Eric Ries (author of The Lean Startup) to Speak at UCLA

Eric Ries is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology, author of The Lean Startup, and the author of the popular entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned. He previously co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU. In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech and in 2009 he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has worked as a consultant to a number of startups, companies, and venture capital firms. In 2010, he became an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School.

Eric Reis will speak at Shoenberg Hall. NCIIA and the Technical Entreprenuerial Community will be showcased at this event.

Janet Zhou Inspires at First Startup UCLA Event

Janet Zhou filled the room at the first Startup UCLA event last Thursday evening. More than 100 members of the UCLA community attended, and most stayed well past the official ending time. Janet started her talk with this point: it used to be that when you graduated college you could either get a job or go to graduate school. Now there is another option: start your own venture. Based on her own experiences, Janet discussed four lessons she has learned – ones we all would be well advised to attend to.

Lesson 1: Choose your partners carefully. Who you work with is much more important than your business idea, according to Janet.

Lesson 2: Learn to fail. Being able to recognize the shortcomings of your own idea, and then quickly revise and improve it, is critical for success.

Lesson 3: Take advantage of “the golden years.” Many of the most successful startup teams (think Larry and Sergei) met as students. Being a student not only gives you access to an incredible talent pool, but also gives you license to do things – and approach people – you cannot do as easily once you are older.

Lesson 4: Learn to tell a good story. Getting your idea off the ground will depend to a large degree on your ability to explain, in stories, what you idea is, and how it can connect with all kinds of people.

UCLA – The Ecosystem of an Entrepreneurial University

A Conversation with:
Dr. James Economou, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Research
Dr. David Feinberg, Associate Vice Chancellor, CEO UCLA Hospital System
Dr. Al Osborne, Senior Associate Dean, Anderson School of Management 

 Moderated by Roy Doumani, Executive Director, UCLA Business of Science Center 

This conversation focused on how the speakers view the value of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and what UCLA offers to encourage and support their faculty and students in collaboration across departments and with industry. In creating this ecosystem of entrepreneurship, the shared goal is to provide the necessary support to bring important discoveries from the research laboratories to the public domain for the benefit of society.

NCIIA and the Technical Entrepreneurial Community UCLA student organization were showcased during this event.

UCLA – High Technology Market Segmentation with Prof. Bob Foster

The Technical Entrepreneurial Community (TEC) and the Engineering Graduate Student Association (EGSA) present an entrepreneurship seminar on market segmentation featuring Prof. Bob Foster, a distinguished professor in the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Prof. Foster will discuss how to define and segment target markets, gauging the competition, and winning strategies that maximize resources. This seminar will also provide information about niche markets, and what it means to be a be a big fish in a small pond.

Innovation at UCLA: Mobile Lab on a Chip

Using standard CCD photo camera light sensors, without utilizing any lens optics, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles are able to distinguish between normal and infected cells in blood samples. The technique, developed, and now improved, by Dr. Aydogan Ozcan and colleagues from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, is called Lensless Ultra-wide-field Cell monitoring Array platform based on Shadow (LUCAS) imaging. lm x220 Counting Infected Blood Cells with Your Cell Phone

The software can count the number of blood cells in a sample as well as determining the cell type by comparing the observed images to a library of cell images. LUCAS has advantages over simple microscope-based analysis because it can image a large field of blood cells, allowing for cell-counting and wide-field sample analysis. But, a microscope is still required for a detailed look at the individual cells.

The great promise of Dr. Ozcan’s work has earned him several prestigious honors for young scientists, most recently the 2009 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Given to young faculty by the National Institutes of Health, the award includes funding of $1.5 million over five years to support highly innovative research projects.


Anderson student’s start-up company competes for investors in Fast Pitch Competition

Anderson graduate student Jonathan Lehmann represented UCLA at the Fast Pitch Competition. He had 90 seconds to present his idea and earn funding for his company, KarmaGoat.

For the sixth year, UCLA hosted the Fast Pitch Competition apart of National Entrepreneurship Week, which is organized by the Los Angeles investment group called the Tech Coast Angels. Since founded in 1999, TCA has invested $100 million and received over $1 billion in returns from these investments, said Robert Jadon, co-chair of Fast Pitch. The competition consists of 8-10 entrepreneurs giving fast pitches to a panel of investors and other members of Southern California’s entrepreneurial community. Pitches are judged on the quality of the CEO’s presentation and the company’s investment potential.

Johnathan Lehmann, a UCLA Anderson Business School graduate student presented his idea to investors for funding. As Jonathan Lehmann prepared to move from Paris to Los Angeles, he compiled a bag of items he no longer wanted, but he felt they should go to people who would appreciate them as much as he did. Lehmann’s dilemma inspired him to create a Facebook-integrated website that would allow users to sell items on an online marketplace and give 85 percent of the proceeds to a charity of the seller’s choice. Lehmann spent the summer developing the business model for his new company, an online commerce site with proceeds going to charity, which he decided to call KarmaGoat. The name of the company represents two concepts. The cycle of rebirth defines karma. Quote: “The goat represents a commodity that, while not useful to the donor, acts as a source of food and clothing to the recipient”.