UC San Diego News Center


UC San Diego a Prominent Presence at Startups Demo Day in D. C.


One of the hundreds of companies hatched by the University of California San Diego has a prominent presence in a national showcase of high-potential startups in the nation’s capital.

Curtana Pharmaceuticals plays a big role in the high-visibility Washington, D.C. celebration as a major presenter.

Curtana, a privately-held, preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel therapy for glioblastoma, is also included in the 18 Best University Startups of 2016.

“UC San Diego has innovation and entrepreneurship in our DNA,” said UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Research Sandra Brown. “These high-potential young companies exemplify that spirit, and merit the national recognition they will receive.”

The National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) will hold this inaugural University Startups Demo Day (USDD) at the National Press Club and Congress on September 20 in Washington D.C.

“It is a great honor for Curtana to be recognized as one of the best university startups and to present in front of potential corporate partners and venture capitalists,” said Gregory Stein, M.D., M.B.A. and Chief Executive Officer of Curtana Pharmaceuticals. “Brain cancer is a devastating disease with few therapeutic options and a median survival time of less than 15 months. We are focused on a novel adjunct therapy to improve treatment success and survival times. Opportunities like this to tell our story and garner support for this potentially life-changing technology are critical to move this science forward.”

The USDD provides an unprecedented opportunity for corporate open innovation and venturing groups, VCs, and angels to discover, review, partner with, and fund university startups. At the same time, it raises awareness in Congress of the pivotal role that universities play in the formation of high potential startups, the creation of high value jobs across the country, and overall national competitiveness.

“New ideas, new solutions to problems, are vital to the future of our research enterprise as well as to the economic growth of our region, our state, and our nation,” said Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego. “Our mission, and the mission of these outstanding startups, is to disseminate discoveries that transform lives.”

The USDD will showcase 35 of the best university startups in specific technology areas. Selected by their universities, and scored by corporates, angels, and VCs, the top-scoring university startups will be invited to present at the National Press Club in the first part of the day. During the second part of the day, the companies will meet and have photo-ops with their senators and representatives at Congress.

The startups will be evaluated and scored by the Selection Committee, composed of corporates, angels, and VCs, based on both corporate interest and venture metrics.

Get more information about the event and all the university startups here.

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