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商院动态:UCLA Anderson Becomes An Entrepreneurial Epicenter (1/3)  

2017-01-28 03:13:11|  分类: 学校与选校 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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商院动态:UCLA Anderson Becomes An Entrepreneurial Epicenter (1/3)

 

Why UCLA Anderson Is Poised To Become An Entrepreneurial Epicenter (1/3)
 
BY: JEFF SCHMITT ON JANUARY 27, 2017

 

 

Ever hear the stories about pajama-clad dissidents who leveled industries from their basements or garages? It’s a popular archetype…one based on the humble beginnings of Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, and Larry Page. If you’re an MBA, the best route to riches may not be hunkering down in a split foyer, like a sleeper cell readying to pounce on docile financial services or telecom giants. Instead, your best bet might be to leverage the resources in the wider ecosystem of your host university.

That’s one of the reasons for the success at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. This year, Anderson placed three firms in Poets&Quants’ Top 100 business school startups, ranking the program ahead of such luminaries as UT McCombs, UVA Darden, and Chicago Booth. Among the top MBA programs, Anderson may be poised to breakout many more top startups to go along with its proud tradition of churning out category definers like Hulu and SnapChat.

UCLA ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEFINED BY CROSS-CAMPUS COLLABORATION

One reason is the larger university itself, known for its blue ribbon research capabilities and strengths in the engineering, medicine, mathematics, and psychology. Anderson isn’t shy about leveraging this cluster of brainpower, says Al Osborne, senior associate dean at the school. In fact, it is his defining mission. “What’s different about what I’m trying to do,” Osborne explains in an interview withPoets&Quants, “is to allow our students to collide with scientists and principal investigators and see if there are ideas that can be licensed to solve real problems.”

He cites Leo Petrossian, founder of Neural Analytics, as an example of this approach. A biotech and nanotech engineer by trade, Petrossian was fascinated by how technology could be used to treat and reduce brain trauma. With experts in computer science and medicine within a short distance of Anderson, Petrossian took research developed at UCLA and applied it to commercializing a device that’s under FDA review. In the end, the device is expected to potentially detect strokes and track brain health. Such solutions are emblematic of Anderson’s entrepreneurial strengths: “consumer-facing, digital content, entertainment tech enabled that solves a problem in either the b-to-b or b-to-c space,” says Osborne.

UCLA MBAs HELP SPARK THE SURGE OF TECH FIRMS IN “SILICON BEACH”

Beyond the UCLA campus, Anderson is blessed by deep-rooted and wide-ranging industry brawn inherent to the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Osborne touts the region’s defense and aerospace industries, adding that he believes the area boasts the largest collection of job-creating middle market companies in the country. While LA may be synonymous with entertainment, its richest resource is technology, mythologized in the form of “Silicon Beach.”  Stretching from Westwood to Manhattan Beach, this tech hot spot ranks among the world’s largest and wealthiest tech hubs. It features plucky such  startups as ZipRecruiter and TigerText springing up among seasoned digital players like Google and BuzzFeed — with plenty of angel investors hovering on the lookout for the next game changer.  When SnapChat goes public, Osborne predicts it will only amplify the virtuous cycle that the region has enjoyed.

“It will increase the effectiveness of Silicon Beach as a place because we will have a very significant valuation and some exits from those that came down here to build. The big thing that I think is going to make a difference is the tech- enabled consumer entertainment digital content space that has the comparable advantages of the Disneys of the world, along with all the support networks — the support companies that deal with them in the movie business — is going to be a comparative advantage that other places just don’t have. It’s huge. When you have a valuation or exit like Snap, it will instantly create the millionaires that have the money necessary to attract others from other spaces to come down here.”

Such a response would only be good news for Anderson MBAs. “Anderson taps into this network of startups and established firms,” Osborne adds. “We are the place where companies look for talent and students can be part of internship programs to work in these companies.”

