UCI graduate student Ning Ma, CEO of startup Emlumination, and UCI undergraduate student Patrick Dumas, CEO of startup Waterborne Skateboards, recently received the inaugural Maschoff Brennan Scholarship of $2,500 each for their outstanding innovations. The winners were selected by a panel of Orange County business leaders and were presented with their scholarship during the Orange County Business Journal’s fourth annual Innovator of the Year Awards at Hotel Irvine.
Maschoff Brennan is a leading intellectual property litigation firm located in Orange County.
“These students have demonstrated dedication and perseverance to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Richard Sudek, UCI Applied Innovation chief innovation officer and executive director. “I am pleased to watch their journey as it progresses and look forward to see how this scholarship will help them along the way.”
Dumas created a skateboard truck known as the “surf adapter,” which fits onto any skateboard deck and allows the user to make tighter turns that imitate the motion of surfing. He began his journey at UCI Applied Innovation with Waterborne Skateboards in 2017, and has since led a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $42,000 within 22 days. Dumas recently closed his first round of funding from angel investors and is receiving another round from the same investors in addition to mentors.
“I’m happy with how far we’ve taken the company on with so little money, and most people have been impressed,” said Dumas. “However, it’s time for a new chapter of Waterborne. No more fooling around with nickels and dimes. Thanks to this latest round, we’re launching Waterborne Skateboards in a meaningful way.”
Ma, a biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate, began working on her startup at Applied Innovation. Her startup Emlumination, which creates an imaging device to help parents who want healthy babies through in vitro fertilization by enabling the selection of healthy embryos to reduce anxiety and cost.
She currently participates in Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder program as well as the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program at UCI Applied Innovation. With her imaging device, Ma will continue to conduct market research through the program as well as test the device in mouse models.
“I want to toss out a lot of unnecessary screening already with my product, so it can shorten the time [for conception] and decrease sadness people have,” said Ma. “That’s the goal, that’s what we want to do.”
This year, she also placed first for the Foundation of Reproductive Medicine’s Young Investigator Award where she received $3,000 for her research in assisted reproductive technologies.
The scholarship will contribute towards their UCI tuition.
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