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11.22.17 - Igniting Tech Explores the Tech Portal Experience

Panel session at Fall 2017 Igniting Tech seminar at CALIT2


According to conventional wisdom, nine out of 10 startups fail. The problem? It’s not true.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says 66 percent of startups make it to two years and roughly half of new businesses survive five years of operation. But often, very early-stage startups are not ready to jump head first into the commercial marketplace. That’s why CALIT2 opened TechPortal, a pre-incubator to house and assist young startups still in the process of formulating business plans, developing prototypes, establishing an entrepreneurial team, soliciting investments and preparing for market readiness. since its launch in 2010,  TechPortal has been home to 16 startups, many of which have gained strong footholds in their respective markets. Others are currently navigating the pre-incubation channels, and some simply didn’t succeed.

The experiences for TechPortal startups was the focus of the Igniting Technology similar held at CALIT2, Thursday, No. 16.

“TechPortal Talks: Benefiting from the pre-incubator experience,“ was the focus of the Igniting Technology seminar held Nov 16 at CALIT2.

Igniting Technology, a semi-annual panel presentation, is sponsored by intellectual property law firm Knobbe Martens in partnership with the UCI division of Calit2. The event features presenters, including researchers, industry partners, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists followed by a moderated question and answer session with the audience.  Each event examines a critical issue that can be improved through technologies in development at UC Irvine. The evening concludes with a networking session that includes dinner and exhibit tables.

Start-up founders, CEOs, investors and others tech professionals provided firsthand accounts of lean startup practices and lessons learned from their startup experiences.

To view the event, visit Igniting Tech Fall 2017

Speakers’ presentation can be downloaded below:

G.P. Li, UCI professor and CALIT2 director
Li is director of the Irvine division of CALIT2, director of UCI’s Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility (INRF), and a professor with appointments in electrical engineering and computer science, chemical engineering and materials science, and biomedical engineering. He also oversees TechPortal, a technology business incubator at CALIT2 that supports and nurtures young companies commercializing their technologies. Li received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan, and master’s and doctoral degrees, also in electrical engineering, from UCLA. He has been involved in several startup companies as a co-founder or member of the technical advisory board, and holds 33 U.S. patents, with 13 patents pending.

Aditi Majumder, UCI professor and founder/president, Summit Technology Laboratory
Majumder, whose research resides at the intersection of computer graphics, vision, visualization and human-computer interaction, received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003. She creates novel displays that explore new degrees of freedom and quality while remaining affordable and accessible. The co-author of the book "Practical Multi-Projector Display Design," Majumder has chaired or co-chaired several prominent virtual reality conferences. She played a key role in developing the first curved-screen multi-projector display  marketed by NEC/Alienware, and has advised Disney Imagineering on their projection-based theme park rides. Majumder received the Faculty Research Incentive Award in 2009 and the Faculty Research Midcareer Award in 2011 from the UCI School of Information and Computer Sciences. She also is the recipient of a NSF CAREER award.

Mark Bachman, co-founder and CTO of Integra Devices
Bachman is an innovator, entrepreneur, teacher and mentor who specializes in the Internet of Things, sensors, microsystems and technology transfer, and has brought several university technologies to the commercial sector. He’s received UCI’s Excellence in Teaching award, OTA Innovation Award and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research. Currently, he teaches, develops and deploys technology for the Internet of Things; he loves designing innovative technologies for difficult problems and simplifying complex technologies for easy use by non-experts. Bachman has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and has 12 patents. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a doctorate in experimental subatomic physics from the University of Texas, Austin.

Byron Shen, CEO, Velox Biosystems
Shen has built medical device, biotech, pharmaceutical and diagnostics businesses in the U.S. and globally. He was affiliated with Data Sciences International, Inc., where he served as regional manager of the Asia Pacific region and managing director for DSI China. He also was a principal at Transpacific HealthTech Business and Investment Consulting before joining Velox in 2016 as chief business officer. Shen earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China, an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and a doctorate in chemistry from UC Berkeley.

Nancy Kim Yun, senior director, Research Translation Group, UCI Applied Innovation
Yun seeks to connect university technologies and researchers with companies in order to accelerate technology transfer into the marketplace. She has joint appointments in the Samueli School of Engineering, the Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, and UCI Applied Innovation. She is an advisory board member for Cloudify, Inc., Rani Engineering, Vertum Innovate and SCSIM, as well as president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Anaheim board of directors. Yun earned bachelor’s degrees in information and computer science, and psychology from UCI and an MBA in strategic studies from UCLA.

Michael Tam, associate, Crosscut Ventures
Prior to joining CrossCut, Tam managed Uber's business in six Southern California regions; launched L., an online native brand; and built media and e-commerce startups. He’s also worked in professional services, including Bullpen Capital, a post-seed-focused venture capital fund; Bank of America Merrill Lynch's technology investment banking group; and Pricewaterhousecoopers's advisory service. Tam earned his B.A. in economics from UCLA and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Michael Guiliana, partner at Knobbe Martens, intellectual property law, moderated the event.
Guiliana specializes in patent and IP protection with an emphasis on medical devices, nanotechnology, semiconductors, materials engineering, and photovoltaic and thermal solar systems. Guiliana earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UCI and a law degree from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, the Orange County Patent Law Association, and the Orange County Bar Association, as well as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Society of Automotive Engineering.

To learn when the next Igniting Technology event will be held, subscribe to the CALIT2 mailing list at