LA Makers: Journey from Discovery to Market

Thursday April 25, 2019 4-6pm in the CNSI Auditorium. This event was co-sponsored by INFEWS and the Magnify incubator, with LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) as a collaborator.

Paula Diaconescu gave an overview about the INFEWS program, Brian Benson spoke about Magnify, and then Mike Swords followed up with a summary of LACI. The moderator then took over with each panelist making their brief introductions and then getting into the discussion. 

Overview of planned moderator questions:

  • As an entrepreneur, what was the catalyst and what was your process of getting your tech out of the lab and into a startup?

    • Queue up your original story, struggles with tech transfer, etc.

  • What were/are the key challenges you face/faced after you started the business?

    • raising capital, building the tech team, developing the product, etc.

  • What were/are the key challenges you face/faced in the transition from a product development organization to a commercial organization?

    • building the sales team, raising capital, product market-fit, go-to-market strategy, etc.

  • What local resources were you able to leverage along the way?

    • Plugs for LACI, Magnify, INFEWS, etc.; benefits of incubators/accelerators: co-location with other startups, etc.

  • What advice do you have for audience members considering starting up a tech business?

    • The important of team building, relationships, surviving the ups and downs, etc.

We had about 150 registrants for this event primarily made up of UCLA faculty, students, and staff.  Attendees also included non-UCLA participants from startup companies, investors and various other groups. The panel concluded with refreshments in the lobby.

INFEWS Program Manager