QI Offers Services to Support Teams in New UC San Diego Technology Accelerator

San Diego, May 23, 2017 — The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE) at UC San Diego announced the selection of five research teams for its new technology accelerator. IGE is a collaboration between the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Rady School of Management, and the IGE Technology Accelerator provides each team up to $50,000 in financial support over the year-long program. In addition, each team receives $25,000 in expertise and facilities access at UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute, including for the use of its Nano3 cleanroom labs and its world-class Prototyping Facility, with other QI services subject to availability.

Rajan Kumar is the lead for the team developing new stretchable battery technologies. Kumar is a nanoengineering PhD student at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. 

The particular focus of the IGE Technology Accelerator is on helping teams validate their technologies and business models by field testing their prototypes with strategic partners. The accelerator also provides entrepreneurship training, business and technical mentoring, industry connections, and access to research and prototyping facilities.

“At the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, we are focused on unlocking the potential of the numerous innovations we generate at UC San Diego,” said Sujit Dey, director of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur and a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. “There are many research projects on campus that have tremendous market potential, but successful commercialization requires strategy, planning, organization and support. We are excited to be providing our first group of talented and promising teams in the technology accelerator with these resources. Ensuring that teams successfully perform strategic field testing of their prototypes, potentially with a future customer, is one of the unique aspects of this technology accelerator,” said Dey.

The milestone-based program offers funding for developing, fine tuning, and testing prototypes with actual users. Each team works with a team of dedicated mentors from a pool of seasoned entrepreneurs and relevant technical experts.Each team in the initial cohort is based in the Jacobs School of Engineering, with collaborators across campus. The teams are:

  • Compact, Solid-State Lasers for LIDAR Applications in Autonomous Vehicles 
    Bound states in the continuum (BIC) lasers offer unique properties, including tunable emission wavelength, emission angle, and potential for high-power applications. The team is developing a tunable, chip-level, solid state BIC laser for LIDAR in Autonomous Vehicles. (press release on related Nature paper). Team lead: Ashok Kodigala  Faculty: Boubacar Kante  Department: ECE
  • Stretchable, Conformal Batteries for Wearable Applications
    Conformal electronics is an emerging class of devices that can conform to complex non-planar and deformable surfaces. The team is developing printable, stretchable, nanoparticle-based materials for batteries using safe, high-performance chemistries. (See new publication on which this project is based.) Team lead: Rajan Kumar  Faculty: Shirley Meng, Joseph Wang  Department: NanoEngineering  
  • Cardiac Risk Assessment Imaging
    The VeoCor team has developed the first personalized tool to assess the risk of cardiac thrombus (blood clot) formation and associated stroke. The project aims to prevent thousands of strokes per year by deploying its diagnostic technology clinically to enable evidence-based treatment decisions in patients with heart failure and heart attacks. VeoCor’s patented technology analyzes standard ultrasound images to provide a quantitative measure of blood flow within the left ventricle, identifying areas of stasis which are most susceptible to thrombus formation. Team lead: Lorenzo Rossini  Faculty: Juan Carlos del Alamo, Andrew M. Kahn  Departments: MAE, Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Electromagnetically Shielded Devices for MRI Guidance of Minimally Invasive Procedures
    The team is developing specialized nanoparticle-based coatings to enable the use of standard medical instruments in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) assisted medical procedures. Team lead: Sanjeet Hegde  Faculty: Prabhakar Bandaru  Departments: MAE, Pediatrics, Rady Children's Hospital
  • Esophageal Deflection Device for Cardiac Surgery
    The team is developing a medical instrument for cardiologists to safely and reliably prevent thermal damage to the esophagus during cardiac ablation procedures. Team lead: Karcher Morris  Faculty: Frank Talke  Department: MAE

“With this accelerator, we are working to fill the gaps in the path to commercialization,” said Dennis Abremski, executive director of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur. “Testing prototypes with potential customers or other partners is one of the critical steps toward successful commercialization that many teams struggle with.”

Because timing often makes the difference between success and failure, the IGE Technology Accelerator aims to reduce the time it takes each team to get their first customer.

“We’ve structured the program to shorten the timelines for validating technologies and product-market fit,” said Abremski. “The money is important, but this accelerator is about so much more than the money.”

“One thing we see over and over is a gap between what entrepreneurs perceive as their value proposition, target market, and success strategies versus their actual value and eventual business strategies,” said Dr. Vish Krishnan, associate director of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur and the Rady School director of Entrepreneurship programs and Professor of Innovation, Technology and Operations. “It is important to equip the teams with mentoring and peer group support that prepares them for the turbulent world of new venture creation. As a collaboration between the Rady School and the Jacobs School, the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur is uniquely positioned to help teams commercialize their discoveries.”

IGE Technology Accelerator Funding

The IGE Technology Accelerator program is one of a series of new and ongoing innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives that received support from the Office of the Chancellor and from California Assembly Bill 2664, which provided $2.2 million for each UC campus to expand innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

Funding for the IGE Technology Accelerator was generously matched by a gift from The Legler Benbough Foundation. “We see technology accelerators like IGE’s that recognize new innovation and promote the development of new enterprise, as a major economic driver for the future of San Diego,” said Peter K. Ellsworth, president of The Legler Benbough Foundation.

Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well entretied, braced in the beams,  Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,  I and this mystery, here we stand.  Clear and sweet is my Soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my Soul.

Media Contacts

Daniel Kane, (858) 534-3262, dbkane@ucsd.edu

Related Links

Institute for the Global Entrepreneur
Jacobs School of Engineering
Rady School of Management
Qualcomm Institute