New center expands access to business leaders, training and funding sources
In a bold show of support for cultivating a fearless spirit on campus, the Entrepreneurship Hub, located in the Design and Innovation Building, was officially launched last week. The private gathering welcomed students, professors, university officials and business associates to visit representatives from dozens of companies residing in the building.
UC San Diego’s new center creates a hub for San Diego’s innovation community by housing an array of regional entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alongside students and faculty in an effort to accelerate creating and launching new businesses. The center also seeks to create a network of entrepreneurs and dispel the idea that entrepreneurship is somehow genetic. The center encourages everyone to explore and put their ideas into practice to make improvements in the world around them and to collaborate with others who have the skills they lack.
The event also welcomed the new cohort of professionals Entrepreneurs in Residence, a campus-wide program launched in 2015 to support research-based entrepreneurship. The cohort includes a newly established selection of national security contractors.
Innovators and “serial” entrepreneurs share their knowledge, offer mentorship, teach workshops and offer students the opportunity to hone their ideas and practical professional skills by working and collaborating on projects with established companies and executives seasoned.
Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla called the Entrepreneurship Center “a borderless resource that supports our entire Triton community.”
He explained that entrepreneurial skills – learning how to present ideas, persuade listeners and gain support – are beneficial tools, regardless of a student’s major or ultimate career goals.
“People ask why we promote entrepreneurship across all disciplines,” Khosla said. “The answer is that every human being has a use for the properties of entrepreneurial thought. You do not need to set up a business to use these properties.
Khosla described thinking like an entrepreneur as the ability to identify opportunity, understand risk, and execute a plan while mitigating risk – actions that could be associated with visual artists, theater artists , biomechanical engineers or chemists.
Entrepreneurship is not a special trait or an isolated skill, he said, noting that bold business ventures often lack diversity because too many people lack exposure to entrepreneurial training or environments where they can discuss ideas with people who know what it takes to get an off the ground business.
The Design and Innovation Building, or DIB, has four levels (and four stories) to progress an idea figuratively and physically from conception and shop floor to prototype, funding and launch. The Entrepreneurship Center is located on the top floor. The basement, a multi-story startup incubator and accelerator, has a massive space on the ground floor.
Vice Chancellor of Research Cori Peek-Asa explained that UC San Diego offers an opportunity for collaboration that exists on very few campuses in the country.
“Our campus’ interdisciplinary focus creates diverse teams and unique opportunities that allow us to leverage unconventional thinking that can solve problems in dynamic and exciting ways,” Peek-Asa said.
She noted that the teams present for the event were working on solutions to issues as broad as de-stigmatizing the availability of menstrual products in public spaces (Dotstash) to creating more comfortable, functional and healthy prosthetics and orthotics. affordable (LIMBER).
Other projects have ventured into building virtual reality worlds (Origami Air), high-tech treatment for hair loss (Dermose), saving energy in laboratories (The Lichen Lab Co.) and creating sustainable plastic alternatives from kelp (Algeon Materials).
Ultimately, the center is meant to be a place of non-judgmental opportunity.
“We’re not going to be in the business of verifying the technology. We want to encourage exploration by enabling a culture of entrepreneurship like we’ve never seen before,” Khosla said.
Each year, the center and the resident entrepreneurs will support more than 60 project teams and more than 20 budding businesses. The only payment is for signing an operating agreement that supports the ethical principles of the UC San Diego campus.
Associate Vice-Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization Paul Roben, who oversees the DIB and the new Entrepreneurship Centre, said he wanted to change the perception of entrepreneurship as exclusive.
“Our ultimate goal is to inspire more students and community affiliates to pursue their dreams, develop new strategies to solve old problems, and shape the future through new technologies,” Roben said. “We have created a safe space by removing all traditional barriers to entrepreneurship.”
He said anyone with an idea will find a community to explore their ideas. Many will fail, but that’s part of the process of getting ideas off the ground by encouraging them to keep going, even if it means changing course.