For the past year and a half, the Cove Share program has been home to a variety of UCI-based startups. Through a broad set of available resources, including the Experts-in-Residence Network, teams have built relationships with investors, advisors, and community partners that have paved the path for successful capital raising, advancement of technology, and refinement of their business models, among other significant milestones. During this time, UCI Applied Innovation has also received valuable input and feedback from participants to improve the program for the benefit of all. In the spirit of innovation and change, the Cove Share program will be ending in April 2017, making way for the launch of the new Wayfinder incubator program.
"We want to bring the same iterative and adaptive spirit that we expect from our startups to the way we structure our incubator program. After gathering invaluable feedback from incubator teams and Experts-in-Residence, we are incorporating these insights to strengthen our existing programs and provide improved support for our teams," said Juan Felipe Vallejo, New Venture Manager of Applied Innovation.
"I am very excited with this latest evolution of programs such as this at UCI Applied Innovation. I am optimistic and look forward to seeing it drive the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship forward for the participating startups. Our startup teams have already demonstrated the impressive potential of UCI entrepreneurs," said Richard Sudek, Executive Director and Chief Innovation Officer of Applied Innovation.
Wayfinder targets scalable startups that are addressing an important problem and either are using UCI-owned intellectual property or have an active team member who is a UCI student, faculty, staff, or alumnus.
Applicants must be prepared to address their startup's value proposition, competitive advantage, milestones completed, evidence of customer discovery process, goals, and needs, among other important information.
For more information, including how to apply, visit: innovation.uci.edu/incubator.
Hai contributes to the Cove as a content writer for both the Currents newsletter and blog. As an alumnus of UCI with a degree in English and a co-founder of a local creative agency, Hai's focus is centered on spotlighting events, stories, and startups within the Orange County community. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and has participated in fast-pitch competitions through the UCI Antrepreneur Center and has co-organized local business and startup groups such as 1 Million Cups and Orange County Young Entrepreneurs.