With a thriving innovation ecosystem, San Diego is one of the top startup cities in the U.S. and the Rady School of Management has played a vital role in stoking the region’s economic engine. The school’s students and alumni have founded 150 operational startup companies since the school’s first MBA class graduated in 2006. Over 70% of those companies remain in San Diego, contributing over $2 billion to the local and national economy.
“The Rady School’s approach is to support startups from ideation and development to the successful launch and growth of a company,” said Rady School Dean Robert S. Sullivan. “In the past decade, 150 startups have been founded and 15% of Rady MBA graduates are operating a successful startup company. That is a strong testament to the effectiveness of our MBA program and accelerators.”
The startup companies span industries including biotech, technology, consumer products, medical devices, healthcare and consulting. Many of these companies have received industry awards, secured funding and commercialized. In fact, in the first half of 2017, Rady MBA startups raised over $75 million in financing.
Aira, founded by alum Suman Kanuganti (MBA ’14), uses remote assistive technology combined with a wearable smart device to connect visually impaired individuals with remote agents to help them navigate the world. The company has raised more than $12 million in Series B Funding and was admitted into the EvoNexus incubator.
Silvia Mah (MBA ’10) noticed few women in the startup world, which inspired her to launch HeraLabs, a business accelerator for women. The program provides female-led startups with the necessary tools to grow a business. HeraLabs has grown to include an angel investing program as well as a fund to support growing ventures.
Engineer Ryan Ruehl (MBA ’18) and doctor Jon Wilensky (MBA ’17) came to the Rady School to learn more about the business side of medicine and technology. Braykion was born due to the pair recognizing a need to stop the spread of infections in hospital settings. Braykion won UC San Diego’s Entrepreneur Challenge, and is currently in the EvoNexus incubator and received admission into the CONNECT Springboard program.
The success of the startups launched from the Rady School can be contributed to the school’s hallmark Lab to Market courses, which take MBA students through each phase of a startup, and the school’s startup accelerator programs, which provide mentorship and resources for early-stage companies.