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How to start a startup at USC

Student Groups


USC's product incubator and startup community. They offer weekly workshops and incubate startups every semester.

Trojan Venture Partners

USC's leading venture capital initiative - exclusive speaker events and trips to Silicon Valley

Spark SC

student-run entrepreneurship ecosystem that hosts Project Launch, Startup Career Fair, Spark Accelerator, 1000 pitches, and more

Makers at USC

Viterbi sponsored club for tinkerers and creators focusing on stimulating interest in fields of electronics such as the Internet of Things, Embedded Systems, and Robotics.


Community of computer science students at USC. Come together to build, create, and learn app development.

Sigma Eta Pi

USC's Premier Co-Ed Entrepreneurship Society


USC's largest computer science organization on campus - hone your technical skills and network with representatives from top tech companies.


Promoting the use of AI for social good through education and project development

Trojan Cryptocurrency Investment Club

Community of cryptocurrency enthusiasts hosting workshops and blockchain projects

Code the Change

drives social impact through pro-bono software projects for non profit organizations and CS for social good


The premier immersive VR/XR technology community at USC


3D Printing Group striving to give back to the community


Videogame development and creation at USC

Troy Labs

Venture platform that supports USC startups with capital, a Demo Day, and startup consulting. Also hosts an 8-week long accelerator program


USC’s first Product Management Club

Innovative Design at USC

USC's Premier Creative Agency Organization

Accelerators and Incubators

Blackstone Launchpad

Early-stage venture incubator with workspaces and mentorships - sponsored by Techstars

Marshall Grief Incubator

Incubator for student and alumni entrepreneurs with an emphasis on community and growing your startup

Spark Accelerator

hosted by Spark SC - takes in 5 USC start-ups each semester and helps them scale their businesses by providing mentorship, student talent, networking opportunities, and funding

Viterbi Startup Garage

accelerator program in Silicon Beach for early stage technology ventures

Troy Labs Accelerator

8-week curriculum consisting of workshops, keynotes, and mentorships for a cohort of companies going from MVP to product launch.

Hackathons and Competitions


USC's largest hackathon - hack for 36 hours! Over 50+ schools are represented at HackSC

1000 Pitches

Spark SC's premier pitch competition


USC's largest all-female hackathon. Female identifying high school and undergraduate students invited to attend in March.

Hack for Hope

an online hackathon whose only essential rules of qualification are that a minimum of one USC- or UCLA-affiliated person be on each team. Takes place in April


the first ever data hackathon at USC


ACM's 24-hour hackathon taking place each semester, open to beginners

New Venture Seed Competition

Maturing ideas into new ventures - prize money totaling $85,000

Wrigley Sustainability Prize

Competition supporting environmental ideas with market potential - 1st place is $7,000

Min Family Engineering Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

Competition to engineer sustainable ventures, prizes total $50,000

Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition

Strauss Scholars

$15,000 award that funds a social service project (existing or new). Think of it as a $8,000 seed investment in your idea PLUS a $7,000 scholarship.

Additional University Resources

Tech.LA Fellows

Connects engineering, design, and business students to 10-week internships at LA startups

Startup Career Fair

hosted by Spark SC, a fully student-run career fair that brings over 50 startups, accelerators, and VC funds to USC campus to network with talented students.

Stevens Innovator Showcase

USC students exhibit their startups to faculty and the local startup and venture community.

Fab Lab

Makerspace for undergraduate students with 3D printers

Incubate USC -

Entrepreneurship community at USC that - online center to keep up to date on entrepreneurship events and discover startup resources and content

USC Demo Day

USC founders present their cutting edge startups

Notable Courses

Founders Dilemmas (BAEP 455)

Seminar in Entrepreneurship (BAEP 460)

Digital Playbook for Entrepreneurs (BAEP 465)

Growth Hacking: Scaling Startups (BAEP 469)

Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs (BAEP473)

Building the High Tech Startup (ITP466)

The Hacker Imagination (ACAD302)

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Taking the Leap (BAEP 470)

Technologies for Interactive Marketing (ITP 476)

Disruptive Innovation (ACAD181)

Product Design (ACAD 245)

Innovation in Engineering Design for Global Challenges (CE-499)

Hacking for Defense (CSCI-599)

Strategic Management of Technology (ISE-585)



University-focused venture fund investing up to $500K in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US

Marshall Venture Fund

Venture fund for USC students and affiliates

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