On June 28, teams recently admitted into the Wayfinder incubator program presented their startups to a crowded room of EiRs at the Pitch and Match event held at the Cove. An opportunity for EiRs and Wayfinder startups to interact and get to know each other, the event provided numerous opportunities for teams to engage with EiRs who represent a diverse range of expertise that includes marketing, business development, biotech, medical devices, finance, legal, and more. Teams who pitched were asked to include a segment at the end of their presentation indicating what they needed the most help with to move their startup forward.
The new Wayfinder cohort includes winners from this year’s New Venture Competition, a collaborative effort between the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Paul Merage School of Business and UCI Applied Innovation, and Tech Surge, a parallel track of the New Venture Competition led by Applied Innovation. Wayfinder teams also include UCI alumni, undergrads, faculty, or startups utilizing UCI-generated intellectual property.
The evening began with an introduction by New Venture Director Juan Felipe Vallejo, who served as the emcee for the evening. After providing an overview of the Wayfinder program’s structure and intake process, Vallejo transitioned to the fast pitch portion of the event. Startups who pitched include Purist, a company developing a method to locally produce medical isotopes to treat cancer; NanoShield Biotix, a startup developing a germ-killing texture inspired by nature with surface applications in industries ranging from ophthalmology to consumer products; and many others who represent a variety of both product and service offerings. After the pitches had concluded, the teams went back to tables that were set up throughout the Cove for a networking session with EiRs. Conversations continued into the evening as new opportunities for mentorship and collaboration between attendees developed.