Never Stop Starting Up: The Rady Slogan in Practice
Entrepreneurship is a core component of the Rady School, not only in terms of business philosophy, but also in practice. From launching the StartR business accelerator to a Rady team sweeping the UC San Diego TriNet Challenge, it's clear that startup culture is part of the School's DNA.
The Triton Innovation Network (TriNet) Challenge is a business competition aimed at fostering creativity and translation of new ideas and discoveries to market. SymbiO2, a Rady StartR accelerator team, represented by Anil Sadarangani (FlexMBA '15) and Andres Volker (FlexMBA '13), won the $6,000 first place prize in the Technology Venture track by developing a photosynthetic scaffold technology for the treatment and restoration of damaged or diseased tissues. The algae-based scaffold provides oxygen directly to the wound, which promotes tissue healing. The technology has great potential to eliminate the environmental problems associated with medical waste, while also boosting quality of life for patients.
Lada Rasochova, director for the California Institute for Innovation and Development and the StartR accelerator at the Rady School, is proud of the progress she has seen her students make since the development of the accelerator. "Many of the StartR teams have formed companies and are gaining significant traction and recognition. We look forward to continuing to grow and develop the StartR accelerator and to continue to make an impact on the local innovation economy and beyond."
StartR is a six month-long acceleration program that is held twice a year on the Rady School's campus. The program is focused on mentorship and hands-on early stage company development. The StartR accelerator is also showing promise as a way to assist Rady students in taking their business ideas from the signature Lab to Market course sequence into reality by providing a supported environment that fosters a startup's growth and development.
The Rady School also hosted its first StartR Demo Day on March 10, in which five StartR teams were given the opportunity to present their 10-minute pitches to investors and industry experts. The inaugural teams that participated in the event included: Andro360; SymbiO2; Lab Fellows with current Rady student Julio DeUnamuno; Skylit with current Rady student Martyn Gross and Tab32 with Rady alumni Kiltesh Patel (MBA '13), Joe Aquilina (MBA '13) and Rooz Golshani (MBA '13).
The technologies showcased on the inaugural StartR Demo Day ranged from an online peer-to-peer marketplace that connects researchers and allows them to lease scientific equipment and lab space (Lab Fellows) to a wearable wireless medical device to assess and diagnose erectile dysfunction in males (Andro360) to a cloud-based dental software that integrates all systems in a dentist office (Tab32).
Kiltesh Patel, co-founder of Tab32, noted the natural transition of his business from Lab to Market to StartR, stating, "This was one of the ideas that originated from the Lab to Market core sequence at the Rady School. Lab to Market allowed me to evaluate my ideas and develop a business plan. StartR was the next step, enabling our company to develop."