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Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Builders, Doers, Makers & Entrepreneurs

Make Your Ideas a Reality

From courses, to minors, to innovation centers, challenges, and the start up culture of Los Angeles, USC has what you need to make your ideas a reality. You will be able to build and execute your ideas for your new tech start up, social entrepreneurship idea, business venue and more.

Viterbi Innovation Website

Entrepreneurship Classes

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is the nation’s oldest integrated entrepreneurship program and is consistently ranked among the top programs in the United States and abroad. With more than 68 courses taught by 27 professors and clinical practitioners, the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is a leader in entrepreneurship education and research.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Courses Offered
Professors in the Lloyd Grief Center
Minors to Choose From

A Sampling of Entrepreneurship Classes

  • Building the High Tech Start Up
  • Founders Dilemmas (BAEP 455)
  • Seminar in Entrepreneurship (BAEP 460)
  • Digital Playbook for Entrepreneurs (BAEP 465)
  • Growth Hacking: Scaling Startups (BAEP 469)
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: Taking the Leap (BAEP 470)
  • Social Innovation Design Lab (BAEP 471)
  • Science of Peak Performance (BAEP 472)
  • Entertainment Entrepreneurship (BAEP 475)
  • Family Business (BAEP 480)
  • Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (BAEP 491)
  • Practicum in Business Issues (Internship) (BAEP 495)
  • Digital Startup Launchpad (BAEP 496)
  • Field Project in Entrepreneurship (BAEP 497)
  • Special Topics in Entrepreneurship (BAEP 499)


Learn about the new Baum Family Maker Space

Viterbi Start Up Garage

The Startup Garage is a 6 month venture-incubator program that offers an average of $20K in capital in exchange for 4% equity, hands on mentoring and coaching, access to an amazing network of investors, access to the resources of the Viterbi School of Engineering, and working space for the first 6 months of your venture.  All students can apply with their ideas and companies to be apart of the program. Prior Garage companies have raised over $8+Mil in investment capital!

The Baum Family Maker Space

Set in the Seaver Science and Engineering Library, the Baum Family Maker Space is home to many of USC Viterbi’s design teams. It occupies approximately 8,000 square feet and includes an open design space, a fully staffed machine shop, a 3-D fabrication lab and an outdoor work area for welding and painting. The space is outfitted with a large variety of hand tools and many large machine tools including mills, lathes, band saws, drill presses, grinders and sanders.  The Advanced Fabrication Lab houses numerous 3-D printers and laser cutters.

Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition

MEPC is designed to support both the idea and the innovator through a combination of mentoring by seasoned investors and business professionals, entrepreneurial educational sessions developed in conjunction with the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurship at USC that features $100K in prizes, including a $50K grand prize!  The MEPC’s goal is to both make engineering innovators more business-savvy while at the same time to empower them with refined business plans that define an effective go-to-market strategy for their ideas and inventions.

Min Family Engineering Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

This challenge is a competition that provides USC students with the opportunity to use innovations in engineering and technology to develop sustainable and effective solutions to global problems and to positively affect the greater global society.  In particular, it aims to address the development of solutions to problems and challenges faced by underprivileged parts of our society or in underdeveloped countries worldwide.  The first place winner wins $50k in prize money along with mentor-ship and legal aid.

Given Out to Student Start Ups Every Year through Competitions

Student Organizations

Student Organizations build the foundation of the start up culture among Viterbi undergrads at USC. With 1/3 of Viterbi-affiliated student organizations having a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, there’s an organization to help you develop and grow your idea, or even just learn what this crazy start up craze is all about! Learn more about some of the organizations and what they’re doing below.

Code the Change USC

Code the Change produces free digital products for non-profits and social enterprises, helping these organizations increase their impact through technology. In the process, Code the Change gives student developers the opportunity to use their skills for social change.

Design Teams

Many of USC Viterbi’s design teams are headquartered in The Baum Family Maker Space. BFMS is Viterbi’s premier maker space for innovation and collaboration, and provides engineering students with a variety of tools to bring their ideas to life.


CAIS++ is the student branch of the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society, bringing USC students together to use AI for social good.

Hack SC

Hack SC is a weekend competition among students from schools all over the country at USC where students “hack” a product in 30 hours. They encourage students to be curious and explore multiple disciplines of hacking, including iOS, Android, 3-D Printing, Virtual Reality & Games, and Web Applications.


LavaLab is USC’s first student run incubator. Quickly forming teams, students go through an entire semester of rapidly prototyping an idea and transforming that idea into a product that they will pitch to investor judges.

Spark SC

Spark SC’s goal is to inspire a culture of innovation, expose students to their creative potential, and connect makers across diverse communities. They hold numerous innovation and entrepreneurship events throughout the year.

Student Stories

Hear from USC Viterbi students

The USC Startup Career Fair

Read about Daniel’s experience attending the USC Startup Career Fair hosted by Spark SC, the premier entrepreneurship club at USC.


Read about Cameron’s experience attending a pitch competition at LavaLab, Viterbi’s student-run incubator.

Research at USC Viterbi

Read about Emily’s experience doing research at USC Viterbi, including the type of work she’s doing, and advice she has for aspiring researchers.

SCilicon Beach

Did you know that Southern California graduates the largest number of engineering and computer science graduate students in the country?

It’s true — more than the Bay Area, more than Boston, more than any other city or region in the United States. This tremendous talent pool is fueling the explosion in the innovation ecosystem in our area, also known as Silicon Beach.

The University of Southern California, and particularly the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, is strategically positioned in terms of both abundant human capital and physical location to creatively shape this environment. With two of our research powerhouses — the Information Sciences Institute and the Institute for Creative Technologies — located in the heart of Silicon Beach, we stand ready to serve as the premier private research university driving technology innovation in Southern California — and to transform Silicon Beach into SCilicon Beach! Innovation and technology entrepreneurship are becoming indispensable pillars of engineering schools around the world.

Listen to our podcasts on innovation

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