News Release

UC San Diego Innovators: You can now apply to three commercialization programs through one new application

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Rajan Kumar leads a team to commercialize a printed, flexible and rechargeable battery technology. The team went through the IGE Technology Accelerator Program.

San Diego, CA, March 20, 2018 -- University of California San Diego’s Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE) and Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) have teamed up to make it easier for students, alumni, faculty and researchers to apply for support to help them commercialize their innovations.

UC San Diego innovators – including alumni – can now submit just one application for consideration across three entrepreneurship programs that complement one another. Each program supports teams at different points along the pathway from breakthrough to commercialization. 

The streamlined application coordinates these programs:

  • Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM)

-Summary: supports early-stage proof-of-concept and feasibility projects

-Funding: provides grant funding between $10,000 and $50,000

-Open to: researcher and faculty teams

-Run by: Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC)


  • IGE Technology Accelerator

-Summary: serves teams in the prototype development and market validation phase

-Funding: grant funding up to $50,000

-Open to: Jacobs School of Engineering faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate teams

-Run by: Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE)


  • IGE Business Accelerator

​-Summary: this new program assists early-stage incorporated companies in scaling and funding their business.

-Funding: offers access to mentors, investors and partners

-Open to: UC San Diego alumni, students, faculty and affiliated startups

-Run by: Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE)

Application deadlines and details
The priority deadline for the next round of teams and startups is Monday, March 26, though late applications will be considered as fundng allows. Applications focused on healthcare and biotechnology; energy and the environment; and smart transportation are especially encouraged.

The accelerator programs offer teams grant funding up to $50,000, plus access to investors for the incorporated firms. Part of that funding is thanks to California Assembly Bill 2664, which allocated $2.2 million to the UC San Diego campus to support the expansion and acceleration of technology transfer and economic development on campus.  The Jacobs School of Engineering has also received financial support for these programs through the Legler-Benbough Foundation.

The programs will offer courses, workshops and mentorship across the technology transfer and startup continuum, from product-market fit, to prototype development, to scaling and securing funding. The cohorts are scheduled to begin in June 2018.

“Besides the grants that we’ll be offering, which will certainly help these entrepreneurs, it’s the education programs, mentor networks and our industry partners that are going to truly accelerate taking innovations from lab to market,” said Sujit Dey, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego, and director of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur.

The Technology Management and Entrepreneurism Certificate Program offered jointly by the Jacobs School of Engineering and Rady School of Management, as well as the IGE Innovation-Corps workshop series, funded by the National Science Foundation, are examples of the interdisciplinary collaboration underway to build this robust ecosystem of entrepreneurship.

Cross campus collaborations to support commercialization

Streamling the application process for these programs is part of a bigger goal to create a coordinated pipeline for commercializing innovations tied to UC San Diego. The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur is itself part of of this bigger stragetic plan: it’s a collaboration between the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Rady School of Management.

“We’re creating a roadmap for acceleration, working with OIC to streamline and expand our commercialization efforts,” said Dennis Abremski, executive director of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur. “Together, we’ll support research teams from proof of concept to prototype, and early-stage startups from incorporation to scaling their business. We also plan to partner with other acceleration groups on campus that offer complementary services and will be encouraging more multidisciplinary endeavors.”

Another benefit of the single application process is the coordination of matching funds if applicants progress through the sequence of programs.

 “We’re providing gap funding to maximize the impact of campus research and move technologies to the market,” said Paul Roben, associate vice chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization, who leads technology commercialization efforts on campus. “Our primary goal is to make it easy for an innovator to achieve the next step in their commercialization or technology transfer process, wherever that is on the continuum.”

By coordinating efforts, IGE and OIC hope to make it easier for someone to go from lab to market, or from federal grant to commercial investment.

 “Our mission is to educate and prepare the next generation of C-level entrepreneurs, and accelerate innovations,” Abremski said. “This collaboration demonstrates our commitment to working with partners to help us achieve both of these goals.”

More information on the programs and application can be found here:

Media Contacts

Katherine Connor
Jacobs School of Engineering