SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event

The SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event just opened its submission site for entries (through November 10).

Z Holly is on the Advisory Board and posted the following “Top 5 Tips for Entry Success”:

  • Meet the minimum – review the SXSW Accelerator Eligibility Criteria:…
  • Nominate a startup that is innovative and disruptive
  • Share a video – there’s no better way to convey a thorough sense of your project than through a demo video
  • Showcase what makes you different in the market (i.e. What is your market differentiator? What is unique about your project? Why should people be excited about it?)
  • Highlight key members from your team and/or those supporting your startup (Staff, Advisory Board, Board Members, Mentors, Funders, Accelerator and/or Incubator involvement, etc.)

Competition Information Session

All Viterbi and Marshall undergraduates and graduate students are invited to an information session at 4:30pm on Wednesday, September 27th in EEB 132.  Come learn about our competitions and how to win cash for your startup!

  • Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition:  Take classes on customer discovery, work with industry mentors, and compete for a $50,000 Grand Prize!
  • Min Family Challenge:  Students can offer engineering solutions for disaster relief.  Top teams will travel to a stricken area for problem discovery and will get prototyping funds.  Work with industry mentors and learn about sustainable enterprises! =
  • ABC (Atoms, Bits and Cells) Undergraduate Prize:  Apply for $1,000 for top innovations in three technology categories!

Where: RTH 526

When: Wednesday, September 27th at 4:30pm

Refreshments will be provided!

USC’s Vice President of Research elected as Board Chair of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP)

Randolph Hall, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at USC, has been elected to be the incoming Board Chair for the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), a project-oriented, membership organization whose mission is to improve industry-university collaborations. His term begins July 1, 2016.

The UIDP has a singular focus – and that is to improve university-industry collaborations by convening leading experts and practitioners from academia and industry to identify practical approaches and solutions to common challenges. “The UIDP is composed of leading innovation firms and research intensive universities. We are fortunate to have Dr. Randolph Hall, a recognized academic leader from one of the world’s great universities, serve as our incoming Board Chair,” said Anthony Boccanfuso, President of UIDP.

Hall will serve on the UIDP Board’s Executive Committee and actively participate in setting the group’s agenda in areas such as finance, membership, outreach and projects. Following his one year term as incoming Chair, Dr. Hall will rotate to the Presiding Chair position, then a final year as Immediate Past Chair.

As Vice President of Research at USC, Hall is responsible for research advancement, ethics, and administration for USC’s nearly $700 million research portfolio. The USC Stevens Center for Innovation, USC’s center for technology transfer and corporate research relations, is one of the units that reports to him. Vasiliki Anest, Senior Director of Corporate Collaborations at USC Stevens serves as USC’s UIDP representative. “UIDP projects and publications help overcome challenges and provide opportunities to increase the success of university-industry collaborations. USC has been an active member and we look forward to working with UIDP to strengthen relationships between universities and industry,” said Hall.

Hall’s election marks the first time a USC representative has held the board Chair position at UIDP. The UIDP board currently is led by Karl F. Koster (Executive Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of Corporate Relations) and will be followed by Debbie Radasch, Director, Strategic Universities for Boeing Research & Technology, on July 1st.

ABOUT RANDOLPH HALL: Hall is Vice President of Research at the University of Southern California, and is responsible for leading research initiatives across the university, overseeing research advancement, administration and ethics. As Vice President, Hall has led the creation of policies to catalyze collaborative research, including changes in promotions and tenure, research attribution, and shared repositories; creation of funding programs that support collaborative research and shared equipment; and infrastructure and events enabling digital scholarship. He has helped faculty create national research centers, built alliances with external research institutes, developed the Center for Excellence in Research, created the DC-based research advancement office, and built an integrated research office that encompasses contracts and grants, technology transfer, human subject protection, animal resources, clinical trial administration, research ethics, research training, research advancement and internal grant programs. Hall’s experience includes serving as the founder/principal investigator for two national research centers, the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), and the National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research (METRANS). He also served as senior associate dean for research in the Viterbi School of Engineering for four years. Hall was chair of Industrial and Systems Engineering during a period when the faculty size grew by 50%, and when it became the first named academic department at the University of Southern California, upon receipt of a $10 million gift from Daniel J. Epstein. Hall received his Ph.D. (1982) and M.S. (1980) in civil engineering from U.C. Berkeley. He received his B.S. in industrial engineering and operations research from U.C. Berkeley in 1979.

ABOUT UIDP: The University Industry Demonstration Partnership was created by the National Academy of Sciences as a forum for representatives from universities and industry to find better ways to partner. Every year, companies spend billions of dollars on academic research. UIDP supports its members and their employees in finding better ways to use valuable research resources. The UIDP is a project-oriented organization where members identify issues impacting university-industry (U-I) relations and opportunities to develop new approaches to partnership and collaboration. UIDP members identify, create and test demonstrations and practical approaches to address both operational and strategic issues, resulting in proofs of concept and unique insights for U-I collaboration going forward.

