Culminating a successful year of learning and growing, the most recent Rady School of Management Lab to Market FlexWeekend 2018 cohort wrapped up its final class with a pitch presentation event highlighting the top three teams of the cohort. The signature Rady School course sequence exposes students to every step of the entrepreneurial process, from idea development to compiling a go-to market strategy, culminating in the presentations as the capstone course.

Over the yearlong sequence, 12 teams were launched with companies ranging from medical diagnostic development to patient advocacy software. The top three teams were recently selected to pitch in front of a panel of experts to showcase the high caliber entrepreneurial efforts of the graduating cohort.

Panel experts included Tim Rueth, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC San Diego and investor; Greg Horowitt, a co-founder and managing director at T2 Venture Capital; Richard E. Campbell, a partner at Procopio; Gioia Messenger, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Avaak Inc.; and Robert Sullivan, Dean of the Rady School of Management.

The three teams selected to pitch in the Lab to Market finals — Akira, Beggy and mehzAir — displayed the diverse talents of the graduating cohort. Akira was the first team to pitch at the event.

The medical diagnostic industry is booming, and a group of Rady School students are developing the next big thing – microneedle technology for drug delivery. Akira, developed by Shamal Mehta (MBA ’18), Ph.D. and Christpher Westropp (MBA ’18), M.D., has come up with a solution similar to the EpiPen to treat severe allergic reactions and drug overdoses. The Akira technology is painless, cheaper to produce and less susceptible to user error.

Inspired by being a working mother on the go, Rady School graduate Suvi Tanninen (MBA ’18) developed Beggy, a stylish and functional “smart” purse with wireless charging capabilities. The purse is designed to be customizable to fit the needs of each customer with inserts designed to charge a number of electronics, as well as a rechargeable battery fitted at the bottom of the purse to ensure connectivity.

The final group to present was mehzAir, a system that measures the amount of a microscopic and harmful pollutant, PM 2.5. Recent research indicates that excessive levels of the pollutant can lead to a number of respiratory problems and lung cancer. Colin Lober (MBA ’18) and John Walsh’s (MBA ’18) company mehzAir created a way to measure the level of PM 2.5 in a space, bringing awareness to the pollutant and encouraging solutions to eradicate the issue.

After each presentation, the panelists provided valuable feedback to the teams on potential product improvements, suggestions for reaching larger audiences and advice on how to address potential entrepreneurial pitfalls.

Although the Lab to Market sequence has come to an end for the FlexWeekend 2018 cohort, the marketability and profitability of their companies has inspired the recent graduates to continue working on their projects.

Del Foit, a lecturer at the Rady School of Management, shared his satisfaction with the recent graduated cohort.

“These three projects show the depth and breadth of our students’ capabilities to recognize a market need and create functional products and solutions to meet these needs,” Foit said. “Their commitment to their innovative ideas have resulted in some amazing companies that will have a positive impact on the way we live, work and play.”

June 20, 2018 0 comment
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As the school year comes to a close at UC San Diego, another fantastic group of students crossed the commencement stage, earning Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Finance (MFin), Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) and Ph.D. degrees

Rady School Dean Robert Sullivan kicked off the momentous occasion by welcoming everyone to the event and honoring the friends and family present who helped support the graduates on their path to pursuing higher education.

“Today is a day of recognition and celebration,” Dean Sullivan said. “First I would like all of us – especially today’s graduates – to recognize the commitment, sacrifice, and hard work of the families and friends of today’s graduates. You’ve helped make this day possible! Congratulations to you, the family and friends.”

The largest graduating class of 2018 was the MFin cohort with 136 graduates. The MBA cohorts graduated 127 students and the MSBA cohort graduated 54 students. This year, there were also two students who received Ph.D.s in Management.

Before degrees were conferred to the graduates, Rafael Pastor – a celebrated force in executive leadership – delivered the keynote address to the graduates and attendees.

Graduates of the MBA program will head to companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, General Motors and Dexcom. Master of Science in Business Analytics graduates earned positions at stellar companies, including 21st Century Fox, Qualcomm and Expedia. Master of Finance graduates found success with leading organizations, earning jobs at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Encore Capital and Guided Choice.

In addition to joining prestigious companies, many graduates have found success launching their own startups. From breweries to medical devices to a product that brews the perfect cup of coffee on the go, graduates embracing the entrepreneurial skills learned at the Rady School are choosing to pursue their startups full-time after graduation.

