UCLA Launches New Company to Commercialize Patents and Inventions

UCLA announced the Board of Directors for a new company: Westwood Technology Transfer (WTT), a not-for-profit focused on better protecting and optimizing the discoveries and inventions developed through campus research that attracts about $1 billion in funding each year.

Unprecedented within the University of California, establishing the 501(c)(3) company extends the efforts of UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research (OIP-ISR), which manages a portfolio of nearly 2,000 inventions, pursues patents and licensing agreements, helps faculty obtain research funding and materials through external collaborations, and assists UCLA faculty startups. After a rigorous selection process that considered more than 200 candidates, UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block selected a Board composed of experienced executives from a range of industries, including biopharmaceuticals, engineering and technology; finance, private equity, and venture capital, as well as distinguished UCLA faculty.

Read Full Press Release [web]

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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Mayor Garcetti Launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

Entrepreneurs hold the key to sustained economic growth that makes an ecosystem vibrant and exciting.

From LA Daily News:

“Seeking to tap into private industry, Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced the creation of an “Entrepreneur in Residence” program to develop ideas on ways to create new businesses in the city, all funded by a private accounting firm.

“We want L.A. to be the leading destination for people starting new businesses, and there are no better guides for our efforts than successful entrepreneurs themselves,” Garcetti said of the program, sponsored by Ernst & Young…”

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LA Mayor’s Press Release [web]

Can Hyperloop Actually Be Built?

UCLA joins LA-based group to design prototypes…

From LA Weekly:

“The next big deal — or debate — in the transportation field isn’t a Jetsons-style flying car, high-speed train or monorail. It’s the Hyperloop, a 19th-century mailroom technology with a 21st-century twist. Instead of sucking documents through a pneumatic tube from the basement mailroom up to the executive suite, SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Tesla Motors’ Hyperloop would propel people, seated inside pods, from L.A. to San Francisco in 30 minutes. That’s about 760 mph, the speed of a cruising F-15.

That is, if it ever is built. If it ever can be built.

“We wouldn’t be wasting our time if we didn’t think so,” says Patricia Galloway, the first female president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who is part of a Los Angeles–based group charged with figuring out how to make Hyperloop a reality.

Also on the “Hyperloopers” team — which is working out of the transformed former Howard Hughes Spruce Goose hangar at Playa Vista — is Paul Coleman, one of the original 100 engineers NASA hired for Apollo moon missions…”

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About Hyperloop [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]

Cross Campus: A Place Where Entrepreneurs Inspire In Santa Monica

Since Cross Campus opened in October, there has been a steady increase of individuals and companies moving into the space to make their mark in the business world.

From Santa Monica Mirror:

“When an entrepreneur begins a business venture, Cross Campus co-founder Dan Dato describes the journey as taking a big leap where it’s sometimes hard to know whether the person will make it to the other side.

With this philosophy, Dato set out with his co-founders Ronen Olshansky and Michael Kianmahd to create a state of the art 11,000 square foot shared work space at 820 Broadway in the heart of Santa Monica to bring like-minded entrepreneurs together to help give them every chance to succeed.

Since Cross Campus opened in October, there has been a steady increase of individuals and companies moving into the space to make their mark in the business world…”

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Cross Campus [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]