This year’s Summer Accelerator teams have risen to the challenge of a remote learning environment and are committed to building the businesses of tomorrow. This ten-week program is a meaningful time when our early stage entrepreneurs experience and can celebrate the generosity of alumni, fellow students, parents, faculty, staff and friends. Your contribution, regardless of the size, directly impacts the ability for teams to have the funds they need in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams. Our goal this year is to fund all 9 of the 2020 Summer Accelerator teams. Keep reading to learn more!
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a year of the unexpected and unforeseen challenges. But solving problems in the face of adversity is at the very core of entrepreneurship. Simply put, founders think outside the box and find ways to make roadblocks work to their advantage.
Here to help them on their journey is Startup UCLA’s flagship program, the Summer Accelerator, a ten-week incubator that provides an invaluable opportunity for 8-10 teams of students and recent alumni. Participants receive $5,000 in seed money, access to office hours, and connections to industry professionals and mentors. Every year, the early stage teams visit with and pitch to prominent entrepreneurs and venture capital firms. The program concludes with Demo Day, when teams get a special opportunity to showcase their innovations to industry business leaders.
Alumni of the Summer Accelerator are part of an exclusive network of almost 100 companies 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.
“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.
“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
Thank you in advance for your support of the next generation of innovators, leaders, and trailblazers at UCLA. The impact of your giving will be felt now more than ever as students navigate uncharted territory and prepare to graduate into an uncertain economic climate, making entrepreneurship and job creation skills as vital as ever.