The Entrepreneurship & Small Business Institute


Operating in the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics (MVS) which has a liberal arts and interdisciplinary focus, the ESBI blends education and experiential learning to build upon the five Cs: critical thinking, collaboration (working with others), communication (oral and written), conduct (personal ethics), and competencies (in business related disciplines).

ESBI is open virtually for Spring 2021.
Zoom office hours on Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. can be booked at: and other times by appointment. Please email for an appointment other than Wednesdays.

Join us for Happy Hour with an Entrepreneur; April 16th & 30th 
Happy Hour with an Entrepreneur is a series of interviews with entrepreneurs in which we have a conversation about their entrepreneurial journeys. Learn more through the eyes of local entrepreneurs. In our final two interviews, we have CI alumna Natalie Zeri discussing her business Zeri Health on April 16th at 4 p.m. and Carrick DeHart and his business ooofball on April 30th at 4 p.m.

All majors are welcome to join as well as alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. We hope to see you there. Register here.


Discuss your business idea, find resources, find a mentor. ESBI is here to help you! 

Cheyenne PradoNatalie WebbMackenzie Goodlett

ESBI Receives National Recognition in E-Fest Business Pitch Competition

The ESBI congratulates Cheyenne Prado, Mackenzie Goodlett, and Natalie Webb who are students in Dr. Taylan Yalcin’s New Product Development course who placed in the top 25 of the E-Fest National Business Pitch competition through the University of St. Thomas and the Schulze Family Foundation in Minneapolis. Their business is For the Love of Hemp, a natural sunscreen using locally grown hemp.

There were 119 submissions from 65 colleges and universities across the country. The team wins $3000. And CI will receive $1000. for ESBI.

Congratulations also go to our other teams who submitted! Thanks so much for your hard work and diligence.
C & K Sustain Clothing Line from Chandelier Yako and Kaylee Lozano, Dr. Cindy Sherman’s students
ListUp from Kirsty Nguegang & James Hipolito, Dr. Jason Isaacs’ students

A list of the top 25 teams can be found at

ESBI Pitch Competition

The fourth annual ESBI Business Pitch Competition took place Friday, November 8th with three teams taking home a prize! Coming in first place was The Plug Jug, a water bottle and phone charger, taking home the grand prize of $500, in second place with $300 was TeleHealth App, allowing lower-income patients to have better contact with their health care providers, and coming in third place with $100 Chandelier's Clothing Line, a line environmentally friendly clothes.

  • Photo of first place winners

    First place
    The Plug Jug

    David Israel
    Benjamin Wagner
    Tobias Wichterich
    Adam Fernandez
    Steven Mijangos
    Lucas Stansler

  • Photo of second place team

    Second place
    TeleHealth App

    Marla Peralta
    Morgan Lopez
    Luka Khidasheli
    Julia Plohmann
    Alex Wenk
    Alex Philipps

  • Photo of third place team

    Third Place
    Chandelier’s Clothing

    Chandelier Yako

CSUCI Entrepreneurship and Small Business Institute gets a new director

CI has a thriving commitment to experiential learning and innovation – two vital components for entrepreneurial activity! The Entrepreneurship & Small Business Institute (ESBI) provides CI students with opportunities for experiential learning through small business consulting and numerous activities that support entrepreneurship and innovation while simultaneously enhancing the fabric of the local business economy.

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