The Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo prepares their graduates to become “career ready, global business leaders” through challenging academic coursework and unique “learn by doing” opportunities that brings the college and community together in support of the students.

Programs like Executives in Residence and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship provides students with multiple opportunities to learn directly from local business leaders; the support, guidance, and resources to build their own businesses; and an environment that pushes them academically against real-world ethical, legal, and business challenges

With a 95% undergraduate employment rate (as of the 2016 / 2017 academic year), students of the Orfalea College of Business can expect the time, effort, and funding spent towards their business degree to provide an outstanding return on investment, and exit the college able to lead, collaborate, and contribute to the local, national, and global business economies. 

Departments and Degrees | Executives in Residence | Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Contact Information

Departments and Degrees

Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science, Economics
  • Bachelor of Science, Industrial Technology

Concentrations (for Business Administration & Economics Majors)

  • Accounting
  • Consumer Packaging
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Management
  • Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Quantitative Economics
  • Real Estate Economics
  • Real Estate Finance


  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Industrial Technology
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Packaging
  • Sales

Graduate Degree Programs

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science, Accounting
  • Master of Science, Business Analytics
  • Master of Science, Packaging Value Chain
  • Master of Science, Quantitative Economics
  • Master of Science, Taxation

Graduate Certificate Programs

  • Business Analytics
  • Packaging Value Chain

Executives in Residence

The Orfalea College of Business Executives in Residence Program brings business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators directly into the classroom where Cal Poly students and faculty can engage in meaningful conversations about the executive’s field; understand how the executive has become successful; and learn from their valuable insights. 

These “Conversations with Executives” strive to further prepare students of the college on how to navigate the real-world settings and the challenges they can face upon graduation, and provide faculty the opportunity to stay current on industry trends, while shaping their curriculum to meet the ever changing needs of students and the college.

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cal Poly was established in 2010 under the Orfalea College of Business, and provides students across all majors “a world of entrepreneurial opportunity” while promoting economic development through the San Luis Obispo County region.  

The program is broken down into three distinct stages: Learn, Prepare, and Launch, with each stage offering unique support, tools, and resources depending on the development of the student’s business.


In the “Learn” stage of the CIE program, students from across all colleges are encouraged to come together to build and develop an entrepreneurial mindset, explore new ideas, and begin the process to turn their vision into a functioning business.  

In this stage students have access to: 

  • CIE Faculty Fellows, which brings together faculty from all colleges at Cal Poly who advise and guide ideas related to their respective areas of expertise; 
  • Cal Poly Entrepreneurs, a student organization that provides support, resources, and workshops to other students interested in entrepreneurship; 
  • the Innovation Sandbox, a place where students can explore and learn how to develop their ideas with support from faculty and other students;
  • and the CIE Forum Series that provides information, feedback, and education in social settings for all entrepreneurs in the San Luis Obispo community.


Students who continue on their entrepreneurial journey eventually reach the “Prepare” stage, and the CIE provides several opportunities for those students to begin putting the “pedal to the metal” in real-world settings. 

At this stage students begin to compete in the:

  • Elevator Pitch Competition, which gives entrepreneurs 90 seconds to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts and compete for cash prizes to continue working on their business; 
  • Startup Weekend, a competition where you and a group of strangers have 54 hours to build a business and learn invaluable lessons along the way; 
  • CIE Design and Dev Hackathon, a weekend-long competition built around designing and coding; 
  • and Innovation Quest, which provides significant funding to transform ideas into a financially supported enterprises.

Additionally, students can continue developing their ideas at the Hatchery, a space that brings the best tools, resources, and people together, and can help take your idea from just that and lay the foundation for a successful business.


The “Launch” stage of the CIE program truly launches student businesses into the real world by forcing them to move from the idea phase into an actual business through the HotHouse Accelerator program. 

Each year as many as 10 teams receive $10,000 each through the CIE Accelerator to launch their business, and are put through an intensive 13-week program housed at the HotHouse in Downtown San Luis Obispo. 

During this time the student businesses are paired with a lead mentor from the local business community, and receive free legal, financial, and business consulting and support through community members and volunteers.  

At the end of the 13 weeks, business can move to the HotHouse Incubator, which is not just open to student businesses but to the community as well.  Participants of the Incubator Program continue to receive ongoing support and resources in hopes of seeing their new businesses succeed.

Small Business Development Center

The HotHouse also houses the Small Business Development Center, a program that helps community members start their businesses with free consulting and education, and provides co-working space right alongside the students in the Accelerator Program allowing both groups to grow, inspire, and push their businesses into thriving, successful, organizations founded, built, and rooted right here in San Luis Obispo County. 

For more information about Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship see their contact information below, or visit their social channels to see the students and community in action!

872 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA   93401

(805) 756-5171



Social Media:


Contact Information

Dean’s Office
Scott Dawson, Dean
Building 03, Room 455
(805) 756-2705

Accounting & Law
Building 03, Room 403
(805) 756-1543

Consumer Packaging
Building 03, Room 433
(805) 756-1677

Building 03, Room 407A
(805) 756-2955

Finance & Real Estate Finance
Building 03, Room 406
(805) 756-1472

Industrial Technology and Packaging
Building 03, room 405
(805) 756-2676

Building 03, Room 421
(805) 756-1473

Management, Human Resources, and Information Systems
Building 03, Room 405
(805) 756-2012

Building 03, Room 403
(805) 756-1543