UCLA School of Law Establishes Student Entrepreneurship Competition

The competition, which includes a $100,000 prize, is the first of its kind sponsored by a top American law school.

From UCLA:

UCLA School of Law has established the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs (“LMI-Sandler Prize”), an entrepreneurship competition designed to recognize student innovation and leadership and support the real-world launch of promising new business ventures. The competition, which includes a $100,000 prize, is the first of its kind sponsored by a top American law school. It was established through gifts totaling more than $500,000 from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation and the Richard and Ellen Sandler Family Foundation.

“The LMI-Sandler Prize is a completely new way to reward law student achievement and promote the entrepreneurial ambitions of UCLA Law students and recent graduates,” UCLA School of Law Dean Rachel F. Moran said. “The competition will provide students with an opportunity to put the principles of entrepreneurship into practice and to use their law school education as a path to careers marked by fresh perspectives and bold initiatives…”

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Veteran Entrepreneur Explores New Way of Giving Back to UCLA

Michael Silton has come up with a way for young entrepreneurs to give back to UCLA at the same time they take advantage of the university’s venture fund: give stock in startups.

From UPSTART:

“Think of the California university most closely tied to entrepreneurship and Stanford immediately leaps to mind, or maybe the University of California at Berkeley.

Michael Silton is looking to add UCLA to that list, and he’s come up with a unique way of funding that effort.

The executive director of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund, Silton, 47, comes to his position with plenty of entrepreneurial experience under his belt. He started his first company in his 20s—and failed—but followed that up with Rainmaker Systems, an enterprise software company he took public on the Nasdaq…”

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UCLA Venture Fund [web]

UCLA Scientists Take Fight Against Prostate Cancer from the Lab to the Marketplace

Few, if any, research programs at UCLA have led to as many spin-off and commercial licenses…

From UCLA Today:

“The awarding of $11.6 million in federal funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to enable a multidisciplinary group of UCLA scientists to continue their important prostate cancer research is just the latest in a string of “big hits” for the team.

“To get something like this funded now is really something,” said Dr. Jean deKernion, professor emeritus who pioneered prostate cancer research at UCLA two decades ago and was one of the first principal investigators when UCLA’s Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) site in prostate cancer started in 2001.

This award marks the third round of NCI funding for the SPORE group, which is comprised of UCLA scientists, clinicians, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and imaging specialists. Together, they’ve turned UCLA into one of the nation’s preeminent research engines for advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and made a life-saving difference in the lives of countless patients and their families.

“This renewal of the UCLA prostate SPORE is indicative of the world-class research we have on this campus,” said Dr. James Economou, UCLA vice chancellor for research and professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; molecular and medical pharmacology; and surgical oncology…”

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Agensys [web]
Aragon Pharmaceuticals [web]
UCLA SPORE in Prostate Cancer [web]
Xtandi [web]
ImaginAB [web]

UCLA Launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

The EIR program emerged out of the voiced need for more interaction between entrepreneurs with commercial experience and faculty and graduate students with research experience.

From UCLA Today:

“When it comes to launching startup companies to help campus researchers bring their inventions to the marketplace, UCLA is one of the nation’s leading schools, with more than 100 startups currently open for business and roughly 20 new ones being established every year. Yet for university-based inventors, stepping from the world of academia into the realm of entrepreneurial ventures can feel like wading into unfamiliar waters.

A new entrepreneur-in-residence program (EIR) launched this month by the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research (OIP-ISR) comes to the aid of campus inventors by bringing in experienced entrepreneurs to provide guidance and advice…”

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UCLA EIR Program [web]

SM-based Biotech Agensys’ new Campus Connects Public to Bergamot Station

City Councilman Bob Holbrook, a pharmacist, said he hopes a cure for cancer “can someday come from Santa Monica.”

From SantaMonicaPatch:

“A new $95 million home for Agensys, a biotech firm that manufactures antibodies to treat cancer, opened Thursday on city-owned property near the Bergamot Arts Station.

The 160,000-square-foot research and development facility centralizes and expands the company’s operations, which were formerly located in three separate buildings. Over the next few months, 250 employees and contractors will move into the former railroad yard at 1800 Stewart St…”

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Agensys [web]

Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

As Los Angeles looks to gain recognition as “Silicon Beach,” UCLA faculty and students are playing major roles in the transformation.

From UCLA Magazine:

“When Melanie Gin ’12 was in London with UCLA’s Education Abroad Program (EAP), she wanted to share her experiences with her friends. She posted photos on Facebook, but they didn’t really capture what she was doing. She created a blog, but almost no one read it.

Back on campus, Gin expressed her frustration to Tri Nguyen ’11, who had felt much the same when he was in Japan with EAP. The two, then UCLA seniors, decided to create a website where anyone could make a personal travel journal, “a digital storybook.” They named it Travelstrings and recruited two engineer friends to build it.

Now, after alpha and beta testing, they’re ready to raise capital and create a business based on the website—with a backer already lined up.

Gin throws around terms like “angel investor,” “monetize,” “cash-flow positive,” “seed money” and “beachhead” with the fluency of a seasoned tech executive. But she gained much of that familiarity in just 10 weeks on campus last summer at an entrepreneurship boot camp for students and recent graduates called Startup UCLA.

Established in 2012, the program is designed to bring students and young alumni into a burgeoning entrepreneurial enterprise in Westwood that includes UCLA faculty innovators—who receive $1 billion annually in research funding—and professional school alumni. Last August, in fact, Forbes named UCLA the nation’s eighth most entrepreneurial college…”

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UCLA Startup Networking on LinkedIn [web]

Patrick Soon-Shiong, LA’s Richest Man, Ups The Ante On Cancer Research, City Life

He created drugs to fight diabetes and breast cancer and then sold the companies that produced them for a combined $8.6 billion.

From HuffPost:

“LOS ANGELES, Oct 3 (Reuters) – As owner of 5 percent of the Los Angeles Lakers, Patrick Soon-Shiong could walk into the locker room of the storied basketball franchise any time for a chat with stars like Kobe Bryant. But the richest man in Los Angeles chooses to sit with the rest of his team’s fans.

“He’s not one of those owners who wants to be seen everywhere. He’s just one of the fans,” said Bryant. The NBA star gives his owner a hug before every game for luck “and maybe some of the success” of the slender Los Angles surgeon who built a fortune exceeding $7 billion as a biotechnology entrepreneur.

For all Soon-Shiong’s success, the South African emigre and son of a Chinese herbal doctor remains relatively unknown in Los Angeles, a city that thrives on status and celebrity.

That’s likely to change soon…”

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NantWorks [web]