Venture Competition

  • Monday, June 04, 2012
  • 3:30pm-5:30pm
  • Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) Auditorium
  • 635 Charles E Young Drive South
  • Los Angeles, CA 90095

Do you know what it takes to pitch your technology venture to an audience of investors? Do you want first look at innovative solutions being developed in UCLA labs?

During  our Spring 2012 Venture Competition, 6 exciting technologies were showcased as one received $30,000 of proof-of-concept funding to help take the project from the laboratory to the market. The teams consisted of PhD, MBA and medical students working with faculty inventors and industry mentors to evaluate and support the translation of UCLA innovations. This was an excellent opportunity to experience an investment presentation first hand and learn from the candid feedback of our respected judging panel. The BSC also hosted a networking hour to facilitate connections between inventors, judges, students, and entrepreneurs!

Please take a look at our Event Program to learn more.


Finalist technologies (in no particular order):

BSC VC Finalist:  Device to Treat Radiation Induced Proctitis
Lead Inventor: Brennan Spiegel, MD
Mentor: William Pratt, VP Operations, Kinamed, Inc.
Venture Team:
Rachel Alevy – Anderson MBA Candidate
Freddie Daver – PhDc at UCLA, Molecular Imaging
Meghedi Babakhanian- PhDc at UCLA, Biomedical Engineering
Jesse Zaretsky – Medical student
Joseph Mack – Anderson MBA Candidate

BSC VC Finalist:  Novel Non-peptidomimetic Prenyl Transferase Inhibitors
Lead Inventor: Ohyun Kwon, PhD, Chemistry
Mentor: Brian Varnum, VP Product Development, C3 Jian.
Venture Team:
Shuen-Ing Tschen – PhDc at UCLA, Pathobiology
Baozhong Zhu – Anderson MBA Candidate
Fred Ellis – Anderson MBA Candidate
Bryan Nowroozi – Postdoctoral Scholar at UCLA

BSC VC Finalist: The Pen, a Portable, Enhanced Diagnostic Device
Lead Inventor: Daniel Kamei, PhD, Bioengineering
Mentor: Harry Rittenhouse, Senior Director at Gen-Probe
Venture Team:
Raj Pai – Post doctoral Scholar at UCLA
Alex Baklajian – Undergraduate at UCLA
Steve Blum – Medical Student
Bo Liu – Anderson MBA Candidate

BSC VC Finalist: Algorithm for Continuous Brain Assessment Using Intracranial Pressure Measurements
Lead Inventor: Xiao Hu, PhD, Bioengineering
Mentor: France Helfer, CEO and President, Halo Healthcare, Inc.
Venture Team:

Rui Luo – PhDc at UCLA, Human/Medical Genetics
Daphne Cheng – Anderson MBA Candidate
Hu Ye – PhDc at UCLA, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Cindy Tran – PhDc at UCLA

BSC VC Finalist: New Use of Drug for Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder
Lead Inventors: Jason Schiffman, MD, MBA, MA, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.
Mentor:  Mike Gresser, Chief Scientific Officer, Myelin Repair Foundation and Owner of Clarity Therapeutics Consulting
Venture Team:
Weixiang Chen – PhDc at UCLA, Neurobiology
Sagar Thaker – Anderson MBA Candidate
Yoheng Chang – Anderson MBA Candidate
Shewit Tekeste – PhDc at UCLA, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

BSC VC Finalist: iRehab- Mobile Rehabilitation Gaming System
Lead Inventors: Majid Sarrafzadeh, MS, PhD, Electrical Engineering
Mentor: Bryan Walser, CEO and co-founder Allergen Research Corporation, CEO Akrotome Imaging, and CEO Perlegen Sciences, Inc.
Venture Team:
Tom Butler – Anderson MBA Candidate
Jeremy Cook – Postdoctoral Scholar at UCLA
Jason Wakizaka – Anderson MBA Candidate
Nick Dietz – undergraduate at UCLA

Venture Team Consultant: Nancy Patternson, PhD, Strategy, Inc.

