College of Business

Accelerator Fund

Winners of the Business Concept Competition stand together to pose for a photo.


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 $2,500-$5,500 is available in the form of a convertible note. While funded, the business is required to provide periodic updates and reporting to the Director of Center for Entrepreneurship. 

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

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 online application 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 $5,500, 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. After discussing the business idea with the director, fill out the online application. The application will be reviewed to assure minimum criteria have been achieved. Applications will be approved via email and will be reviewed by the Accelerator Fund due diligence committee for approval for funding at the end of each semester. Applicants will be notified of the Accelerator Fund committee decision within a couple of weeks.

Contact Information

Eva Shepherd-Nicoll
Director, CSU, Chico Center for Entrepreneurship

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