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.


With minors and courses in Viterbi and the Marshall School of Business, you can build innovation and entrepreneurship right into your curriculum.

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Put your ideas to the test and enter in a competition to get access to work space, funding, advising and/ or legal aid for your upcoming idea or company.

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Student Organizations

Student Organizations help you develop your idea or work on a student start up. They are the foundation of the innovation culture at USC.

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SCilicon Beach

With the fastest growing startup area in the world, Los Angeles is the place to be, and USC students are turning Silicon Beach into SCilicon Beach.

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Students have the opportunity to learn about tech start ups from the Viterbi Student Innovation Institute within the Viterbi School of Engineering and take courses from the  Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, or combine the two! There are minors to choose from or you can take a combination of classes that interest you.

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business is the nation’s oldest integrated entrepreneurship program. Consistently ranked among the top programs in the United States and abroad, the Greif Center was named #3 by US News & World Report in its Best Business Schools 2016 rankings, and #4 worldwide by the Financial Times in 2015. 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
Minors to Choose From
Minor in

Social Entrepreneurship

to study social innovation and use business to solve the world’s most serious problems.

Take a Class in

Building the High Tech Start Up

to learn the technologies, strategies, and processes in building web and mobile start ups.


Viterbi Start Up Garage

The Startup Garage is a 6 month venture incubator program that includes $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!

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 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 $15k 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. All of the innovation focused student organizations have a physical home in the Blackstone Launch Pad where they get to meet, collaborate and grow together. Student Organizations put on school wide events, showcases, and bring in incredible speakers (including Elon Musk) – and all of it is completely student led. If you want a chance to talk to Elon Musk, consider joining LavaLab and help out with their speaker series committee.  If you want to work at a start up for an internship or a full time career, Spark SC puts on a fall and spring start up career fair. If you want to blend art, animation and technology, Corpus Callosum does just that every semester with one gropu even creating a VR video game. If you want to use your passion for innovation to create social change, Design for America does just that.

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.

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.

Corpus Callosum

Corpus Callosum, named for the physiological bridge that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain, is Viterbi School of Engineering’s first and only art and engineering organization. Each semester project teams create interactive installations combining the principles of art and technology.


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.

Design For America

Design for America is an award-winning nationwide network of student teams and community members using human-centered design to create local and social impact.

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.

Listen to the Podcasts

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.

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Start Ups in Los Angeles

Entertainment Companies
 Lifestyle Companies
 Health Companies
Business Companies
Tech Companies

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