Past and Current StartR Groups Shine at 2nd Annual FOUNDER.org Kickoff
On December 10th, over 100 Rady School of Management MBA and UC San Diego undergraduate students came together to celebrate UC San Diego's second annual FOUNDER.org kick-off event in the Fung Auditorium. FOUNDER.org is an accelerator program that invests in 50 student entrepreneur teams from all over the world, who they meet with virtually throughout the year. FOUNDER.org's presentation aimed to teach students what it takes to build a successful company, covering startup do's and don'ts, eight keys to successfully founding a billion dollar company and how to apply to FOUNDER.org's class of 2016.
To many Rady School students, the highlight of the event was StartR's involvement. StartR's partnership with FOUNDER.org is what brought the kickoff to campus and both current and past StartR teams participated throughout the event. Rady School student and StartR alum Martyn Gross presented on his company, Skylit Medical, a connected device that uses LED technology to bring clear skin to over 40 million psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo patients in the U.S. Gross taught and inspired those in attendance by taking them through his experience developing a concept for Skylit medical through StartR at Rady and then executing his concept as part of FOUNDER.org's accelerator program.
"The Q&A with Martin was very inspiring, as he stressed one doesn't need an advanced degree in the field they want to start a business in [as long as one] works hard and has a genuine passion. This message was very encouraging for all of us passionate hopefuls out there. We are hesitant to pull the trigger at times as we are not considered academic 'experts' in our field," said StartR member and attendee Sher Butt.
Butt participated as one of 30 student teams in the 60-second pitch competition to discuss the business concept for his StartR project developing processes for the production of rare cannabinoids, CB Therapeutics. Two other StartR projects were pitched including Insilico Scientific – which provides novel cancer biomarkers to pharmaceutical clinical trials – and an unnamed concept for creating supplement drinks for health conditions, diabetics and pregnancy.
"Overall, I learned a lot from this experience and I would encourage anyone who would like to pursue an idea or their dream to come to the FOUNDER.org event…I walked away learning not just about how to start a successful business but also polished my pitching skills," said Butt.
To StartR co-leader Kimberly Davis King, partnering with FOUNDER.org to bring the Kickoff event to UC San Diego was a success. "I like to see that FOUNDER.org is interested in our students and in funding them," King said. "We had a great turnout this year."