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San Diego State University

Admissions Overview


To apply to the ZIP Launchpad, at least one member of your team must be an active SDSU student, faculty or staff member. The ZIP Launchpad is open to all colleges and departments at SDSU. Current ZIP Launchpad Center teams come from a diverse set of majors and disciplines. We encourage applications from a wide variety of backgrounds.    

The ZIP Launchpad supports a range of business types including traditional for-profit start-ups as well as social enterprises (for profit and non-profit). A social enterprise is a startup created with the intention to facilitate social or environmental well-being.  

Ideas We Seek

We seek innovation driven ideas or technology that can scale to address a large market opportunity with the following characteristics:

  • Based on a novel idea or technology
  • Sell to a big market 
  • Grow fast 
  • Creates exceptional value for the customer
  • Potential to grow into a large business

Admission Process

The ZIP Launchpad holds four admissions cycles during the academic school year. Each admissions cycle starts with an online application and ending with finalists presenting their ideas in front of a judging panel.

Admitted teams are required to attend out Friday Lab Workshops from 11-3pm. There will be 9 labs and a  Review/Demo Event.

Below is the timeline overview for our admission cycles: 

Summer & Fall Application Cycle 

Application Opens: March 8, 2017

Application Closes: April 23, 2017

There are 2 application cycles per year, please contact with any further questions.

To apply to the ZIP Launchpad you need to have an innovative idea and the commitment to bring it to life. Once a member, all of the services of the ZIP Launchpad will be free for you and your team.


At least one of you’re the members of your team needs to be an active SDSU student, faculty, or staff.

Application Process

The entire admission can take up to a month depending on how soon we can schedule meetings and you can provide your application and power point presentation.

Step 1: Fill out an application online. 

Step 2: Once we review your idea, we will meet to review your idea. 

Step 3: Create a power point presentation using the outline below. 


Presentation Guidelines

You will have 20 minutes to present to the admission committee. Your presentation will be 10 minute presentation and 10 minute Q&A. You will work with Omar Miyazaki to ensure your presentation is ready. Follow the slides below to create your presentation. 

  • Problem Slide: What problem are you solving?
  • Solution Slide: What is your solution (your product/service)?
  • Customer Slide: Who benefits from solving problem?
  • Management Team Slide: Who is in your team?
  • Competition Slide: What does the competitive landscape look like?
  • Underlying Magic Slide: What makes you unique?
  • Canvas Slide: The canvas is a graphical representation used to explain you company. If you do not know how to use one read the first 70 pages of the Business Model Generation found free online. Make sure to use the business model canvas from this book and not any other variation
  • Milestones Slide: What is your stage of development?
  • What would like to get from Zahn Innovation Center?


Step 4: Present to the Selection Committee.

If you have any questions regarding the process email

Have a Great Idea?

Apply with your idea for a startup to join the ZIP Launchpad to get free co-working space, funding opportunities, legal support, and mentorship.


Contact Information

Mailing Address:

ZIP Launchpad (Room EBA 419)

5500 Campanile Drive

San Diego, CA 92182-8220

Telephone: (619) 594-0828

Fax: (619) 594-6005