The UCLA Anderson School of Management will launch a year-round startup program Monday that aims to help student and faculty entrepreneurs launch startups and bring new products to commercial markets.
The Anderson Venture Accelerator program will aim to provide students and faculty with resources to make their entrepreneurial ideas commercially viable in an expedited process, said Al Osborne, senior associate dean of the School of Management.
Members of the entrepreneurship community at UCLA and Silicon Beach will attend the Monday launch event, said Elaine Hagan, executive director of the Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Anderson School of Management.
The program space in the Rosenfeld Library at the management school will include 10,000 square feet of working space and feature conference rooms, a presentation area and access to the management school’s research librarians.
Chelsea Dinkins, a second-year business student at the School of Management and president of the Entrepreneur Association, said she thinks the size and space of the facility provide enough room for large groups of students to work on projects, and hopes the accelerator program will generate more excitement from students about entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneur Association is a student organization that helps budding entrepreneurs develop skills and networks.
Hagan said the accelerator will run as a pilot program for the first six months, and will only be open to undergraduate and graduate students and researchers on campus. After the pilot period, the program will also accept alumni applicants.
Some students will be accepted for the fall and winter period, some for the winter and spring period and a final group during the summer, Hagan added.
Startup UCLA, another startup accelerator on campus that is open to all students and alumni, has produced 40 ventures since it was founded in 2012, said Robert Jadon, director of Startup UCLA Summer Accelerator Program.
Startup UCLA’s Summer Accelerator selects eight to 10 teams, each with access to a $5,000 stipend, workshops and mentors. Participants also travel to San Francisco and pitch their ideas to UCLA alumni, said Deanna Evans, executive director of Blackstone LaunchPad and Startup UCLA.
Hagan said the Anderson Venture Accelerator will be a more formal program tied to students’ coursework.
“Active learning is an important element in any curriculum for the Anderson School,” Osborne said. “In the accelerator, (students will) get to apply (the curriculum) and actually do it. No more playing around with things in theory – you have to do things in actuality and in real time.”
Hagan said she thinks the accelerator will enhance students’ entrepreneurial experiences on campus. She added she hopes students will give back to the UCLA community when they begin to profit from their ventures.
Osborne said the accelerator will aim to unite people from different fields such as health and business. He added he thinks commercializing technology that can help cure diseases, lower health care costs and other similar projects have large-scale benefits.
“UCLA is rich with intellectual capital and we invest billions of dollars on basic research,” he said. “There are a lot of ideas scientists and scholars have that could have an impact on society.”