Bruins’ Dot-Com Businesses Take Off with New Campus Accelerator

“We’re looking to see if we can help students be more successful. In the current market, the best job they can find may be one that they make.”


“Trading travel stories over bento boxes at an Asian restaurant one day last winter, UCLA students Melanie Gin and Tri Nguyen lamented that there was no effective way to create an attractive online travel journal, with photos, of their experiences — including Gin’s life-changing months in London and Nguyen’s studies in Japan through UC’s Education Abroad Program (EAP). So the friends came up with a website of their own, TravelStrings, that they are now beta-testing with the current crop of EAP globetrotters.

How did Gin and Nguyen go from bento boxes to beta-testing in just a few months, and with no entrepreneurial experience? Lots of hard work, for sure, plus Startup UCLA’s Summer Accelerator, the first-ever, on-campus program for digital startups brainstormed by students and alumni.

Since July 9, the teams behind TravelStrings and eight other startups have been working virtually 24/7 out of a workspace in the Luskin School of Public Affairs, tapping into the knowledge and experience of movers and shakers from the startup world, and developing prototypes, business plans and pitches they’ll make in September to local incubators and venture capitalists…”

Startup UCLA Summer Accelerator Demo Day [web]


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