George Bryan Cornwall, a graduate of the FlexWeekend MBA Class of 2018 was selected to give the student commencement address. In his speech, Cornwall celebrated the achievements of his cohort and lauded the Rady School for its commitment to honoring its mission statement.

“We have all emerged from this experience at the Rady School with new skills and new perspectives,” he said. “We also have a broader, extensive and growing family that we are part of. One of the most important factors was the chance to interact with an elite cohort of people. People I would be proud to call colleagues and comrades.”

An accomplished alum in the financial sector was invited to give the alumni address. Bosco Lujan (MBA ’12), a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, welcomed the newest graduating cohorts to the robust Rady School alumni network.

“You didn’t just obtain a graduate degree today, you are now official bearers of the Rady name,” Lujan said. “As you become successful, always look back to your Alma Mater, cherish what you’ve received, and assess all you can give back.”

The event concluded with remarks from Dean Sullivan honoring and congratulating the graduates on their hard work.

“To our graduates: today you join an elite group of approximately 1500 Rady alumni who continue to make measurable, positive impact both locally and around the world,” Dean Sullivan said. “Our entire Rady School community celebrates and congratulates you; we are so proud of all of your accomplishments.”

June 18, 2018 0 comment
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The Master of Finance (MFin) program at the Rady School of Management was ranked by the Financial Times as one of the top MFin programs in the world. The Financial Times ranking is the first major ranking for the Rady School MFin program, which launched in 2014 and was eligible to be ranked by the publication for the first time in 2018. The Financial Times used data from the school’s first MFin class for its 2018 ranking.

The program received high marks for its percent of female students (highest among U.S. ranked schools), international students (3rd highest among U.S. ranked schools) and international faculty (2nd highest among U.S. ranked schools). It the only MFin program ranked in California and it placed 14th in the U.S. and 65th globally.

“I am delighted the MFin program at the Rady School has been recognized for its excellence,” said Master of Finance Program Executive Director Michael Melvin. “Although it is still very new, it is clear the program has achieved excellence in a competitive global market. We look forward to growing the recognition of our program in the coming years.”

The Financial Times Master of Finance ranking is a highly-regarded ranking based on information provided by schools and a survey of school MFin alumni. The school survey constitutes 42% of the ranking’s total weight, while the alumni survey 58% of the ranking’s weight.

The Rady School MFin program provides rigorous, hands-on training to prepare graduates to immediately contribute in environments where quantitative and analytical skills are at a premium. Students learn leading-edge methods for analyzing big data for financial decision-making and risk management. The program’s emphasis on quantitative models and methods ensures graduates are equipped to develop innovative solutions to the complex problems facing the financial industry.

For more information about the Master of Finance program at the Rady School, visit the program website.

 

June 18, 2018 0 comment
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From young and eager innovators with big ideas to career professionals looking to revamp their industries, entrepreneurs come in many forms. The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego is committed to fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship by making it accessible to all through a number of programs, accelerators and community partnerships. A recent event targeted a very specific audience and highlighted the new Veteran Ventures Accelerator housed in the Rady School of Management.

Throughout the years, a growing number of veteran students at the Rady School are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, launching sustainable startup companies out of programs offered by the School, such as Lab to Market and the StartR Accelerator.

Sean Haggerty, founder and president of Protector Brewery, took advantage of the Lab to Market program to help his brewery get off the ground. Since completing the Lab to Market sequence and graduating from the Rady School, his brewery has grown significantly, launching a number of beers and securing a brick and mortar location in San Diego.

Haggerty recently spoke at an event highlighting veteran entrepreneurship at UC San Diego.

“The Rady School of Management was integral in the success of Protector Brewery,” Haggerty said. “There are a number of accelerators and incubators at the UC San Diego that serve veteran students and support their unique needs and abilities.”

Globier, a veteran-founded company launched at the Rady School, is also making waves in the food and beverage industry. Noticing a lack of beer in the nightclub industry, Joshua Schaffer (MBA ’17) worked with a fellow student to launch the world’s first glow-in-the-dark brew.

Another Rady veteran pursued a startup in the healthcare industry. Ryan Ruehl (MBA ’18), a Marine veteran, worked with fellow Rady alum Jon Wilensky (MBA ’17) to develop Braykion – a wearable sensor paired with technology that encourages healthcare workers to wash their hands, preventing spreadable infections.

