Public Resources for California Entrepreneurs


San Diego Inventors Forum

Opportunity: The San Diego Inventors Forum is a forum with meeting and/or membership fees for inventors and professionals to introduce themselves, ask financing, business, licensing, marketing, legal and engineering questions and to present their ideas.


  • Memberships available for varying fee.



Application Deadline: Applications for the Fall 2018 Program close August 31, 2018

Funding Opportunity: EvoNexus is a technology incubator that offers access to potential seed capital of $250,000, support and help in preparing for fundraising, Demo Day opportunities, mentorship, intellectual property support, workspace resources and facilities, and access to a network of resources and investors.

Industry Specific: Technology.

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San Diego Venture Group

Opportunity: San Diego Venture Group is a non-profit organization designed to bring together people who are interested in new ventures and furthering individual companies, as well as an overall innovation community. SDVG hosts ten monthly meetings a year, providing an informal and dynamic environment for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, community leaders, and business advisors to develop greater insights into the process of forming, funding, and scaling high growth companies.


  • Membership available for varying fee

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San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange

Opportunity: The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization run by local entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and pre-entrepreneurs interested in Life Sciences, Biotech, Pharma, Medical Devices, Tech and Alternative Energy. SDEE was founded to provide a voice and resources for early stage startups, to encourage new entrepreneurs, and sponsor networking and educational services to help develop skills necessary to bring new businesses and funding to the San Diego area. 


  • Memberships available for varying fee

Industry Specific: Technology.

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Startup San Diego

Opportunity: Startup San Diego, a California nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity, is a local, grass roots, volunteer-based group of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors who have created a simple platform to grow the greater San Diego startup community.

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CyberHive San Diego


Application Deadline: Open application. 

Opportunity: CyberHive is a unique, innovative business shared workspace and incubator program that delivers business and technical support to early stage companies providing cybersecurity and high tech related products and services. CyberHive members receive business support services from CyberHive’s experienced and highly skilled services team, robust and redundant data connectivity, shared reception area and conference rooms. Members are mentored as they fine tune their business model, use cases and go to market strategies.

Industry Specific: Cybersecurity and high-tech business.

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The MIT Enterprise Forum

Opportunity: The MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego creates education and networking programs, building a community for business leaders, technologists, entrepreneurs, capital and service providers. The MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego  is a chapter of the global MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF), a 501c3 headquartered in Cambridge, MA. The MIT Enterprise Forum is open to everyone in the San Diego business community. Alumni of MIT are welcome, but it’s not a requirement. The Forum is comprised of a group of tech-minded volunteers serving the San Diego business community.

Industry Specific: Technology and life sciences.


TiE South Coast

Opportunity: TiE South Coast is a networking group. TiE is a nonprofit organization devoted to entrepreneurs in all industries, at all stages, from incubation, throughout the entrepreneurial lifecycle. With a global reach and a local focus, the heart of TiE efforts lies in its five foundational programs, – Mentoring, Networking, Education, Funding, and Incubation.


The Basement at UC San Diego

Application Deadline: October 15

Funding Opportunity: The Basement at UC San Diego is a co-work and incubation space for UC San Diego students with a mission to stimulate, encourage and serve the entrepreneurial spirit. The Basement Program offers three program tracks that offer varying degrees of access to space, resources, mentorship and possible funding in awards ranging from $500 to $2,000. 


  • Applicant(s) must be a current UC San Diego undergraduate student and in good academic standing.
  • Students applying must have a startup business/product or social innovation idea. 

The San Diego State University Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad

Application Deadline: September 16

Funding Opportunity: The ZIP launchpad is an incubator and entrepreneurial community supporting SDSU innovators to launch viable start-ups. The ZIP Launchpad offers access to facilities, prototyping tools, mentorship, legal guidance and funding up to $5,000.


  • Applicants must be current SDSU students, faculty, or staff.

Keiretsu Forum

Application Deadline: Open application

Funding Opportunity: Keiretsu Forum is a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists and corporate/institutional investors; the group defines itself as a conglomeration of individuals or small companies organized around private equity funding for mutual benefit. Keiretsu Forum Members invest in high-quality investment opportunities in the range of $250,000 - $3,000,000. Member expertise is broad and investments are made in diverse industries, such as: emerging technologies, healthcare / life sciences, real estate, consumer products and other industries with high growth opportunity.


  • Keiretsu Forum charges an administrative fee for those companies that are selected and are willing to present in front of its members. This fee does NOT apply until the candidate passes the deal screening phase and agrees to present at the general Forum.

