CIID Programs and Competitions


StartR Team EnglueThe hallmark of the CIID program are the accelerators: StartR Rady, StartR Inclusion (formerly mystartupXX), StartR Impact (formerly Social Ventures Accelerator), StartR Veteran, and StartR Teen. Each program provides participants the opportunity to expand their education through a workshop series, access to funding and co-working space on the Rady School campus, and one-to-one interaction with coaches and mentors. The StartR Rady program serves the Rady School’s graduate-level students and alumni, while StartR Inclusion is open to teams from across campus who have a technology-focused idea and a female in a leadership position. IdeaConnect is a student run organization connecting Rady School students with other students across campus to form multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial teams.

  • StartR Rady exclusively for Rady School MBA students and alums, this premier accelerator is a six-month program and concludes with each team presenting at the Demo Day event.
  • StartR Inclusion Open to students across UC San Diego and designed to highlight diversity, teams must have at least one leader from a traditionally underrepresented population.
  • StartR Impact Looking to make an impact on the world through innovation? The StartR Impact accelerator is open to startups and ideas from across campus aiming to make a societal impact.
  • StartR Veteran This accelerator exclusively serves those who have served their country. Veterans receive mentorship, support, and inspiration from other veteran entrepreneurs.
  • StartR Teen Available to middle and high schools, this program introduces entrepreneurial thinking by utilizing the resources of the UC San Diego and our startup community.
  • Rady Innovation Fellows Our Rady Innovation Fellows work with businesses, startups and venture firms throughout San Diego. They bring the knowledge they've gained through their classwork and put it to work to develop business plans, marketing plans, facilitate the due diligence process, and other activities that contribute to the growth of the company.
  • Rady Venture Fund- The Rady Venture Fund provides both investment capital to entrepreneurs but also educational opportunities for UC San Diego graduate students.
  • DrIve DRIvE (Developing Rady Innovation Entrepreneurs), focuses on taking carefully selected startups with some traction (prize money, seed funding, fully developed product) and pairing them with high-level mentors who can help them to grow. 


UC San Diego and the Rady School of Management provide many opportunities throughout the year for budding entrepreneurs to pitch their idea and compete for funding, in addition to providing exposure to local business leaders and investors. Each program has its own focus and application process.

  • The Triton Innovation Challenge is a collaboration of the Rady School, the Jacobs School of Engineering, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Focusing on the environment and open to those with environmentally relevant ideas, the Triton Innovation Challenge is open to students, faculty and staff across the UC San Diego campus. 

  • The Rady Idea Challenge is a new competition open to incoming Rady School graduate level students. Students are encouraged to come up with an idea and compete in a quick-pitch competition where they will be awarded prizes to help them grow their idea. The purpose of the Idea Challenge is to encourage all new students, regardless of program, to think entrepreneurially.

  • The Border Innovation Challenge - The Border Innovation Challenge is a new for 2019 business plan competition focused on the challenges presented by the international border. This competition focuses on bringing to the spotlight promising solutions and technologies to meet the efficiency and security challenges of the regions ports of entry generated by the finest minds at UC San Diego. Supported by the Smart Border Coalition, the program is presented through a partnership of the Rady School of Management and the Jacobs School of Engineering, and is open to applicants from across the UC San Diego campus, early stage startups with a UC San Diego affiliation, and to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Baja California.

  • The Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge - In partnership with the Center for Social Innovation and Impact (CSII), the competition is a social venture pitch competition that recognizes, resources and rewards student-led social ventures focused on sustainable change. Participants develop a nuanced understanding of a social or environmental issue, and identify gaps in the approaches currently deployed to solve this issue, create a viable business plan based on a new potential solution that can address these gaps, pitch their venture to a panel of judges for up to $50,000 in funding and other resources, and gain invaluable entrepreneurial experience, mentoring and network connections to propel their change-making journey to the next level.