The Rady School launched Veteran Ventures, an accelerator dedicated to helping veterans turn business ideas into functioning companies in 2017. The 10-week program supports veterans interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial process, introducing them to mentors and helping them scale their ideas into successful enterprises. The program is free and open to the community.

Recognizing the former military students bring specialized skills and experience to the School, the Rady School Admissions team worked to provide active duty and veteran students fee waivers for the application to the School as a thank you for their services.

“Veterans bring a unique set of experiences and leadership to the MBA classroom.  The insight they bring adds a great deal of depth and exposure to students who pursued a very different civilian career,” said Jay Bryant, Director of Admissions at the Rady School. “Rady Admissions offers application fee waivers and specialized one on one admissions advising sessions for applicants.  Once a current student, veterans have access to a tight-knit network and resources from UC San Diego’s Veteran Resource Center.”

As more veterans join the Rady School of Management community network, the School is eager to continue to cater to the population to support and grow their entrepreneurial skillset.

June 15, 2018 0 comment
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Ken Wilbur, an Associate Professor of Quantitative Marketing and Business Analytics at the Rady School of Management, recently worked as an advertising expert in the AT&T – Time Warner anti-trust case. The case, described as one of the most influential antitrust cases in recent history, was decided on June 12, 2018 with a federal judge approving the merger.

In a Q & A, Wilbur provided some insights and described the role he played in this landmark legal case.

Q: I understand you worked as an expert on U.S. v. AT&T, the court case that challenged the merger between AT&T and Time Warner. How would you describe the case?

A: It was one of the largest mergers ever proposed. Some newspapers called it as the “antitrust case of the decade.” The combined entity brings in more than $100 billion in annual revenue. It is a “vertical merger,” which is to say, a merger between channel partners.”

Q: What were the major issues in the case?

A: There were a lot of issues, but one of AT&T’s main arguments was that they require scale to create a new advertising platform to compete with tech giants like Facebook and Google to sell ads. The government challenged the merger partly on the basis that AT&T could reduce competition and raise prices in the online video market by preventing competitors from carrying popular cable networks.

Q: What was your specific role in the case? 

A: Each side employed a handful of experts. The role of the experts was to write reports and answer questions on specific topics to explain their side’s position to the judge. There were also multiple rounds of rebuttals between teams of experts on each of the major issues in the case.

Q: Is it common for Rady School faculty to work on legislation like this?

A: The university faculty’s main functions are research, teaching and service. Sometimes, the service mission includes helping companies, courts, regulators, non-profits, or other groups to perform their functions more effectively, for the good of society. Faculty with specific expertise sometimes get asked to apply that expertise; that’s part of the job.

 

June 12, 2018 0 comment
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After earning his bachelor’s in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Omar Turki (MBA ’18) worked at Tesla and Ford Motor Company within the supply chain and logistics areas to gain his expertise in the field. He is graduating with his MBA from the Rady School of Management this month.

Why did you choose to pursue an MBA?

Earning an engineering degree from the University of Michigan, and having a couple of years of technical work experience in fortune 500 firms, I realized the importance of obtaining a management degree as a complement to my skills. I wanted to advance further in my career and gain a holistic knowledge in business, and an MBA seemed to be the perfect match.

Why did you choose the Rady School?

I chose Rady for several reasons. The most important ones were the quality of the faculty who previously taught at schools ranging from Booth to Haas, the ranking and reputation of UC San Diego as one of the best universities in the world, the state of the arts facilities and its location being a 5 minute walk from Black’s beach. In addition, I was offered a generous fellowship award and there was a possibility to study abroad in Italy for a semester at one of Europe’s top business schools.

What do you feel makes Rady unique? How do you benefit from these aspects? 

Being an up and coming school, focused in entrepreneurship, I can feel the entrepreneurship vibe all around the school. From networking with successful alumni who launched their own innovative businesses, to being surrounded by like-minded students coming from all over the world, creativity is in every corner which is not typical for other business schools.

What are some of your favorite classes you have taken at Rady?

I am graduating this month, but looking back at classes I have taken, my favorite was management communication with Todd Salovey, who is a theatre director at UC San Diego’s school of theatre. My public speaking skills improved dramatically after taking that class and the professor made the learning experience unforgettable. Another favorite is the coaching lab for leaders taught by Allison Meyer who flies down from UC Berkeley’s Haas every week to teach at Rady. This class was so essential for my self-awareness, and helped me take my leadership skills one step ahead using real life assignments.

