Even before the days of Yelp and Instagram, people took pictures of their meals and documented their food experiences. The world's passion for food is clear with the various stories featured in magazines, restaurant reviews by food critics, and the ratings of Tim and Nina Zagat (creators of the now eponymous Zagat Guide). These all serve as early examples of crowd-sourced food reviews. Two years ago, Pete Wong, a UCI alumnus and EiR at the Cove, observed this same fervor for food while living in Shanghai. He saw an opportunity to explore the idea of an interactive food diary, a social utility that can empower users to log and remember their food experiences.
Velox Biosystems, a Cove Share startup founded on technology developed at UCI, is solving the problem of detecting bacteria in blood with a simple, fast, and unique approach. A UCI startup at its core, the innovative testing system was developed by Dr. Weian Zhao, a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (LFD) on campus. News of the breakthrough included a feature in Nature Communications, a prominent science journal. The community responded favorably to the news, encouraging Dr. Zhao along with Dr. Chris Heylman, a postdoc working at the LFD, and Neto Sosa, a Ph.D. graduate student working in the Zhao Lab, to form a company and develop the technology further.
Joe Rinehart's path to UCI as a physician, researcher, entrepreneur and mentor dates back to his early days in high school, where an influential biology teacher and his father's IBM 286 computer served as catalysts for two of his core passions--science and software. Throughout college and into medical school where Rinehart chose anesthesiology as his specialty, he was always learning software and programming concurrently. Rinehart shared, "I chose anesthesiology because [it] had intimate contact with monitors and it seemed like [access to devices], and hands-on [approach to medicine] was a great marriage with my software background. I saw that there might be some potential to work those two things together."
Guardian Locket, a Cove Share startup lead by undergraduate Crystal Sanchez, seeks to reduce the rate of sexual assault in America by providing a discreet and easy to access device to notify authorities of the situation before it escalates. During Crystal's high school years, she learned about alarming statistics around sexual assault including one stating that it affects a person every two minutes. These figures, in addition to learning about people who have been affected by sexual assault during their time in college, motivated Crystal to address this problem.
Gina Heitkamp, CEO and co-founder of Middle School Moguls, strives to create examples for young women interested in technology and entrepreneurship. The origins of the startup began with Gina and her sister/business partner Jenae Heitkamp. Together they developed Middle School Moguls, a multimedia brand that inspires young girls from ages 6-10 to become entrepreneurs and foster an interest in technology.
Through their startup, BottleRocket, Arthur Avetisov and Brian Leung want to change consumer perception toward recycling. Founded in May 2015, BottleRocket is a mobile app and direct-to-consumer recycling service that rewards customers for recycling at home. Inspired by the growing amount of unsustainable beverage waste, BottleRocket tackles the problem of plastic bottle waste by facilitating a consumer’s ability to recycle and earn money from it.
David Cuccia is the CEO and CTO of Modulated Imaging, a start-up based in Irvine, CA that uses spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI), an alternate method of viewing tissue, to make medical diagnoses.
As an undergraduate at UCI, Mr. Cuccia developed spatial frequency domain imaging, and decided to make this new technology the subject of his doctoral dissertation, which he published in 2006. He chose to pursue his graduate studies at UCI because of what he had begun researching at the Beckman Laser Institute.