Santa Cruz Tech Beat


UC launches the “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign

University of California Office of the President (UCOP)

October 26, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

The University of California has just launched the “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign for alumni entrepreneurs, which will highlight the work of UC alumni to create the next generation of innovative products and services.

Starting today, UC alumni entrepreneurs and startup leaders are invited to submit two-minute videos and associated pitch materials explaining their vision and strategy to UC’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Video submissions will be featured on and will be used to publicize individual stories, as well as the breadth and depth of the entrepreneurial activity within UC’s vast alumni network.

Submissions received by Dec. 15, 2017 will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished corporate mentors, who will then select five alumni entrepreneur finalists to pitch their startup to more than 600 business leaders and venture capitalists at the 2018 Global Corporate Venturing & Innovation (GCVI) Summit in Monterey on Jan. 30–Feb. 1, 2018. Mentors will provide one-on-one coaching to the finalists in preparation for their finale pitch at GCVI.

The “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign for UC alumni is supported by Future Planet Capital (FPC), a global innovation fund. Following the GCVI pitch session, FPC will also select one additional finalist to take part in the second annual Future Planet Awards, which take place at Global Corporate Venturing’s symposium in London in May 2018.

Mentors for the alumni entrepreneur contest are:

  • Barbara Burger, president of Chevron Technology Ventures;
  • Vitaly Golomb, partner and global startup evangelist at HP Tech Ventures;
  • Francis Ho, head of digital health for Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center and vice president and managing director, Samsung Catalyst;
  • Jeremy Kranz, SVP, head of Technology Investment Group, GIC; and
  • Lo Toney, founding managing partner of Plexo Capital

Alumni entrepreneurs interested in competing to pitch at the 2018 GCVI Summit should submit their materials by 11:59 p.m. PST, on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. The five finalists will be announced on or around Jan. 3, 2018.

The UC system is an innovation powerhouse, not only in California but throughout the world. UC generates an average of five inventions per day and holds more patents than any other university in the country. In 2013, UC President Napolitano launched the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative to leverage the scale and diversity of the UC system to build an even more vibrant entrepreneurial culture.

The “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign was originally launched in 2016 to highlight the innovation and creativity of student entrepreneurs. In May, 19 student entrepreneurs pitched some of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists at a lunch hosted by Napolitano and Christine Gulbranson, UC’s senior vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship.

For more information about the campaign, the alumni entrepreneur contest and innovation driven by the UC system, visit


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