SEED San Diego

Application Deadline: Open Application

Funding Opportunity: Seed San Diego invests in early stage companies with disruptive technology that need both capital and additional business insight to achieve their next milestone. Seed seeks out startups with passionate founders and a bold vision who also understand their true strengths.


SD Tech Scene

Opportunity: SD Tech Scene is a resource for entrepreneurs and tech start-ups with listings of events, activities, forums, conferences, workspace opportunities and other resources.


Startup Digest

Opportunity: Startup Digest is a weekly curated resource for entrepreneurs and startups with information about events, reading lists, and newsletters.

Tech Coast Angels

Application Deadline: Open Application

Funding Opportunity: Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investor group in the U.S., has been fueling the growth of innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Southern California since 1997 TCA identifies, mentors and funds early stage companies to help get their ideas to market, and where TCA members devote their time, expertise and capital to help companies grow and succeed. With no set funding amount, since 1997, TCA members have invested over $180,000,000 in more than 300 companies and have helped attract more than $1.6 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds. 


Startup Grind

Opportunity: Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. Startup Grind hosts events and provides opportunities for networking. 

Plug and Play

Application Deadline: Open Application

Funding Opportunity: Plug and Play provides successful startup applicants with an investment of $25,000 upon acceptance into the program, weekly speakers and mentorship sessions, a Demo Day opportunity in Silicon Valley with other investors, working space, and a community.

Startup California

Application Deadline: Open application for free membership or paid sponsorship

Opportunity: Startup California is a networking community offering resources and connections to startups through community, a local network, and access to experts for advise, feedback and mentorship.

Founder Institute

Application Deadline: October 22

Opportunity: The Founder Institute is an idea state accelerator and startup launch program to provide early-stage and aspiring entrepreneurs with the structure, training, mentor feedback, global network, and lifetime of support needed to start an enduring company. 


  • The course fee is $1,299

The Los Angeles Venture Association

Opportunity: The Los Angeles Venture Association provides forums where entrepreneurs and executives of start-up, emerging growth and late stage venture funded companies to actively meet and learn from fellow executives, investors, bankers, financial advisors and other providers of professional services.


  • Membership available for a varying fee


National Venture Capital Association

Opportunity: The National Venture Capital Association is a national trade association and networking group that empowers its members and the entrepreneurs they fund by advocating for policies that encourage innovation and reward long-term investment.


  • Membership available for a varying fee

AD Astra Ventures

Application Deadline: 2019 Deadline TBA

Funding Opportunity: This is a 12 week program for female founders and CEOs based on each individual company’s needs.  Each company is paired with a “Champion.” Participants will receive investment at the beginning of the program, and another investment at graduation — along with continuing access to capital and resources in and out of San Diego.


  • Female founder or CEO
  • Proof of Concept
  • Defensible Intellectual Property

Bio, Tech and Beyond

Application Deadline: Open Application

Funding Opportunity: By making available many of the tools of modern life science research to anyone who wants to use them, Bio, Tech and Beyond has taken the scientific research process out of the hands of a few massive corporations and large universities and placed it squarely in the hands of anyone with an idea.  Whether you're an academic researcher pursuing a hunch, a cancer patient who wants to cure your own disease, a biotech scientist with a skunkworks project, a retired pharma scientist with an idea you've always wanted to test, or a high school student who wants to change the world - Bio, Tech and Beyond can help turn your dream into a reality.

Industry-Specific: Life science




Application Deadline: Open Application

Funding Opportunity: SCALE provides funding and acceleration to stand out companies developing technology for Urban Innovation. They partner with the city, prominent universities and corporations to provide “smart citizens” with the resources to learn about and tackle real urban problems, establishing an ecology of smart city talent within San Diego. SCALE is a 6 month program that offers mentorship, access to data, free work space and services up to $100,000, and a pathway to additional funding.


Application Deadline: Fall 2018 Deadline TBA

Funding Opportunity: MystartupXX provides pre-seed funding, participation in workshops, co-working space, networking events, mentorship and membership in the MystartupXX alumni organization.


  • Program is available to UC San Diego undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students


Hera Hub

Opportunity: Hera Hub is a coworking space and business accelerator where entrepreneurial women can create and collaborate in a professional, productive, spa-like environment. The platform provides members with connections to other business experts, access to educational workshops, and visibility within the community thus giving them the support they need to be prosperous.



Opportunity: WeWork is a co-working space with locations all over the world, offering community, networking, and various amenities.