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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week 2016

October 4, 2016 - 4:00pm to October 8, 2016 - 4:00am

***Register here***

(The registration form provides additional information)



Keynote speaker: Bernt Wahl (UC Berkeley) has taught over 2,000 engineering students on 3 continents at leading institutions. His broad understanding of technology has been instrumental in developing new ideas that have been integrated in developing novel products.

He is currently involved in his 5th Technology Revolution, leading a Brain-Machine Consortium. Prior Revolutions include:
1. Personal Computer Revolution (built Apple 1).
2. Dynamical Systems, Chaos Theory, Fractal Geometry (Founded Dynamic Software).
3. Internet Commerce (built conference/training sites for: Microsoft, SUN, Informix, Macromedia, and led the management buyout attempt of Infoseek as well as founded companies like Factle and worked on projects such as building first website)
4. Big Data - helped found big data firms and utilized large scale data.
5. Brain Machine Interface - led a consortium to create brain imaging machines and the technology to utilize and process the information gleaned.

Trevor Cox enables startups to grow and scale their business by providing assistance with fundraising, sales, legal, business development and operational needs.

Jacob Croasdale, as coordinator for the Yosemite Leadership Program, empowers student leaders to discover their passions and to use them for the betterment of our global and local communities.  In his own innovative work, Jacob has utilized innovation in dance to combat human trafficking in the US and abroad.  Jacob is a firm believer in risking creative ideas to bring about positive change.


Brian Gordon

Kyle Gray is an entrepreneur that helps startups and small businesses grow with content marketing, and is the author of "The College Entrepreneur."

John Haner is a lecturer in the Merritt Writing Program at UC Merced teaching business communication.

Adam Josephs is a Managing Partner at Celebrity Consulting Group LLC.  He has worked at Apple, Microsoft and many startups.  He has taught at NYU and UC Berkeley. He is a graduate of Stanford and is completing his Doctorate at Oxford University.

Karim Lessard is the CEO of a software company in Seattle and an experienced startup entrepreneur, bringing lean methodologies to develop new business ideas.

Russ McBride is an assistant professor at UC Merced and former director of a succesful startup incubator, doing theoretical work on the structure and activity of entrepreneurship.

Mike Murphy meets the legal needs of small businesses and the individuals that run them in California's Central Valley.

Steve Roussos has 20 years of experience in research on how public-private networks and collaborative initiatives identify and address community concerns and priorities.

Theofanis "Fanis" Tsoulouhas holds the Ruiz Family Chair in Entrepreneurship at UC Merced and is a professor of financial management. He has advanced his entrepreneurship training at the Harvard Business School.




Tuesday, October 4, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Alpine Room:

Presentations by local businesses and startups, panel discussion, keynote presentation, networking event

Organizers: Robert Goodman (CCPA), Myra Fernandez (CCPA), Cara Baird (Venture Lab), Prof. Russ McBride, Prof. Fanis Tsoulouhas

1:00-1:30 Registration

1:30-2:30 Keynote presentation: "Growing up in Silicon Valley," Prof. Bernt Wahl (UC Berkeley)

2:30-3:30 Panel discussion: "How I kept going as an innovator or entrepreneur even after facing difficulties," Brian Gordon, Kyle Gray, Adam Josephs

3:30-4:00 Networking event


Wednesday, October 5, 9:00am-5:30pm, Alpine Room:

Introduction to innovation and entrepreneurship on campus, startup training

Organizers: Prof. Fanis Tsoulouhas, Prof. Rowena Gray, Prof. Russ McBride, Prof. John Haner, TESUM

9:00am-12:00pm: Introduction to related campus entities

9:00-9:15 The Entrepreneurial Society (TESUM)

9:15-9:30 Business Society

9:30-9:45 SBDC (Jennifer Butler)

9:45-10:00 CCPA (Robert Goodman)

10:00-10:15 Venture Lab (Cara Baird)

10:15-10:30 CITRIS Foundry (Stefano Foresti)

10:30-10:45 Innovate to Grow (Stefano Foresti)

10:45-11:00 SCORE (Bill Seabury)

11:00-11:15 Souza Center (Steve Lerer)

11:15-11:30 The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning (Chris Butler)

11:30-11:45 Microfinance Project (Andrew Pulido)

11:45-12:00 Big Ideas Competition (Adrienne Chuck, Big Ideas, Blum Center, UC Berkeley)

12:00pm -1:00pm: Lunch for pre-registered participants

1:00pm -5:00pm: Start-up training covering entrepreneurial, business, legal, economic, socioeconomic and financial aspects

1:00-1:30 What if I want to become an entrepreneur? (Prof. Russ McBride)

1:30-2:00 Ideation: creating a business idea (Prof. John Haner)

2:00-2:30 Business modeling and planning (Prof. Fanis Tsoulouhas)

2:30-3:00 Legal perspectives for startups (Mike Murphy, Murphy & Brawley LLP)

3:00-3:30 Building an effective team (Adam Josephs and Brian Gordon)

3:30-4:00 Innovation and society (Jacob Croasdale, Yosemite Leadership Coordinator)

4:00-4:30 Business and society (Steve Roussos)


Thursday, October 6, 4:30pm-7:30pm, Kolligian Library, Room 355:

School of Engineering student projects update, CITRIS mobile app challenge launch party

Organizers: Prof. Josh Viers (CITRIS), Stefano Foresti (SOE)

4:30pm-6:00pm School of engineering student projects update

6:00pm-7:30pm CITRIS mobile app challenge launch party


Friday, October 7, 12:00pm-5:00pm, COB2-130:


Organizers: Prof. John Haner, Merritt Writing Program, TESUM

12:00pm -1:00pm: Lunch for pre-registered participants

12:45pm -5:00pm: PITCHFEST

12:45-1:15 How to pitch a business idea (Prof. John Haner)

1:15-1:45 Mastering the Short Pitch: 30-sec "elevator" pitch to 3-min pitch (Karim Lessard)

1:45-2:15 The Ten Magic Slides: 20-minute pitch (Trevor Cox)

2:15-2:45 Practice and preparation

2:45-5:00 PITCHFEST: Pitch competitions and Prize Ceremony - Learn to develop a pitch, and join our pitch competitions



Ruiz Prize in Entrepreneurial Communication

CITRIS Prize in Tech for Social Good


***Register here***

(The registration form provides additional information)



The Entrepreneurial Society (TESUM)

Office of the Dean, School of Engineering (SOE)

Office of the Dean, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA)

Office of the Dean, School of Natural Sciences (SNS)

Center for Career & Professional Advancement (CCPA)

Ruiz Prize funds provided by Prof. Fanis Tsoulouhas and by the Office of the Dean, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA)

CITRIS funds provided by Prof. Josh Viers


Contributing Student Clubs and Campus Entities:


The Entrepreneurial Society at UC Merced (TESUM)

Business Society

Center for Career and Professional Advancement

CITRIS: Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning at UC Merced

Innovate to Grow

UCMiRISE: Institute for Research in Innovation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Lab

Microfinance Project at UC Merced

Small Business Development Center


Margo F. Souza Leadership Center

Venture Lab

Merritt Writing Program


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