, $2000: Code Naturally, researching new approaches to excite 3rd through 9th graders about math and computer science. (Sukh Singh, CEO; Gabe de la Mora, Keller Jordan, Emily O’neal, Kathy Petersen, Kristian Talley, Alfred Young)
  • 3rd place, $2000: OVAC, a drone that autonomously collects water body floor sediment and reports data to marine researchers and industry professionals. (Garrett Ding, Josh Gutterman, Aaron Ramirez, Garrett Stoll)
  • Honorable Mention, $500: Santa Cruz WaveWorks, underwater sensors report surf conditions in real time. (John Tauriac)
  • Honorable Mention, $500: SlugSense, a wireless monitoring and data analysis system for environmental conservation (Scott Davis, Clayton Keleher, Matthew Kim, Yu-An Lin, Raul Lopez-Luna, Robert Lyons, Babandeep Singh, Tyler Tagawa)

The 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place teams went on to pitch their ideas at the ensuing Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup on June 7.

The other competitors were:

  • BusStop, a mobile app that guides visually impaired travelers to and through public transit.
  • GoBike, a mobile electric bicycle sales and rental and maintenance service.
  • MicroPod, a modular tiny and energy-efficient mobile home
  • pTera, an aerial drone with infrared sensors that scans and reports terrestrial conditions
  • SlugRide, a mobile app for carpooling to campus
  • Smart Parking Over There (SPOT), a guidance system for parking easily and autonomously
  • Urbavore, automated aeroponic and vertical food production technology
  • WaterLab, scalable water treatment system for developing communities

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) and the faculty and staff founders of IDEA Hub congratulate all participants for an excellent job and congratulate the winners and honorable mentions for exceptional presentations!

Santa Cruz Tech Beat published an article about the winners of Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise, and you can also read about the winners here.