How has your perspective on your career or your life changed since you came to Rady?

During my first year, I landed an MBA internship at the world’s most innovative company — Tesla. It started as a summer internship but I was asked to extend to over a year. Rady was very flexible and allowed me to take a year off from school to pursue this opportunity. At Tesla, I was surrounded by other MBA’s from top schools, and I lead several projects in production, supply chain and logistics. My work played a critical role in the transition phase to producing the model 3 in the Fremont factory. I have seen Elon Musk a couple of times and I finally understood what he meant by nothing is impossible. I could see it at work and I now believe in it too.

What are your goals after graduation?

My goal is to work in Management consulting, to use my skills in different industries and to further enhance my knowledge. I luckily received a couple of job offers and I am excited for what is coming next.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

My advice for other Rady students is network early during your first year and reaching out to people that might be able to get you an interview. People are willing to help and all you need to do is ask.

 

June 5, 2018 0 comment
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Soft skills – social and communication skills, including team work, leadership and public speaking – have always been part of Rady’s MBA curriculum. As the School has grown, Rady has both expanded its soft skills-related curriculum for MBAs and has added such coursework to our specialized Masters’ programs.  An emphasis on leadership, teamwork and communication is a cornerstone not just for the MBA, but for the Master of Science in Business Analytics and the Master of Finance and of Professional Accountancy programs as well.

JoAnne Starr, Assistant Dean of Strategy, Curriculum and Rankings at the Rady School, emphasized the importance of soft skills in professional environments.

“Soft skill development is critical because every business professional needs to work in teams and communicate effectively,” she said. “You can do lots of analyses and compile crucial data points, but unless you can work with your team and can explain why the data is important and what value it has for business decision-making, your impact will be limited at best.”

Courses at Rady, including Management Communication, Strategic Communication and Storytelling, Leadership in a Crisis, and Negotiation, enable students to enhance their soft skills.

“From the beginning of our MBA program, we’ve offered courses focused on teamwork and leadership.  These enable students to gain self-awareness and improve their abilities as professionals and managers,” Starr said. “Teamwork requires speaking and listening, taking feedback, understanding roles and being flexible and adaptable. Teamwork is not simple – it’s a multi-faceted set of skills.”

Many soft skills courses center on teamwork, leadership and communication.  The addition of new courses in these areas has been driven both by student interest and by a recognition that these are among the top skills employers look for in new hires.  One very timely subject in which students have expressed increased interest is working with diverse groups.

“Our MBA students have long told us that the diversity of their class, particularly the international diversity of their classmates, is incredibly useful as a learning experience,” Starr said. “In response to these comments, we are adding an elective focused on diversity in the workplace. It will answer questions such as ‘What are companies really doing now?’ and ‘What is the business case for diversity?’”

“Everything about business is built on communication,” Starr said. “To have real impact, you want to develop the best possible skills for communicating up and down and inside and outside your organization. Rady really gives you the ability to do that.”

June 4, 2018 0 comment
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The Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Amrut Mody School of Management at Ahmedabad University in western India. The MOU creates a mutually beneficial partnership between the universities that will promote academic cooperation and development.

Part of the arrangement includes collaboration on combined research projects and exchanges of faculty and students between campuses. The universities plan to expand their educational capacities by arranging conferences, executive education programs, workshops, and other combined events. The partnership will also allow educational resources, such as library materials, publications, and other science and technology information, to be easily shared between institutions.

Professor Robert S. Sullivan, Dean of the Rady School of Management, and Professor Bibek Banerjee, Senior Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Planning at Ahmedabad University, signed the MOU in April at the San Diego campus. Both parties expressed excitement for this international partnership that will enhance the world-class education and research of both institutions. Professor Sullivan said at the MOU signing event, “Together, with Ahmedabad University, we aim to enhance our reach within India and strengthen our academic aspirations.”

Read more about this partnership here.

June 4, 2018 0 comment
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The San Diego Venture Group recently named the 30 startups on their “Cool Companies” List for 2018, and two companies created at the Rady School made the cut.

LabFellows and Epitracker were among the highly-ranked startups selected from 180 applicants this year. According to the San Diego Business Journal, these “Cool Companies” will meet with about 100 venture capitalists and investors from San Diego and beyond this summer. The SDVG organizes these events to connect the startups with investors and facilitate other opportunities for growth.

