Venture Team Program



Venture Teams form Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters. 

The Venture Team Program and MPHARM 287 course are offered in conjunction in Fall and Spring Quarters to provide initial and in-depth exposure to the program. The program provides hands-on experience for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in evaluating the commercial potential of transitioning emerging technologies from laboratory to market.  Activities include:  assessing commercial viability of faculty inventions, intellectual property and regulatory landscape analysis, market analysis, as well as the opportunity to hear from industry speakers.  Teams pitch their recommended path for commercialization and compete in the annual Venture Team Competition for a $30,000 award towards advancing their technology.

BSC Venture Teams work closely with UCLA inventors and the Office of Intellectual Property to aid the technology transfer process. Since its inception in 2011, 49 Venture Teams have performed feasibility studies to assess UCLA technologies.  In 2015, 63 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from the biological sciences, medicine, engineering, business, and law have gained experience working on cross-functional teams and evaluating the translational positioning of UCLA technologies.  This partnership offers students a unique opportunity to learn how people from different disciplines view and address problems.

The results from a Venture Team support faculty and technology transfer by providing an analysis of the:

  • Intellectual property and regulatory landscape
  • Market size and commercial hurdles
  • Recommended path for development and commercialization


The BSC has a close partnership with the Office of Intellectual Property and we are here to assist the entrepreneurial community at UCLA in advancing their technologies to fulfill the promise of innovation for the public benefit. If you’re interested in exploring opportunities to translate your technology from the lab to the market where it can impact critical unmet needs, please submit your proposal to Samantha Le at Ready to submit your application? Please submit your application here.

Venture Teams Competition

– 5 Proof-of-Concept Grants Awarded
• 2011: 2 awards, $20,000 each

  • Both recipients, Richard Gatti,MD, & Arion Chatziioannou, PhD, have licensed their technologies and one has also signed a sponsored research agreement

• 2012: 1 award, $30,000

  • Xiao, Hu, PhD, has established a startup company, Neural Analytics, which has successfully developed a noninvasive method of measuring intracranial pressure called RapidICP and has raised substantial equity. The group also won the Mass Challenge Competition in 2013 and gained the opportunity to test RapidICP on the International Space Station.

• 2013: 1 award, $30,000

  • Robert Cameron, MD is developing a video-guided device that provides physicians with visual aid during the chest tube insertion process, greatly reducing the risk of pneumothorax. He has conducted successful outside fundraising to begin clinical trials shortly.

• 2014: 1 award, $30,000

  • Anahid Jewett, PhD., M.P.H., is initiating Phase I clinical studies on a compound that is able to protect teeth from the adverse side effects of commercial whitening agents.

2014 winners of our Venture Team Competition
NAC: The Solution for Healthier and Whiter Teeth!

2014 Venture Team Judging Panel

2014 Venture Team Judging Panel

2014 Venture Team Competition

2014 Venture Team Competition


2014 Venture Team Competition


“The Venture Team Program was a tremendous boost to our Visitube project by providing valuable team members, feedback and mentoring, and even money (if you win). Some team members have even remained on the project and successfully landed additional funding with a start-up device company soon to follow. This was all catalyzed by the Venture Team Program!” – Robert Cameron, Ph.D., Winner of 2013 Venture Team Competition for his technology, Video-Guided Chest Tube Insertion System.

“The program is fantastic in educating the students and inventors alike, as well as bringing exposure to innovation at UCLA.” – Massoud Akhtari Ph.D., Associate Professor of Semel Neuropsychiatric Institutes/NPI, Winner of 2015 Venture Team Competition for his technology, Visualization of Alzheimer’s Disease On MRI.


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