PRICE CENTER ACTS AS THE HUB FOR UCLA STARTUP EFFORTS

At UCLA, the Anderson School —and the Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in particular — acts as the epicenter of entrepreneurship across the UCLA campus. From organizing one of the largest clubs on campus (Entrepreneur Association) to housing a brand new 10,000 square foot accelerator, Price is gearing up to become the go-to school for ambitious MBAs looking to stake their claim at the intersection of digital technology and burgeoning industries like entertainment, supply chains, and retail. “I think that by adopting an active learning approach, one that tries to leverage relationships with the rest of the campus, we can have a rich experience,” adds Osborne.” Being in LA, we are able to bring on a real set of opportunities for students to work with and interact with folks who are doing big things not only in Silicon Beach, but middle market companies that bring a variety of experiences in terms of the emphasis primarily in technology like consumer-facing ecommerce and retail.”

Osborne himself is a bit of an institution, if not a legend, at UCLA. Holding three advanced degrees, including an MBA and a Ph.D. from Stanford, Osborne has spent 42 years at UCLA, interrupted in the 1970s by a stint as a Brookings Fellow at the Securities and Exchange Commission (after he’d already earned tenure). In 1987, he founded the Price Center and has served as both mastermind and champion for it ever since. While he could easily retire knowing he’d left his mark on thousands of successful entrepreneurs at UCLA and beyond, he is far too engaged and ambitious to settle back. Instead, he intends to continue working as a servant leader who helps others drive the action.

“UCLA is an amazing place,” he shares. “Southern California is blessed with a tremendous set of natural resources. This is an area where the process of discovery in the next century will blossom. There is something special about Southern California that has not been tapped that is in the process of being developed.”

Last week, Poets&Quants sat down with Osborne to learn about the resources available to Anderson entrepreneurs, along with how he sees the nature of entrepreneurship transforming in the coming years. Here are his thoughts in an intensive and far-flung interview.

P&Q: In 2016, you launched the Anderson Accelerator to nurture UCLA-based startups. Talk to us about the services the accelerator offers; what it takes to be accepted into it; and some of the companies there now and success stories that have come out of it?

AO: The accelerator has been around a little over a year. We made a decision that those accepted into the accelerator would come from those who came out of our cohort-based curriculum in what we call our Business Creation Options. Those are the projects that students need to do for their MBA degree. The Accelerator facility is not unlike others, in that it has a co-working space along with a kitchen, presentation room, and conference rooms. We’re located in first floor of the Anderson Library, so our students also have assistance from the research librarians. We have mentors and advisors. We’ve started with MBAs, but we are adding undergraduates. We actually just started an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship as well.

I think of this as an active learning space. It shows our commitment to making the startup experience a part of the curriculum. That’s where the Business Creation Option comes into play. All MBA students are eligible for the incubator. How do you get accepted into it? For an MBA student, the space is available at no cost. You have the opportunity to be there for at least 20 weeks, with the possible renewable option (should things be moving along) consistent with pre-determined milestones. To get into the accelerator, you would have taken the curriculum. You’ve been through our initial Entrepreneurship class (We call it 295A – Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation) and 295B (Small Business Management), which includes business plan development, where you’ve done a feasibility study and formed a cohort. As a result, you’ll probably have a team that is working on some kind of concept or business model that you think can be useful. Therefore, you might submit an application. If you apply to the accelerator, you have a well-developed case for building an enterprise of some sort. These are the primary ways that we ensure the integrity of curricular foundation for building the accelerator. Alumni are also eligible to come back to the accelerator for a nominal price. The key thing: We want to be sure that we first service our MBA students and get their ideas going.  If alumni want to come back and be part of that space, we will try to accommodate that as we go forward.

It’s too early to talk about success. Given the timing, I don’t expect to really see anything for 2-3 years. We did have one team that was in the accelerator last year that came out of our cohort-based curriculum and is doing rather well. It is a Chilean entrepreneurship student named Enrique Mesa and he started a company called Rank Me, which is a human resources platform that he was able to develop while he was spending a lot of time in the accelerator.

The accelerator is open 24×7. Students will have key access, so they come-and-go as a result. The space has all the digital and technology strappings that are necessary: Whiteboards all around, Wi-Fi, separate rooms for private conference calls and small group meetings. The whole thing is 10,000 square feet. Co-working space is about 4,000 square feet.

Once the field stud and the part related to getting a degree is done, we are able to offer summer support so they are able to stay working on their concepts. That summer support would be equivalent to fellowships that pay for room and board and what you need to stay around, stay focused, and not have to worry about if you can pay the rent or eat.

We expect, as we move forward, to have funds available for more substantial, earlier Series A type of financing. We fully expect that the teams and students are fully ready to start a business. That’s how you get in. You’re selected. You’ve done feasibility and have a plan put forth to go out and do the sorts of things that you were taught to do and are necessary to get out the door such as talking to potential customers. Then, you come back and refine ideas and use some of those principles as part of the experience.

The number of enterprises in the accelerator is now about 60 or so, including 15 or so teams.  These are cohorts and there are generally four students in a team. They are admitted into the accelerator twice a year. Then, you’ll find the occasional person who is a postdoc who is working with one of our students. For example, we have a postdoc in dental school working with students on project. Remember, there are two branches of 2nd year MBA students if they have elected the business creation option. They have a choice to come in during the fall quarter and there is another group starting in the winter quarter where  we’ll expect to see another 10-15 students or so. So the population could easily be 20-25 teams working on a project and upwards of 90-100 students.

These are just the MBA numbers. There are also undergrads too. One of the things we’re learning is that with the explosion of knowledge, kids today aren’t waiting for graduate school to so something meaningful.  We have undergraduates who are giving up career opportunities to start businesses as the result of the undergraduate minor courses. 

P&Q: UCLA is one of the most-highly regarded public universities in the United States, with top flight programs in areas like medicine and engineering. How does Anderson partner with these other schools to nurture startup efforts?

AO: The Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation sees itself as a leader and convener in many ways, working with other schools like the medical and engineering schools, along with the College of Letters and Sciences. Also, in particular, we are working with some of the derivative medical schools like dentistry and public health that have been engaged in projects. We also have joint degree programs. We have students who are getting their MD and MBA or getting another undergraduate degree in another school along with an MBA. We are also in the process of putting together a large Masters degree program in data analytics involving the computer sciences department in the Samueli School of Engineering. We also work with what I am calling the other campus accelerators that are getting started such as the California NanoSystems Institute. That is where we have had some success with our students starting businesses there working with a principal investigator (PI).

We also collaborate on south campus seminars with faculty PIs. We work closely with the university’s Office of Intellectual Property (OIP). As you know, all professors’ ideas belong to the Regency of California. To the extent that we start a business with some of these colleagues across the campus involves a license from the university to move forward with the commercialization. We work with UCLA’s creative boundary organization called Westwood Technology Management. All of these things are new to UCLA, generally a year old just like our accelerator.

To give you an idea of how this might work, we teach a class called Ed Tech Innovation. This looks at issues in hospitals and health systems and proposes solutions (such as medical devices) through student projects, some of which have the potential to be a startup. I have taught a course called Technology Commercialization. The idea is to use university-based research. Another course involves intellectual property, developed by a PI who is housed in OIP. Perhaps there is an invention that needs some kind of assessment, particularly a market or financial assessment to see whether the idea is technically feasible and if there is a customer segment that would value it. The course involves a technology assessment and a market study to see if it makes sense to put it together and develop a plan to move the idea forward into an incubator or elsewhere.

We do a bunch of mixers to bring graduate students together. One of the largest organizations on campus is the Entrepreneur Association in the Anderson School that takes the lead in the convening of all of these activities. We sometimes work with writing business plans as part of course assignments for students that result in a business being started by an engineering student. I can think of a company that was started that way, where the investigator eventually sold company that was started with the business plan and gave us some consideration for helping him do it with a seven figure contribution to the Anderson School. That was a wonderful way to show that we can add value to the rest of the campus: we can work with the faculty on the business elements that they aren’t necessarily comfortable with, but can move the idea in a way that mitigates their risk and they begin to understand what it means to move a little bit downstream without the pressure of outsiders trying to get them to be part of their situation. So we provide an intermediary function whose value can be trusted in this context.

We look forward to innovating, particularly with medical-related devices and therapeutics. Folks here are doing amazing things putting business ideas on paper and aligning our interests. 

 

 

以上内容摘自:

http://poetsandquants.com/2017/01/27/ucla-anderson-poised-become-entrepreneurial-epicenter/ 

 

 

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