LabFellows, founded by Rady alum Julio de Unamuno, manages a software that assists biotechnology startups. De Unamuno (MBA ’14) recognized the difficulties that many biotech companies encounter when starting research and development, including the inability to afford necessary lab equipment and the time-intensive administrative duties. After participating in the Lab to Market course and the StartR Accelerator at Rady, de Unamuno began his subscription-based company that allows startups to access and organize the essential resources for research without the heavy administrative or financial burden that traditional labs require.

Epitracker, founded by 2010 MBA alum Eric Venn-Watson, is also making waves in the biotechnology industry. This startup researches incurable diseases and other health problems through a new perspective—nature. The startup researches dolphins and the oceans to gain valuable insights into possible health discoveries for both humans and animals. Epitracker researches small molecules to find nature-based therapeutics that could aid in numerous health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and skin repair.

Both of these companies will continue to grow and expand with the financial support and recognition of the San Diego Venture Group. The Rady School is excited to see where these startups will take the future of biotechnology.

A complete list of the SDVG “Cool Companies” for 2018 and additional information on the organization can be found here. The San Diego Business Journal article can be found here.

Learn more about Epitracker and LabFellows here.

May 31, 2018 0 comment
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UC San Diego is a hub for the world’s brightest minds to think innovatively and creatively to solve pressing issue and develop solutions to make the world a better place. Students cross the Commencement stage and become alumni poised to put their education into action.

Four outstanding Rady School of Management alumni were recognized on the UC San Diego Alumni 40 Under 40 list, honoring leaders and changemaking Tritons under the age of 40 for their contributions to the greater good.

Byron Myers, MBA ’10
Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Inogen 

  • Inogen’s mission—to improve the quality of life for millions of supplemental oxygen users—began in 2001 when Mae, a beloved grandmother, was prescribed oxygen therapy.
  • Inogen launched an IPO in February 2014, becoming the Rady School’s first startup to achieve this accomplishment.
  • Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 500™ recognized Inogen as One of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America, and the co-founders were awarded as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year and Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs in America.

Peter J. Preuss, MBA ’14
Director of Business Development, Tecate Group 

  • Professional experience at leading edge of technologies and education in virtual reality, augmented reality, AI, robotics and energy, working to democratize the field of robotics and automation.
  • Success as Director of Business Development at the Tecate Group and at Brain Corporation, working with frontier technologies like robotics, drones and artificial intelligence. At Qualcomm, Preuss worked in the Vuforia Augmented Reality group, where he helped foster the first Developer community and run the first Augmented Reality competition.
  • Passionate about education, science, technology and medical research, his philanthropic roles include vice president of the Preuss Family Foundation, co-chair of the Preuss School Gala, board member at the Ruben H. Fleet Science center and EvoNexus committee member.

Pierre Sleiman, MBA ’13
Founder and CEO, Go Green Agriculture 

  • At Go Green Agriculture, innovation and farming are combined to find new ways to grow healthy food locally and reduce environmental impact. Go Green has become one of the largest organic-hydroponic producers in the U.S, producing 500,000 heads of hydroponically grown organic lettuce per month.
  • Sleiman’s vision is to have “mini-farms” in every urban area of the U.S., supplying local and organic food, eliminating the need for major trucking, creating local jobs and improving food quality. The company reports that by employing state-of-the-art technology, it uses one-fifth of the land typically needed in traditional farming, has reduced water usage up to 80% and enjoys 365 days of production per year.
  • Awards include President Obama’s “Champion of Change” in “The Future of Agriculture,” the 2015 UC San Diego Alumni Emerging Leader Award and San Diego Magazine’s “50 People to Watch.”

Ashley Van Zeeland, MBA ’12
Chief Technology Officer, Human Longevity, Inc. 

  • Career is focused on commercializing life science technologies and developing synergistic relationships between commercial and academic research pursuits. Co-founded Cypher Genomics, now part of Human Longevity Inc., producing groundbreaking work in the genetics of autism and supervising large-scale genetic sequencing studies.
  • Listed in San Diego Business Journal’s 500 Influential Business Leaders of 2016.
  • A passionate alumna, Van Zeeland received 2016 UC San Diego Alumni Emerging Leader Award, has served as a Rady School Alumni Board Member; Rady School Advisory Board Member, California Institute for Innovation & Development (CIID); and Rady School of Management Spokesperson for their “Rady Made” and “Never Stop Starting Up” Campaigns.

 

May 25, 2018 0 comment
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