Roundup: Year of Innovation at the Rady School
From announcing new programs and initiatives to celebrating the many accomplishments of Rady School students and alumni, 2015 was an exceptional year for the entire Rady School community. Here is a roundup of 2015’s innovation highlights:
The Launch of Two New Programs
The Rady School launched the UC system’s first Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program, which offers hands-on training in data and analytics to identify business opportunities, generate business insights and create business solutions. The program includes both practical skills in management and communication, as well as quantitative and analytical skills to help students make more informed decisions.
The Rady School launched an undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation the fall of 2015 which allows undergraduate students to explore business and entrepreneurship theory, practice and applications. The minor centers on entrepreneurship and allows students to focus on idea development as well as practical skills for the business and startup marketplace.
Awards in Innovation
Rady School alum Silvia Mah (MBA ’10) was awarded the “Individual in Services” award at the Pinnacle Awards, which recognizes individuals and organizations who foster personal and professional growth of women in the San Diego business community. Mah won the award for her support of successful female-owned businesses through her company, Hera Labs. Hera Labs is a business accelerator for women which has helped launch over 350 female-owned startups in the last two years, while simultaneously creating new jobs in the San Diego community.
Genrix, Rady School alum Andrew LeBlanc’s (MBA ’15) Lab to Market and StartR project, won the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps $50,000 award to do market research and customer discovery in early November 2015. The company specializes in personalized medicine for cancer treatment and has developed an algorithm to optimize clinical trial outcomes and get more drugs to the market.
Current Rady School student Sher Butt (MBA ’16) and founder of CB Therapeutics, a startup which produces non-psychoactive cannabinoid compounds for medical use, won this year’s UC San Diego-wide TriNet Challenge in December 2015. CB Therapeutics was Butt’s Lab to Market and StartR project, and received $6,000 in funding for their first place award, as well as $500 for being the audience favorite at the TriNet Challenge.
StartR Alumni Companies Raise Funding
Alpine Labs, Rady School student Greg Hovarth’s (MBA ’16) StartR company raised over $1 million in funding, exceeding their goal of $50,000, through a KickStarter campaign for the company’s new product, Pulse. Pulse allows users to control their DSLR cameras from their smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth.
Airo.IO, an innovative visual interpreter for blind and low-vision individuals founded by Rady School alum Suman Kunaganti (MBA ’14) through the StartR Accelerator program, secured $790,000 in seed financing to develop live personalized assistive technology through wearable platforms such as Google Glass and Vuzix.
Rady Alumni Take Their Companies to the Next Level
Amplyx Pharmaceuticals announced in November 2015 its closure on $40.5 million in Series B financing to develop a broad spectrum antifungal agent to treat life-threatening infections. Rady School alums Niall O’Donnell (MBA ’06) and Ciarra Kennedy (MBA ’06) are involved in the company, the former as a member of the board of directors and the latter as chief operating officer.
Rady School alum Sean McCarthy’s (MBA ’06) company CytomX Therapeutics emerged as a public company in early October 2015, raising over $80 million in its initial public offering. CytomX Therapeutics is in the process of developing an antibody-based drug to target cancerous tumors without damaging healthy tissue in the body.
Acquisitions of Rady Startups
Rady School alum Brad Pruitt’s (MBA ’11) Lab to Market project, nPruv, an online marketplace which matches patients and doctors with clinical trial opportunities was successfully acquired by Parallel 6, the leading provider of mobile clinical solutions. nPruv seeks to increase access to available clinical trials and is currently conducting a preliminary program in the greater San Diego area.
Rady School and mystartupXX alum Ashley VanZeeland’s (MBA ’12) genome informatics company, CypherGenomics, which provides automated genome interpretation to advance and improve precision medicine, was awarded a MetroConnect Prize, named one of San Diego’s COOL Companies and featured as a top Tech Startup in the last year. In November, 2015, the company was acquired by Human Longevity, Inc., a technology-driven company in the process of creating a comprehensive database of the entire human genome.
A Commitment for the Future of the Rady School
The Rady Family Foundation made a $100 million commitment to the Rady School of Management to recruit faculty and fund strategic priorities. The Rady Family Foundation’s commitment recognized the Rady School’s early success as an innovative leader in technology entrepreneurship and economic development, both in the San Diego region and beyond. After only a decade since the Rady School’s founding, students and alumni have already made a significant impact on the state and local economy through the creation of over 100 companies, which contributed an estimated $2 billion to the regional economy in the 2014 alone.