UCI Applied Innovation partnered with the University of Michigan for a pitch event featuring seven Wayfinder incubator teams that presented to executive MBA (EMBA) students from the globally-renowned Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach. CKGSB’s EMBA program, facilitated by the University of Michigan, consists of c-suite executives, high net wealth individuals, and investors with extensive industry experience. The CKGSB is an independent non-profit, and the only business school in China with faculty governance.
Real-time translations from English to Chinese took place via translators while Wayfinder teams pitched, with each team allotted 30 minutes to present. Questions from the audience centered on nuances around the startups’ products and core business models–suggesting a significant level of interest from the attendees.
The students in attendance ranged from CEOs, chairmen, partners, and managers. They saw presentations from Wayfinder startups Charlot Biosciences, Genpedia, Purist, Kolkin, Synarbot, Syntr, and JeniVision.
The previous day, CKGSB’s EMBA program visited the Cove for an in-depth tour. UCI Applied Innovation’s Matt Bailey discussed Orange County’s business ecosystem, UCI intellectual property, and UCI’s numerous industry engagement opportunities. “Orange county is a hub for the medical innovation sector,” Bailey explained. Ranging from business leaders in gaming such as Blizzard, action sports companies such as Volcom and Hurley, and AR/VR like Oculus, acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, Bailey illustrated how Orange County is a thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurship.
“Our strategy in getting more of the technology out to market is to make sure that UCI and the local community are desirable places for innovators and entrepreneurs to come together, share ideas, and launch new companies,” Bailey said.
After the presentations at the Hyatt, students evaluated and prepared remarks for the startup teams. This feedback provided an opportunity for teams to refine their investor pitches, in addition to opening lines of communication for potential future partnerships.