UC San Diego’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) launched the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) program in 2015 to accelerate the creation of new startup companies. The OIC, a Research Affairs unit, will honor the newly appointed 2017 EIR cohort and thank the 2016 cohort for their hard work with a reception, Apr. 17, at Bella Vista Social Club and Caffé in the Sanford Consortium.
Designed to accelerate the creation of new start-up companies, the EIR program is part of the university’s plan to take the global lead in research-based entrepreneurship. The program appoints five qualified individuals who have successfully grown and exited prior technology or healthcare startups on a quest to find their next entrepreneurial endeavor. The appointed EIRs have the demonstrated ability to work productively with engineers, scientists, students, and other innovators to identify and solve problems, and possess business acumen and industry experience, particularly in early technology commercialization, new-venture creation, and fundraising.
“Our team plans to grow locally in San Diego, promoting local job growth and revenue,” said Cyrus Rustomji, a postdoctoral scholar –who founded South 8 Technologies. “Our technology is focused on clean tech energy storage solutions to lower carbon emissions and reduce foreign oil imports, impacting both the region locally and abroad.”
Rustomji works with Tim Rueth, an investor, advisor, and consultant to start-up companies, universities, and other institutions, has served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels, as well as the organization’s screening committee. Rustomji was also assisted by EIR Martha Symko-Davies who provided benchmarking studies at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The 2016 EIR cohort mentored four startups, two in early stage development, South 8 Technologies and Logate Computing. Logate Computing is the brainchild of physics professor Max Di Ventra and Fabio Traversa, working with MemComputing to reduce computational time for the next generation of gene sequencing applications. John Beane, who mentored this team is founder and CEO of Logate, and was co-founder of ecoATM. The 2016 EIR cohort also included Gioia Messinger and Ted Daley.
The 2017 EIR cohort included Frank Stonebanks wth experience in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical technology, drug delivery and healthcare information technology sectors; Danielle Rowley with experience in educational technology (EdTech) that combines educational best practices with adaptive learning, AI and data science techniques; Andrew Hewitt, a social innovation and for-benefit innovator; Ekta Dang with experience in cybersecurity and internet of things (IOT); and Ted Daley, who returns as an EIR in the health sciences sector.
Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego explained the importance of the EIR program to the campus and beyond.
“We will continue to create a vibrant regional ecosystem, and accelerating the commercialization of UC San Diego inventions, in support of our campus’s Strategic Plan. The EIR program builds on that innovation strategy, and will connect with other programs being developed by this campus,” said Roben.
The appointed EIRs have the demonstrated ability to work productively with engineers, scientists, students, and other innovators to identify and solve problems, and possess business acumen and industry experience, particularly in early technology commercialization, new-venture creation, and fundraising. The OIC extends an invite to all to participate in honoring the hard work and effort of UC San Diego’s EIRs at their reception.