Judging Panel:

John Adams, M.D

Dr. Adams is the founding director of the Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center and a member of the senior advisory committee in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and Life Science Faculty Executive Committee in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. He formerly was founding program director for the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for 13 years, a founding co-director of the inter-institutional UCLA K30 clinical research curriculum grant, and director of the Bone Center and Division of Endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for 10 years. His translational and clinical research efforts have been continuously funded by NIH for the last 30 years.

George Colindres, JD

George Colindres is of counsel with the Business practice and Emerging Companies practice in Perkins Coie’s San Diego and Los Angeles offices.

He acts as outside general counsel for clients in a diverse array of industries, including social networking, e-commerce, online advertising, online gaming, software, hardware, telecommunications, medical devices, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and real estate. George also represents venture capital firms, strategic investors, angel groups and other investors in connection with their participation in preferred stock and convertible promissory note (bridge) financings, as well as with fund formation and governance matters.

In addition, George represents real estate funds and related companies in connection with fund formation and governance matters, as well as with investments, divestitures, secured transactions and other transactions.

Susan Hershenshon, Ph.D

Dr. Susan Hershenson is the founder and President of Pharmaceutical Transformations LLC, a consulting service for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.  She has more than 25 years of experience in drug development.  At Genentech she served as Vice President of Pharmaceutical and Device Development, with responsibility for end-to-end development of all of Genentech’s biological drug products. She also led corporate initiatives to strengthen drug product development and establish new capabilities in a variety of areas including drug delivery, device development, packaging and shipping, and candidate assessments.

Dr. Hershenson came to Genentech from Amgen where she served in a number of positions, most recently Vice President of Pharmaceutics, with responsibility for formulation development, physicochemical characterization, and delivery systems for all of Amgen’s drug products.  Under her direction, the department contributed significantly to the launch and support of a number of commercial products.

Dr. Hershenson earned a B.A. in Chemistry (with Honors) from University of Chicago; received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Yale University; and held a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Stroud at UCSF.  Dr. Hershenson continues to publish and teach actively and serves on the SAC for several companies and nonprofit organizations.

Brendan Rauw, MBA

Brendan Rauw is Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Executive Director of Entrepreneurship (AVCR), in the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research (OIP-ISR) at the University of California, Los Angeles.

As AVCR, Mr. Rauw is responsible for leading the OIP-ISR office, and all operational, strategic and public-interfacing duties related to growing and enhancing technology transfer and industry-sponsored research. As the strategic leader, Mr. Rauw is responsible for developing and overseeing a variety of programs designed to stimulate and encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and transfer of intellectual property into real-world applications, across UCLA’s campus, medical center and affiliated hospitals and community clinics.

Previously, Mr. Rauw held senior leadership roles at both Columbia Technology Ventures, consistently ranked one of the top tech transfer offices in the United States, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, a new private university in Saudi Arabia. In both roles, he directly advised faculty and student entrepreneurs.

Mr. Rauw was also a project leader in the New York office of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he provided strategy consulting to leading private equity firms and billion-dollar biopharmaceutical companies. He also worked in corporate and business development with Genzyme Corporation and Celator Pharmaceuticals, a private biopharmaceutical company that has raised over $120 million since 2000.

He has an undergraduate degree with high honors in biology from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a recipient of the McArthur Fellowship.

Dwight C. Streit, Ph.D

Dwight C. Streit is director of the UCLA Engineering Institute for Technology Advancement. He is also a distinguished professor in the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science with a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Electrical Engineering Department.  Prior to joining UCLA in 2010 he was – over the past 25 years – vice president, director, technical fellow and contributing engineer for advanced technologies at Northrop Grumman and TRW Space & Electronics.  He joined TRW in 1986 and Northrop Grumman in 2002 via the acquisition of TRW.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE and AAAS, and a member of the NASA Space Foundation Technology Hall of Fame.  He has over 300 technical publications and conference presentations with 22 U.S. and 10 international patents. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UCLA in 1986 and was the UCLA Engineering Alumnus of the Year in 2003.



The Venture Competition is sponsored by Perkins Coie, LLC and The UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute

The Networking Hour is sponsored by the Society of Postdoctoral Scholars

The judging panel and Venture Team is introduced by Nancy Patterson representing Strategy Inc.