Start-Up & Scale-Up for Businesses

Innovate-Up is a program of The Brink SBDC at the University of San Diego in partnership with the County of San Diego designed to lift-up the communities of Chollas, City Heights, Encanto, Linda Vista, Rolando Park, and Redwood Village.

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Innovate-Up tackles all the verticals of success for small businesses, including ideation, business formation, branding, product development, marketing, finance, manufacturing, and distribution.

 Innovate-Up is the creation of the Brink Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of San Diego and San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

Innovate-Up is more than a short-term incubator or accelerator. Innovate-Up takes a deep dive by supporting and investing in entrepreneurs and businesses over several years.

Innovate-Up takes place in the community.

Innovate-Up is free and confidential.

The Innovate-Up Initiative

Innovate-Up is program of the Brink SBDC at the University of San Diego through a public-private partnership formed by County Board of Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the University of San Diego President James T. Harris.  

USD has broad participation in bringing Innovate Up to fruition. Participation encompasses the USD’s Office of the President and several university-wide programs including the Internal Anchor Committee, the Brink Small Business Development Center (SBDC),the Office of Procurement, and the Mulvaney Center. Four schools participate including the School of Business (Economics, Business Analytics), the School of Law (Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic), the Joan B. Kroc School for Peace and Justice and the School of Engineering.

The initiative is supported by a $300,000 County of San Diego Community Enhancement grant, leveraged with the $471,000 sub-award from the San Diego and Imperial SBDC Network forming the Brink SBDC (funding from the US Small Business Administration and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development), along with a $1 million dollar in-kind donation of staff and resources from USD.

Community partners include: The San Diego, Orange, and Imperial Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Community collaborators providing space and outreach assistance include: El Cajon Business Improvement Association, Access, and Diamond Business Association. If you would like to become a community collaborator, please email


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University of San Diego

5998 Alcala Park, MRH 149
San Diego, CA 92110

Copyright 2020


Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S Small Business Administration.