Come On In! (Virtually for Now)

February 11, 2021 By Jackie Connor

UCI Beall Applied Innovation is an open resource for campus.

With its wide variety of resources that foster growth ranging from forming an idea to taking a startup to the next level, UC Irvine (UCI) Beall Applied Innovation continues to be a campus resource for UCI students, faculty, staff and alumni.

As a dynamic platform that supports and provides resources to faculty, innovators and entrepreneurs, Applied Innovation plays a critical role in helping individuals achieve the modern and inclusive American Dream. With the resources and connections made through Applied Innovation, UCI innovators find industry partners to accelerate discoveries that matter and entrepreneurs receive what they need to succeed, which helps build a powerful and potent economy.

To help spread the word, Applied Innovation staff, along with a Wayfinder startup and a Faculty Innovation Fellow, recently encouraged UCI alumni to take advantage of these free resources, services and connections during the School of Social Sciences Alumni Network virtual event.

“If someone [a student] comes to us with an idea, we would direct you to the ANTrepreneur Center. If you already have a prototype, we’d have you join the I-Corps program, which is National Science Foundation funded customer discovery program. If you already got a company started and need help finding funding for the next stage, we have our incubator, Wayfinder. Or if you are just in search of information at any stage in your idea or company, we can give you a hand,” said Matt Hanson, director of New Ventures at Applied Innovation, during the virtual event.

Despite the pandemic’s limitations, Applied Innovation still offers many of its resources such as the Student Startup Fund, which provides students who have an idea with a small grant up to $1,000. The ANTrepreneur Center, a part of Applied Innovation and the Division of Undergraduate Education, is a space dedicated for UCI students to continue to develop their ideas and take them to the next level and subsequently, to the Wayfinder program, Applied Innovation’s incubator. The incubator is open to any startup with a UC-affiliation.

“I would say a program like the Wayfinder program where you can stay in, you can build relationships with the mentors and Innovation Advisors, and tap into some of these resources is very valuable,” said Amy von Kaenel, founder and CEO of Wayfinder startup VolunteerCrowd and UCI alum.

Applied Innovation also offers programs to faculty and researchers who have an innovation and want to take their idea to the marketplace, whether it’s through patenting ideas through Applied Innovation’s Research Translation Group or getting connected to industry through Industry Sponsored Research.

“Applied Innovation has been extremely useful for helping to bring research ideas into technology,” said Emre Neftci, Ph.D., assistant professor of Cognitive Sciences in the School of Social Sciences. “It’s really not evident at all – how do you go from a research paper that you publish to an actual prototype or even a business? And that’s exactly where as a faculty innovation fellow and our collaboration with Applied Innovation has been really useful. It’s bridging the worlds of ideas and literally transferring that knowledge into a technology and eventually a company.”

Learn more about Applied Innovations resources and programs.

Main Graphic: Kate Wokowsky, UCI Beall Applied Innovation

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