California Lutheran University’s Center for Entrepreneurship has received a $300,000 donation from a Camarillo couple, the university announced Monday.

Cal Lutheran alumna Dawn Gross and her husband, entrepreneur Dave Gross, made the donation on behalf of NewCo Foundation, to expand opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the university and throughout Ventura County.

The couple started their foundation for students in Ventura County. The contribution is to be used over five years and will fund cash prizes for the center’s annual New Venture Competition. The competition provides Cal Lutheran students the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills, launch a startup business and connect with mentors and investors.

“We are thrilled with it,” Mike Panesis, executive director for the Center for Entrepreneurship, told the Business Journal. “We think this is validation that there is a community here to be valued and are excited they have contributed to it.”

The donation will also help cover travel expenses for students to regional and national pitch competitions, and to study entrepreneurship abroad.

Also, the money will aid the center to start a pith competition for elementary through graduate school students in Ventura County in partnership with the Ventura County Office of Education and Aspire3, a Ventura startup that offers programs for aspiring entrepreneurs.

As part of the donation agreement, Dave Gross will serve on the center’s advisory board.