John Jessen and the Gowan Co. sponsor the Big Bang! Business Competition’s Food + Agriculture Sector Award, along with AGR Partners. Jessen and the Gowan Co. have been a constant partner and supporter of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for several years.
Graham Ryland is passionate about creating robots that inspire young people to pursue careers in engineering and science. He focused on modular robotics for his graduate work at UC Davis, and was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug at the UC Entrepreneurship Academy in 2008—an early experience with the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that has deepened into a rewarding relationship. In 2010 Ryland founded Barobo Inc., an educational robotics start-up, with his faculty advisor, College of Engineering Professor Harry Cheng.