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Minchin Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship


The Minchin Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MCIE) builds on Pacifica’s liberal arts core curriculum by promoting active learning on real problems.  MCIE challenges students to become gifted problem solvers and leaders.  Our goal is to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our students and help them develop skills, ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that foster creativity and innovation across disciplines while developing a foundational business acumen.  

Through challenging curriculum, courses, and co-curricular programs, MCIE exposes students to the business world with topics such as entrepreneurship, economics, finance, design thinking, and technology. The center will leverage the local business community as a real-world classroom.  In partnership with other schools, local business, and the thriving Silicon Beach technology community, MCIE provides students with hands-on, collaborative, project-based learning experiences.  The Center goes beyond teaching about business and also prepares students to be creative and collaborative problem solvers.

Elective Academic Courses

Business and Entrepreneurship

In this cornerstone semester-long course for the MCIE, students will work in collaborative groups to solve real problems of real businesses.  Through active learning and engaging with real projects, students will learn to think critically, make sounds decisions, communicate effectively, and creatively problem solve.  Students will learn to manage their time and manage projects from beginning to end.  They will be expected to communicate orally through informal and formal presentations, and through technical writing.   Most work is done in collaborative teams where students will learn how to work with others in productive means, to brainstorm and ideate, and to navigate conflict.  The class develops character and resilience in each student, while providing a safe learning environment where failure can be a learning experience.  Students will work on two to three real world business problems before starting their own new venture. The course incorporates the Lean LaunchPad® (LLP), Business Model Canvas, design thinking, and customer development methodology as a framework for solving problems. 

Introduction to Economics

Introduction to Economics is a survey and introductory course to economic theory and economic thinking. Students will be exposed to both micro and macroeconomic concepts.  

Personal Finance

The course covers topics such as budgeting, cost of living, debt and loans, credit cards, insurance, renting vs. owning, career salaries, retirement planning, and investing. 


INSIGHTSinsights guest lecture series

MCIE hosts guest lectures and speakers from a variety of industries.  These accomplished professionals visit with our students and provide their unique insights on variety of topics including career success, professional and personal life, faith/religion, and society.


WORKSHOP copy imageMCIE workshops and seminars are open to all Pacifica students on a variety of topics, including, Introduction to Personal Finance, Brainstorming and Creative Collaboration, Innovations in Film and Digital Media, Social Entrepreneurship, and more.

DECA ChapterDECA-logo

MCIE sponsors our local chapter of DECA.  DECA is a co-curricular program that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.  Students engage in national competitions and conferences on a range of business topics.

Internship Program

The MCIE helps students network, identify, and apply for internship opportunities and enrichment programs.

PAST Events

KGb40AUJM-a7LjcoGE8QcwLLMnF87uGwCw7CBNDDI78Insights Series: Joan Payden

Joan Payden brought her wealth of economic and investing insights to Pacifica, and shared her experiences with Pacifica students of the Minchin Center. Ms. Payden is CEO and President of investment management firm Payden & Rygel.  She serves as a trustee of USC and Loyola Marymount University. She is also a member of the board of directors the California  Chamber of Commerce and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.  She is a graduate of both the Harvard Business School and Trinity College.

Insights Series:  Cloe Lane of Bon Puf bonpuf logo
We were proud to welcome back Pacifica alumna, Cloe Lane, of Bon Puf. Cloe shared her entrepreneurial endeavors starting this artisanal cotton candy company. Cloe was named to Zagat’s 30 under 30 in 2014.  Cloe will also served up some delicious and modern cotton candy for our students at lunch.


The Minchin Center challenges bright and motivated students to become entrepreneurial innovative leaders for the 21st century. Students are encouraged to creatively solve complex problems, take initiative, develop a broad vision for the future, embrace risk, and aspire to make an impact on society and culture.