FOSTERING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
Dr. Manel Camps
SCEE Co-Presidents 2022
Rick Vargas Team
Blackstone Pitch Winners
Crown Instructor, Nikky Cherukuthota
Dr. Sue Carter
TURNING DISCOVERIES AND IDEAS INTO IMPACTFUL VENTURES
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Have you made a discovery in the lab that could become a new business? Are you interested in existing UCSC intellectual property that you could turn into a venture? No matter what you’re looking for, we have the tools to get you where you want to be.
Do you have an idea for a startup or social venture? Our team will help you every step of the way - from ideation to execution.
Do you need initial funding? We select and fund the most promising ventures at UCSC through pre-seed funding.
Do you want to accelerate your business growth? Do you need guidance on how to pitch to investors? Is your venture dealing with thorny issues and you need help? We will help you address such issues and achieve your goals through our mentorship networks.
Taking entrepreneurship classes opened up infinite doors of opportunity for me and has shaped my journey at UCSC.
Smeet Mehta, SCEE President
The UCSC Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) collaborates with academic, government, community and business partners in Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley, California and across the United States to foster inclusive innovation, venture creation, and education. We bring together UCSC entrepreneurs with investors, mentors, innovation educators, and strategic industry experts.
CIED was founded in 1979 by Dr. Narinder Kapany, known as the "Father of Fiber Optics", along with a group of UC Santa Cruz faculty. Dr. Kapany served as CIED director for seven years, and under his leadership CIED was recognized as a pioneer in entrepreneurship education and innovation, helping UCSC faculty and alumni launch successful startups. CIED's achievements resulted in Dr. Kapany being invited to give congressional testimony to the Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives, 97th Congress, on July 14, 1981, as part of the Implementation of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.
Narinder founded Kapatron in 1973, which designed and manufactured wavelength division multiplexers, optical switches and splitters for the telecom/datacom markets. The company was located in Palo Alto California. Kaptron was acquired in 1990 by Nasdaq's AMP Inc, which later was acquired by TYCO Electronics. Katron had customers such as AT&T, Northern Telecom, British Telecom, GEC Marconi, and Sumitomo, among others. Narinder took over TYCO's corporate fiber optic R&D division and developed state-of-the-art active and passive components with a Global team for 10 years.
Narinder founded K2 Optronics in 1999, which was funded by 5 premier Silicon Valley VCs (Bessemer, Alloy, Avent, Globespan, Sutter Hill) and 3 corporate partners (Intel, JDSU, Emcore). K2 Optronics was a designer and manufacturer of long-distance/repeaterless lasers that provided long-distance low chirp performance. These lasers were used in the CATV market with customers, such as Comcast, Rogers, Liberty, and AT&T. In 2006, K2 Optronics was acquired by Nasdaq's EMCORE and contributed to EMCORE's global cable TV strategy.
In more recent years, startups and social ventures supported by CIED have gone on to win awards at CES in Las Vegas, NV, UC Big Ideas in Berkeley, CA, Startup Grind Global in Redwood City, CA, as well as on our campus. We're proud members of a growing ecosystem of student and faculty founders, fast-growing tech startups such as Cruz Foam and Joby Aviation, community leaders such as Santa Cruz Works, and national partners such as the Blackstone Launchpad and the National Science Foundation.