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Students Build Entrepreneur Culture on Campus

The UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge held its first ever Startup Job Fair in May image
The UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge held its first ever Startup Job Fair in May.

The UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge is, at its core, about how people develop ideas, connect and build companies out of groundbreaking research. Founded and run entirely by students, the Entrepreneur Challenge has raised and awarded more than $400,000 in its first five years.

"This has been a watershed year for the Entrepreneur Challenge that has validated our mission to fundamentally change both student culture as well as the San Diego economy," said Jason Steiner, the chief executive officer of the 5th Annual Entrepreneur Challenge and a Ph.D. candidate in Materials Science at the Jacobs School. Two UCSD Jacobs School student teams, DevaCell and Oculeve, won awards on June 1 at the Challenge's premier event, the Business Plan Competition. The teams plan to commercialize a handheld device that detects viral and bacterial infections (DevaCell, 2nd place overall) and a device that stimulates tear production for the treatment of debilitating severe dry eye disease (Oculeve, 1st place life sciences). Past Challenge participants have since formed companies that have raised nearly $10 million in private funding. In March, Fast Company magazine named 2007-2008 winner NeuroVigil one of the world's 10 most innovative health care companies. Follow the Entrepreneur Challenge (, and attend their upcoming events at no cost.


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