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Accelerator Fund


Chico State is one of the few universities in the country to have startup funds available for its students to help fund their businesses. Support in the range of $5,000-$10,000 is available in the form of a convertible note. Accelerator Services focus on business milestones to support the student business development process. Accelerator funding includes the assignment of a business mentor to advise the business for milestone achievements. While funded, the business is required to provide periodic updates and reporting to the Director of Center for Entrepreneurship and the Accelerator Fund Manager. 

 The funding is available to all currently registered CSU, Chico students no matter what college they are in. Click here for the application.

Students whose applications are accepted will appear before a due diligence committee made up of local business people, campus administrators, and investors. We strive to make the committee as impartial as possible so students can feel they are receiving a fair and open review of their business idea. The committee meets twice a year; once in the fall and once in the spring. If you’re interested, fill out the application and submit it to the Center for Entrepreneurship in Glenn 221 within the first two months of the semester.



The Accelerator Fund accepts applications from currently enrolled CSU, Chico students in the process of starting a successful business. The emerging business must demonstrate commercial viability within their preferred industry. Accelerator Fund preferences are:

  • Student led businesses that are highly scalable with protectable business models

  • Businesses that plan to grow and collaborate with Chico businesses

  • Businesses that leverage the founder’s resources or other funding/in-kind resources with Accelerator funding.


Use of Funds

Services fundable through the Accelerator Fund address business start-up needs for planning, market research, intellectual property, agreements, technology development, prototyping, access to professional services, etc. The Accelerator Fund does not support capital improvements or salaries. The Accelerator Fund will screen applicants and monitor the use of funds by approved applicants. The majority of funding levels will not exceed $10,000, however higher levels will be considered for certain businesses operating in capital intensive industries. 


Funding Process

The funding process begins with a review of the application and a discussion with the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship or the Accelerator Fund Manager. After discussing the business with a member of the Accelerator Fund then fill out the online application and download a business plan. The application and business plan will be reviewed to assure minimum criteria have been reach. Periodically (typically the end of the semester), approved applications will be reviewed by Accelerator Fund due diligence committee for approval for funding and/or for presentation to the Accelerator Fund. These presentations will take place at the end of the semester. Applicants will be notified of the Accelerator Fund decision with a couple weeks.


Contact Information

Peter Straus, Lecturer, Department of Management
Faculty Advisor, Collegiate Entrepreneurial Assoc.
Director, CSU, Chico Center for Entrepreneurship