About Startup UCLA

Advisory Council 

Alex Capecelatro
Co-Founder & CEO, Josh.ai
Alice Kao
Co-Founder & CEO, Sender One Climbing
Ashley Merrill
Founder & CEO, Lunya Co-Founder, The Deep Chairwoman, Outdoor Voices
Barry Eggers
Founder, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Bob Murphy
President, MurCal
Brian Lee
Co-Founder & Managing Director, BAM Ventures
Brian Thomas
Founder, Clutter Venture Partner, Resolute Ventures
Eytan Elbaz
Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Social Native Co-Founder, Scopely
Frank Caufield
Managing Partner & Founder, Darwin Ventures
James Shaw
Former Engineering Manager, Uber
Jesse Draper
Founding Partner, Halogen Ventures//Valley Girl Inc.
Jim Armstrong
Managing Director & Co-Founder, March Capital Partners
John Tabis
Founder & Chairman of the Board, The Bouqs Co.
Kevin Henrikson
VP of Engineering, Instacart
Kimberly Bertz
Head of Workplace Services & Experience Wells Fargo & Company
Kirk Dunn
Investor, Cerebra
Lawrence Chew
Assistant General Counsel, Varian Medical Systems Managing Partner, CSMI Ventures Founder, RealtyBates
Michael Brown
Corporate Partner, Fenwick and West LLP
Michael Wynholds
CEO, Carbon Five Inc.
Natasha Case
CEO & Co-Founder, Coolhaus
Radhika Tandon
Chair of Advisory Council, Founder, Workdom Co-Founder, ISHARYA CMO, Tandon Group
Raj Judge
Co-Chair, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Richard Wolpert
Executive Chairman, HelloTech Inc., Venture Advisor, Amplify.LA, Venture Advisor, Accel Partners
Scott Dudelson
Co-Founder, Prodege
Skot Carruth
CEO & Co-founder, Philosophie Group Inc.
Susan Feldman
Founder, In The Groove Co-Founder, One Kings Lane


Robert Jadon
Co-founder, Director, Startup UCLA's Summer Accelerator
Entrepreneur, Investor

Tim Groeling
Co-Founder, Startup UCLA; Professor & Chair, Department of Communication Studies

Jaime Balboa
Assistant Dean for Summer Sessions, Communications, and External Partnerships

Deanna Evans
Executive Director, Entrepreneurial Programs

Glentrez Thornton
Assistant Director & Entrepreneur in Residence

Rachael Parker-Chavez
Venture Consultant & Outreach Associate

Christina Cha
Intern (Social Media & Community Outreach)

Shirley Li
Intern (Social Media & Community Outreach)

Maggie Tully
Intern (Social Media & Community Outreach)

Kathy Daniels
Intern (Data & Website)


Startup UCLA was established in 2012 with the first Summer Accelerator for UCLA students/alumni to develop their tech-startups during a ten-week highly intensive program. The Summer Accelerator provides early-stage startups with a workspace and guidance by top entrepreneurs, investors and skill experts. The ten-week program incorporates best practices and knowledge in entrepreneurship, technology, and design. The teams travel to the Bay Area to visit venture capital firms and startup entrepreneurs, making valuable connections while getting constructive feedback on their pitches from industry professionals. The culminating event is Demo Day when the teams pitch to our growing network of local entrepreneurs and investors.

So far, Summer Accelerator entrepreneurs have created and attracted funding for innovative startups ranging from mobile applications to educational technology and eCommerce platforms. An added benefit is the collaboration among teams with the Accelerator becoming a testing ground for ideas and approaches across team members.

From the beginning, Startup UCLA sought to develop a culture of startup thinking on campus, to connect students with alumni who are successful in the startup world, to give students opportunities to learn the basics of startup thinking, and to provide a community in which students can develop and launch their early-stage ideas.

It quickly became evident that UCLA students/alumni are passionate about being entrepreneurs by the attendance at on-campus entrepreneurship events, the growing number of Summer Accelerator applications each year, and the creation of student groups such as Bruin Entrepreneurs.

Being awarded the three-year Blackstone LaunchPad grant with UCI, USC, and LAEDC was seen as an opportunity for UCLA to bring in a high-quality structured program that directly strengthens current opportunities and would add to the entrepreneurial resources offered to UCLA students/alumni by Startup UCLA.

The Blackstone LaunchPad introduces entrepreneurship as a viable career option with focus on students who are earlier in the entrepreneurial education process. Through venture consultant meetings, mentoring, workshops, and events, the Blackstone LaunchPad helps students use their education to start new businesses, find viable careers in entrepreneurship, and create jobs.

Through the Blackstone LaunchPad at UCLA and the Summer Accelerator, Startup UCLA provides a community in which students/alumni can develop and launch their ideas.

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