Previous Tech Surge Winners Kickoff the UCI New Venture Competition 2019

Past Tides
November 21, 2018 By Jackie Connor

A packed house filled the Paul Merage School of Business auditorium for the UCI New Venture Competition 2019 Kickoff Celebration.

Hosted by the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Paul Merage School of Business, in partnership with UCI Applied Innovation, the annual competition is open to all UCI students, staff, researchers, and community members who have a concept for a startup company. The event opened with testimonials from several startup companies, including those that shared their journey winning Tech Su

Ahmed Zobi, CEO of Syntr Health Technologies, talks about his experience winning the New Venture Competition’s Tech Surge track in 2017. Photo: Jackie Kao

rge, a specialized track within the New Venture Competition.

“Without Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, and Tech Surge, we wouldn’t be here,” Ahmed Zobi, CEO of startup company Syntr Health Technologies, told the large audience. “You’re going to hear a bunch of ‘no’s’…take that and find out the better answers until you get a ‘yes.’ Having a multi-disciplinary team is very important for success.”

Sponsored by Applied Innovation, Tech Surge is a specialized award track that focuses on the translation of UCI-generated innovations by providing additional prize money and support resources to teams who use UCI intellectual property as a core element of their business plans. Tech Surge winners are eligible for grants up to $15,000 to further their commercialization efforts post competition.

Hayley Young, Assistant Director of New Venture Group at Applied Innovation, discusses the Tech Surge track of the New Venture Competition. Photo: Jackie Kao

FirstStep Diagnostics took home first place for the 2018 Tech Surge track of the New Venture Competition. The company developed an early diagnostic test for autism spectrum disorder.

In addition to its overall support of the competition, Applied Innovation also offers the winners of all tracks of the New Venture Competition automatic acceptance to its Wayfinder program to continue their venture development at the Cove.

For more information about Tech Surge, click here.