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Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy
A world to harvest.

Thirty-five undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty from UC Davis and industry participated in the 2015 Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy, held April 21-23. This intensive business development program is offered to scientists and engineers who want to identify, design and validate business opportunities for their research.

Opening doors: Our Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy is a three-day bootcamp for aspiring entrepreneurs in the food, agriculture and health fields.The academy kicked off with an innovation exercise designed to promote teamwork and creative problem solving.Doing well by doing good: Wisdom and experience from Lisa Curtis, founder/CEO, Kuli Kuli and a guest entrepreneur: “We have found having a social cause can be even more valuable than your product.”Great presentation and demonstration of uses of drones in agriculture by Daniel McKinnon of 3D Robotics Inc. Key takeaway: think outside the box in terms of the applications of your technology. ‪"I spent time learning about entrepreneurship from some experienced speakers -- definitely worth missing class today. Thanks AgEA!" — Bobby Arlen, Double-degree UC Davis undergraduate majoring in earth systems science and sociocultural anthropology
Graduate School of Management alumni Julia Fox and Andrew Perroy with NakedWines.com: “Being a ‘disruptive’ business in a mature market, and launching during the Great Recession caused us to get laughed at a lot. We knew that we would have to approach the market in a completely different way…and that’s exactly what we did.” ‪‬"There's a significant chicken-egg dynamic: The definition of the market is small, but you have to be able to convince people that the vision is big. And that's always hard." — Stephen Hahn, research fellow at The Dow Chemical Co."I learned that it is ok in the business world to 'pufferize' your product or technology!" — Alifia Merchant UCD 13, B.S., environmental science"The beta test is your time to test the waters, test the market. Building the company for me means building the company values." — Marcus Seiden, founding partner, Jardesca California Aperitiva and a UC Davis Graduate School of Management alumnusManagement at HM.CLAUSE is guided by TACT: Teamwork, Accountability, Collaboration, Transparency. "We want to create an environment that allows everyone to find ways to express themselves through their work." — CEO Matthew Johnson"There are so many ways you can bring your idea out of the lab." — Solange Astorga, Graduate Student, Industrial Engineer, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Argentina"Be austere. Keep it as thin as possible for as long as possible." — Guest Entrepreneur Mike Kourey, formerly of Khosla Ventures, speaking on Technology: Concept to Commercialization"To be disruptive enough with your technology, you need to know what business you are in." — Graduate Student, Horticulture and Agronomy, UC DavisCongratulations to our Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy 2015 graduates. May you realize your dreams!

Through seminars and interactive workshops, mentoring sessions with industry executives and investors, and networking opportunities, participants learn the building blocks of entrepreneurship to move advances out of the lab and into the world.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship in food, agriculture and health are critically needed—and at the core of UC Davis’ strengths,” said Cleveland Justis, executive director of the UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“The academy combined leading businesspeople in this space with cutting-edge researchers. As participants’ research moves to market, we’re anticipating powerful results.”

One immediate sign of the academy’s success: Fully 100 percent of participants said they would recommend it to their classmates and colleagues.