Startup UCLA is the epicenter of entrepreneurial activity at UCLA. Established in 2012, this program has developed a culture of entrepreneurial thinking on campus, connected students, alumni, and faculty to successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and provided a community in which members can develop and launch their early-stage ideas. As UCLA embarks on its second century, there has been no better time for the Startup UCLA community to come together and cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders on this campus.
Startup UCLA’s flagship is the Summer Accelerator, a ten-week incubator where 8-10 teams of students and recent alumni are provided with $5,000 in seed money, office space, and connections to industry professionals and mentors to work on their early-stage startup. Every year, the teams take a trip to Silicon Valley to visit the offices of high-profile startups (past years have included visits to Uber and Facebook) and pitch in the offices of prominent venture capital firms like Lightspeed Venture Partners, Upfront Ventures, and Institutional Venture Partners.
The ten-week program ends with Demo Day, when teams get a special opportunity to showcase their innovations to business leaders in Los Angeles and the surrounding community. The Summer Accelerator provides an invaluable opportunity for current and former students to create business models, learn from top entrepreneurs, investors, and subject matter experts, and make long-lasting relationships with other Startup UCLA entrepreneurs and alumni. And, as a public university program, Startup UCLA offers these incredible resources while taking ZERO EQUITY in the startups.
The benefits don't end there: Alumni of the Summer Accelerator are part of an exclusive network of more than 80 companies and 200 people who have gone through the program since it launched in 2012. Today, three companies are generating more than $1 million in annual revenue, three have been acquired, and many others have received outside funding from angels and venture capitalists. Others have gone on to work at Uber, Facebook, Google, and Bird, to name a few.
The 2019 Summer Accelerator began on July 8 and culminates with Demo Day on September 12. Your contributions to this giving campaign will support current accelerator students and provide the resources to increase this program’s impact. Please join us in support of the next generation of innovators, leaders, and trailblazers at UCLA.
“It would have been much more difficult to do Startup UCLA Accelerator without the seed grant. This award helped us feel confident in ordering and shipping components to create out wearable. Without it, every mistake made would have been an even bigger road block on the road to creating this device.”
--Elizabeth Mazmanian ‘16, Co-founder, Movementum
“The Accelerator was the exact place where real learning happens because you get out from the desk and actually execute on ideas. You get to see success, failure, and progress take place in real time. I took everything I learned from the experience and immediately applied it to my new ventures, where I both decided to open my own business and use my learnings of entrepreneurialism to ensure my success.”
--Aaron Bergman ’17, Co-founder, noncents
“Startup UCLA helped our team not only focus on our priorities but also draw a bigger picture for our future growth. More than anything else, constantly speaking to the mentors and fellow StartUp UCLA teams, asking for their feedback and critique on various aspects of building our business, from product development to revenue generation, was valuable in defining and crystallizing both short- and long-term goals of our company.”
--Yoomi Chin, Ph.D., Co-founder, Arkaive Inc.
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Successful idea generation should be fueled both by the pressure to compete and by the freedom to explore.