Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition

Pre-qualified student entrepreneur teams from all 23 CSU campuses are invited to come together on May 5, 2023 at the Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition at San José State University, hosted by the SJSU SpartUp Program.

In the top right corner, a green logo like the roads leading out from a traffic circle sits to the left of the words, “Sunstone CSU Startup Launch hosted by SJSU San Jose State University.”  Below that is a line of four photographs spanning the width of the page. In the leftmost,  a young woman with dark hair and round glasses sits on a tall stool, speaking as part of a panel discussion. In the second photo, a different young woman with long, dark hair speaks animatedly into a handheld microphone.  In the third photo, two female students and two male students gather around a laptop screen, where one of the male students is pointing something out. In the last photo, fourteen students dressed in suits and/or sportcoats are lined up in front of a large projection screen, applauding.

The competition offers student entrepreneurs and teams the opportunity to pitch their startup in competition for the largest prize pool specifically for collegiate founded ventures among California State University (CSU) campuses and beyond. The 2023 competition builds on the 2022 pilot event at which teams from six Southern California CSUs competed, and it will demonstrate that the diverse pool of talent necessary for economic growth and innovation exists across all of the CSU campuses.


Each CSU campus may send up to two teams to compete at the Diaz Compean Student Union on the San José State University (SJSU) campus on May 5, 2023. The competition will feature five tracks (currently planned as two product tracks,two services tracks, and one social entrepreneurship track). 

Each campus must email a written commitment to participate to no later than January 20.

Submission of the two teams selected to represent each campus will be made in April by the respective Chief Research Officer.


Lead sponsor Sunstone Management has committed $200,000 in prize money. This will provide first, second and third prize awards in each track of $25k, $10k and $5k, respectively.


Each participating CSU campus will contribute $7,500. The Chancellor's Office will also contribute funding to support the event. The competition will host a group dinner on the evening of May 4 and breakfast and lunch on the event day May 5. All travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of the participants and/or their respective campus.


In addition to the title sponsor, Sunstone Management, SJSU will pursue additional sponsorships for each of the five competition tracks.  For sponsorship opportunities, contact Jacob Manaloor, Director of Development for Research and Innovation.


For more information, email .