News Release

UCSD Students Launch $50,000 Entrepreneurship Competition


SAN DIEGO, CA, Jan. 8, 2007  -- The Triton Innovation Network (TIN), a UC San Diego student organization, has officially launched the UCSD $50,000 Entrepreneurship Competition. The competition culminates in May when $50,000 in prize money will be awarded to the student teams with the best business plans.

The new competition provides UCSD undergraduate and graduate students with multidisciplinary teamwork opportunities and connects the students – and their technical innovations – with San Diego’s science, technology and business communities.

“It is not too late for students to compete. They can register at,” said Jason Tongbai, a UCSD student and one of the event’s organizers.

 UCSD Business Concept Competition 2006
 Close to 300 UCSD students working in teams submitted over 50 business idea summaries for the fall 2006 Business Concept Competition.

This past fall, TIN hosted a $1,000 Business Concept Competition. Close to 300 UCSD students working in teams submitted over 50 business idea summaries that ranged from novel alternative fuels to biomarkers for cancer detection to nanorobotics. The winner will be announced on January 18.

During UCSD’s spring 2007 quarter, the competition’s inaugural year will conclude with a $50,000 exclamation point. Prior to the final judging, teams will undergo intensive business plan education – including one-on-one sessions with their volunteer mentors, many of whom hail from San Diego’s scientific, technical and entrepreneurial base. Teams will submit a detailed business plan, and the semi-finalists will present an overview to the judges who will choose the grand prize winner and the two second-place teams.

The competition has gained broad support from senior UCSD officials as well as many San Diego companies. Sponsors include Catalyst Law Group, Cooley Godward Kronish, and Qualcomm. So far, the organizers have raised $60,000, including a $25,000 donation from an anonymous philanthropic couple.

“The extraordinary external support for this entrepreneurship competition demonstrates the importance our industrial and private partners place on entrepreneurial experience as part of our students’ studies at UC San Diego. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that will foster innovation and

competitiveness, attributes our students need in order to become industry leaders,” said Frieder Seible, Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD.

UCSD is recognized internationally as a leading research university. With over $700 million in annual research funding, UCSD ranks fifth in the nation according to the National Science Foundation. In addition, the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering, the neuroscience department, and the medical school have consistently ranked high in the US News and World Report survey.

Close to 250 companies have been founded by UCSD professors and alumni including Qualcomm, Hybritech,, Linspire, Cryogen, Nanogen, Netsift, and Quanlight.

“UCSD is such a great research institution. The quality and quantity of the companies UCSD has spawned is amazing, but there could have been many more,” says Kartik Joshi, one of the lead organizers of the competition, and a 4th year UCSD undergraduate majoring in Management Science.

The UCSD $50,000 Entrepreneurship Competition provides UCSD students, as well as team members from other institutions, with a vehicle to commercialize their technologies, either by forming new companies or licensing the technologies to existing firms – and strengthens San Diego’s economy along the way.

The Triton Innovation Network is a student organization of the University of California, San Diego whose purpose is dual-fold: to foster inter-departmental collaboration within the UCSD student body, as well as connect UCSD’s promising students and their technologies with San Diego's seasoned business community. To accomplish this, the organization is bringing multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, scientists, and business students together with local area entrepreneurs and professionals in a business plan competition that involves the entire San Diego community.

Contact: Jason Tongbai
UCSD Triton Innovation Network
(858) 692-1144
7886 Camino Huerta
San Diego, CA 92122

Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering