College of Business

The Center for Entrepreneurship Announces New Director

Eva Shepherd-Nicoll

California State University, Chico's Center for Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce the appointment of Eva Shepherd-Nicoll to the position of director, effective May 2020. Shepherd-Nicoll succeeded Interim Director Michael Rehg, who will continue to teach as a professor in the Department of Management in the College of Business.

Shepherd-Nicoll's other role for the University is as a lecturer for the Department of Management. She serves on the University committee supporting our relationship with Blue Tech Valley Innovation Cluster Hub. She is also involved in the Central Valley Energy Innovation Cluster on their Technical Advisory Committee. She has over 20 years of experience working as an advisor and mentor to various startups in the hardware, software, aviation, robotics, and technology sectors. Through these roles and mentorships, she has coached many entrepreneurs on their business plans and pitches from developing business ideas to raising capital.

Shepherd-Nicoll also runs a local business as the executive director of Chicostart. Chicostart is a nonprofit startup incubator, co-working space, and drives industry-to-industry economic development in the region. Chicostart exists to remove the barriers for startups and small businesses to thrive. They have created an ecosystem that networks the resources, support, and technical assistance to help businesses.

"This is an amazing opportunity to drive entrepreneurship and economic development forward in the Chico community and throughout the North State. Chico State has a rich history of turning out startups and a deep bench of alumni business owners to support this effort and the College of Business. Chico State has so many amazing students with innovative ideas, and I'm excited to work with them," Shepherd-Nicoll said.

"The interdisciplinary efforts [by the] faculty and students who blazed the trail before me are also starting to show tangible results. I'm excited to bring my relationships in other disciplines to build [more interdisciplinary] partnerships across campus. I know this is just the beginning of our efforts," she said.

This appointment as the new director in the Center of Entrepreneurship is a natural fit for the Shepherd-Nicoll, considering her past work and life experiences. She was born in the United States and raised mostly in Europe. She spent 20-plus years working in Silicon Valley and is now starting her first year as an employee of CSU, Chico to add to her list of experiences. As a Camp Fire survivor, she recently made the City of Chico her new home, calling it “an extremely welcoming community” and loves the small-town feel.

"Kudos to Rehg for having done an amazing job as interim director and for being so encouraging," Shepherd-Nicoll said.

"Through his hard work, and the foundation laid by Peter Straus and Colleen Robb, there are many opportunities for us with the right support. I look forward to getting the community and alumni involved, so we can do the best job we can for our students and take this program to the next level."

The Center for Entrepreneurship is dedicated to helping all Chico State students pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations through coaching, competitions, networking, etc. Visit the Center's website for information on how to get started turning your ideas into reality.

Eva Shepherd-Nicoll
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship
Glenn Hall, Room 221

California State University, Chico 

Glenn Hall

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