Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Startups Entrepreneurship Academy at UCSC Seeks Mentors

By Nada Miljkovic
Crown College Instructor at UCSC
Special to Santa Cruz Tech Beat

(Photo above: Students present at SEA’s 2017 Summer Session. Credit: Jennifer Hamilton)

Dear Business Entrepreneurs,

Do you love helping young budding entrepreneurs? Are you an expert in the fields of AI Technologies, Video Games, Product and App Development? Do you love being a mentor and have an extra half hour a week?

If yes, UCSC’s Crown College needs your help for a team of UCSC undergraduates that are currently taking Startups Entrepreneurship Academy (SEA). The class teaches the students the lean startup principles to business development. The teams are in the early stages of customer research and product discovery.

Being a mentor would entail having 5 weekly 20-minute virtual meetings guiding students on the road to creating successful startups and providing contacts that can help with their market research.

The teams are investigating a range of solutions, from hardware to software products. Here’s what they are working on:

  • Optima Bots uses AI to find the most optimal process/design of our client’s service/product, in order to maximize profits and minimize inefficiency.
  • Technomite is developing an action thrilling role-playing WWII video game in real-time strategy in an open world that highlights humanitarian aspects using Ai for adaptable gameplay.
  • PiggyBack is an application that allows people in the same vicinity to pool their shipping orders for various online retailers in order to obtain free shipping.
  • Spark Luggage allows any traveler in any location to charge their devices without worrying about finding an outlet wherever they go.
  • Irradiant Designs offers high quality, luminous tritium jewelry in various precious metals for anyone who wants to stand out in the dark.
  • Additive Energy is committed to providing channels for people to harvest their own mobile energy. Their first product is an Additive Energy’s Solar Rack is a removable rack that you can attach to your EV [maybe hybrid as well] and connect to your car’s regenerative energy circuits.
  • ClubR is an application for groups management and easy registration and information exchange between school organization and students.
  • Near Menu is a cost-effective digitized menu service for restaurants utilizing near field communication (NFC) and QR codes instead of physical advertising.
  • LeafParking provides affordable, convenient, and easy to find parking spots where you need it most. Think an Airbnb for parking in SF.

If you’re interested or have any questions, please contact me at by October 27, 2017.


Nada Miljkovic
Instructor, Startups Entrepreneurship Academy


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