UC San Diego News Center


Alum Establishes Mentorship Initiative at Rady School of Management


Mark Waxman and Paula Waxman

Through a philanthropic gift, UC San Diego alumnus J. Mark Waxman (B.A. Economics ‘70) and his wife, Paula, have helped launch a Mentorship Initiative at the California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID) at the Rady School of Management. The institute was founded to support and catalyze the University of California’s innovation leadership and entrepreneurship initiatives. The Mentorship Initiative will coordinate mentorship opportunities throughout the Rady School and create a forum to enhance and coordinate mentoring opportunities and allow startup entrepreneurs to have a recognized resource of experienced mentors to help them move forward.

Mark Waxman is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is the former chair of the Health Care Industry Team. Paula Waxman, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and 30-year veteran of the food service industry, is founder and CEO of 'Wiches of Boston, LLC, a Massachusetts catering company specializing in liquid nitrogen ice cream. Mark began mentoring while working in Boston, where he witnessed the impact mentoring can have on students and faculty entrepreneurs launching new businesses and the involved universities. As a graduate of UC San Diego, Waxman had an avid interest in bringing a quality mentorship program to the campus, and the institute for entrepreneurship programs at the Rady School was a perfect fit.

“Both Paula and I feel that mentoring is one of those things where everyone benefits,” Mark Waxman said. “Mentors benefit by providing valuable guidance and lessons to the next generation of businesses fostered through the university. It’s something without a price that we can give to the university community. For the mentees, it is a way of obtaining experienced advice and counsel at a phase of the business when the need is greatest, and the complex issues they face lead to success or failure.”

The CIID programs at the Rady School also include the StartR, mystartupXX, Social Venture and Veteran Ventures accelerator programs, Triton Innovation Challenge, Rady Innovation Fellows, and Rady Venture Fund. These programs aim to further the advancement of innovative products, services and ideas developed at the Rady School and UC San Diego campus.

“The support from Mark and Paula Waxman helps us make mentorship a priority for our students,” said Lada Rasochova (MBA ’08), CIID Executive Director. “In order to help startups grow and scale, we need a supportive network of mentors who can serve as a resource for our students and alumni, many of whom are starting a company for the first time.”

The CIID program has been instrumental to the success of startups that have started at the Rady School. Since the first MBA class graduated from the Rady School in 2006, 150 operational startup companies have been launched by students or alumni. This success lies not only in the school’s focus on entrepreneurship and innovation in its MBA program, but in the support and guidance provided by CIID programs as well.

The Mentorship Initiative is actively looking for mentors to become part of this program. For more information on how to become a mentor in this program, contact CIID Program Manager Karen Jensen. Please visit here to learn more about CIID.