On a sunny Saturday afternoon, alumni, students, faculty and staff returned to campus to celebrate UCI Homecoming. This annual tradition hosted friends and family alike as they visited booths, engaged in activities and watched fireworks in Aldrich Park.
The 2019 Homecoming theme was “Wilderness Adventure,” complete with moose statues and a “Camp Aldrich” sign in the middle of the park. With a booth located under the Innovation and Ingenuity tent and with the sounds of 80s cover band Flashback Heart Attack blasting tunes in the background, UCI Applied Innovation’s team members offered visitors and budding entrepreneurs information on programs and resources that can help them take an idea and potentially turn it into a commercially viable product.
“I feel like a lot of the people I know do research afterwards,” said Samantha Gille, a second-year pharmaceutical sciences major. “I’d never really heard of people starting their own company or making something new. So, it’s really interesting to see that side of the school.”
Attendees also learned the steps needed to join the UCI startup community, like the Wayfinder incubator or the mentorship program. Matt Hanson, director of New Ventures, and Julie Cranston, director at SBDC @ UCI Applied Innovation, as well as representatives from Wayfinder teams AG Tools, CarDana and Brevvie, doled out pertinent information on the benefits of having a platform like UCI Applied Innovation.
“I’m an ambassador. I’m a preacher for UCI Applied Innovation,” said Hanson. “We’re all about scalable companies helping grow the economy and grow quality of life, here, in Southern California.”
Watch more in the video below: