Startup companies have introduced innovative technology, unique products and even new social networks. At UCLA, four startups are also addressing some of society’s most important challenges, from reaching swing voters to inspiring leadership skills in adolescent girls.
Based on its successful first few years of incubating startups at UCLA, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation has partnered with the University of California to bring the Blackstone LaunchPad to eight more UC campuses.
Karida Brown, UCLA assistant sociology professor, was inspired to create a support network for academics of social change last year when she realized how many of her contemporaries, herself included, would consider themselves a combination of scholar, organizer and activist — just like NAACP co-founder and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois.
Chancellor Gene Block offered encouragement to UCLA’s newest entrepreneurs during his visit to Startup UCLA’s Summer Accelerator in early August.
In a roundtable discussion with UCLA students and Chicago entrepreneurs at Startup UCLA on Feb. 12, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was adamant that despite all his career accomplishments, it is his failures, not his successes, that continue to teach him his biggest lessons.