About the Triton Innovation Challenge

What is the Triton Innovation Challenge?

The Triton Innovation Challenge, is an annual business competition focused on fostering creativity and bringing to the spotlight commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by the finest minds at UC San Diego.  Supported through the generosity of The William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc., the program is presented through a partnership of the Rady School of Management, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The competition awards cash prizes totaling $11,000 to support new innovative ideas with an environmental impact. All participants are also eligible to compete for up to $300,000 in investment funding from the Rady Venture Fund and Triton Technology Fund.  Anyone (students, faculty and staff) affiliated with UC San Diego is invited to apply. Information on the next application period is coming soon!

Highlights of last year's Challenge

The 2015 competition took place on December 2nd at the Rady School of Management. There were 27 applicants for the competition from across the UC San Diego campus, with 15 teams competing in the semifinals and 5 teams selected to present at the Triton Innovation Challenge event. The five finalists were:

  • BioMarine Surfactants
  • Bior’Wrapp
  • CB Therapeutics
  • ChaiBrew
  • Slithr Electric Vehicles

A panel of 9 judges with expertise in environmental issues, enterprise and venture capital selected CB Therapeutics, a startup out of the Rady School of Management that is industrializing the process of growing cannabis and extracting cannabinoids from it, as the winner of the competition. Bior’Wrapp, a company based at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) that has created a seaweed-based two-layer protective coating formulated to increase the shelf life of fruits, vegetables and meat products, finished second and BioMarine Surfactants, who has created a simple one step process to produce a bio-inspired surfactant from plant oils with a variety of applications (also out of SIO), finished third. In addition to the judges, the audience voted CB Therapeutics as the company they would be most likely to invest in.

For more details on the evening, be sure to view our recap.

What are people saying?

"I'm ecstatic (about winning) and so proud of myself and my research partner. As a first-year student, I was a bit of an underdog. I'm very happy to win and humbled at the same time. It is great that the Jacobs School, Rady and the Scripps Institution put on this competition. It was a wonderful opportunity for researchers to take and present what we've done and get exposure. We will use the cash prize for patenting our idea and research and development, all the things needed to further develop the product and get it to market." - Uzair Mohammad, Student, Jacobs School of Engineering, 2013 first place winner

"The Triton Innovation Network Challenge event provided a unique opportunity to interact with business advisors from UC San Diego's von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center and students from UCSD Rady School of Management and learn about the ways to transition knowledge and information about innovative technology from the academic to the business-oriented environment." – Dariusz Stramski, Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2014 third place winner

"Scripps Oceanography provides an open culture to be innovative and creative and to explore the world of learning without barriers. This event allowed me not only to connect with people and organizations that I otherwise would never cross paths with, but also gave me the opportunity to join a team of inventive partners and pursue new education endeavor without boundaries." – Debi Kilb, Project Scientist, Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2014 Social Entrepreneurship prize

Check back in Spring 2016 for more information on our next competition!