For more information on USC Research and Innovation, please visit:

Apply to Pitch in the Tech Coast Angels Fast Pitch Competition! $20,000 in Cash Prizes

All applicants will receive pre-competition coaching to hone their 60-second pitch & 10 finalists will be selected to pitch at the Celebration of Entrepreneurship Event!


  • 1st Place: $20,000 prize from Tech Coast Angels
  • 2nd Place: Intellectual property services from Nguyen & Tarbet Patent & Trademark Law and corporate legal services from Pivotal Law Firm
  • 3rd Place: One year of free office space and parking from Real Office Centers in Newport Beach
  • The 30 semi-finalists will receive a free ticket to attend the Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Hundreds of Orange County Angel Investors, top CEOs, entrepreneurs, and notable members of the startup community will be in attendance.

Entrepreneurs: Click Here To Apply To Pitch!

The event will feature:

  • Networking portion with an open bar, tray passed champagne, and heavy appetizers
  • Keynote by Steve Streit, CEO of Green Dot, sharing his path from Tech Coast Angels funding to taking Green Dot public and getting a 111X return for investors
  • An exhilarating Fast Pitch competition with 10 companies

What is a Fast Pitch?:

Fast Pitch is a twist on the classic elevator speech created by Tech Coast Angels’ founder Luis Villalobos 15 years ago. Since its inception, Fast Pitch has been widely adapted but the message remains true: an entrepreneur needs to captivate a potential investor quickly in 60 seconds. Tech Coast Angels believes that every entrepreneur needs to be equipped with a Fast Pitch to catch investors’ interest. Every applicant will come away from the open-training sessions with a tailored, 60 second Fast Pitch of their own.

Attendees: Click here to register!

Tech Coast Angels’ Celebration of Entrepreneurship
March 10th 2016 from 6 – 9 pm.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater

USC Marshall’s Lloyd Greif Center and David Belasco are honored by Junior Achievement

This article was originally posted by News at Marshall

Onstage at the inaugural Junior Achievement Spirit of Achievement awards luncheon on Nov. 4, a fourth-grader from Barack Obama Charter School, Los Angeles, asked honoree David Belasco, “What advice would you give a kid like me that wants to be an entrepreneur?”

Belasco, executive director of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, said, “The short answer is to come to USC and study entrepreneurship.” The crowd at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles burst into cheers and applause.

“The more serious answer is, don’t be realistic in your dreams,” Belasco continued. “Be really, really unrealistic. Think of big things, and don’t let anybody tell you they’re impossible…and I’ll see you in a few years. ”

Belasco knows what he’s talking about. At 29, he gave up a lucrative career with Latham & Watkins — the world’s largest law firm by revenue — for the uncertain path of entrepreneurship, and went on to launch, build and sell companies in environmental services and manufacturing.

He was one of four honorees, including Frank Mottek, business journalist with CBS/KNX Radio, Holly Robinson Peete, co-founder of the HollyRod Foundation, and Tom Penn, co-owner of the LA Football Club, at the JA event.

“Since 1919, Junior Achievement’s pillars have been workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship,” said Monica Farrell, fellow Trojan and director of development at Junior Achievement of Southern California. “At our heart, we’re an organization founded on teaching entrepreneurship. As a leader at the Lloyd Greif Center at USC Marshall, Dave Belasco represents a school that has helped us in a major way over the past decade or more.”

According to Farrell, USC Marshall part-time and full-time MBAs have volunteer-taught JA programs to thousands of K-12 students in local schools for more than 10 years, making them the largest grad school contributor to JA worldwide.

JA works in more than 120 countries, serving over 10 million students annually. Eighty percent of those students are at schools in low- or middle-income neighborhoods.

Marshall MBAs volunteer hours and raise money for JA through the Challenge 4 Charity, a 32-year-old nonprofit organization that pits eight elite West Coast business schools against each other in a year-long volunteer, fundraising and athletic competition. In 2015, Marshall MBAs won the C4C for the sixth year in a row.

Belasco has served as a mentor to and MC of the annual high school JA Student Entrepreneurship Challenge. JASEC is a student version of “Shark Tank,” in which the winning team is given the resources to make their business concept a reality. This year’s winning team, from Crenshaw High School, had a booth at the JA networking reception with brochures and samples from their new business, Pillow Tunez, a memory foam pillow with an embedded speaker.

Belasco said the Lloyd Greif Center looks to Junior Achievement as a pipeline delivering talented entrepreneurial young people into the community and higher education.

“With 60 courses and 30 professors, as well as incubators, accelerators, contests, funding, angels and mentors, we have everything entrepreneurs need to take their concept to the market,” Belasco said. “The Lloyd Greif Center is the oldest integrated college entrepreneurship program, founded in 1971, but JA was teaching entrepreneurship 20 years earlier in Southern California, starting in 1954.

“I’m thrilled to be receiving this award on behalf of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC’s Marshall School of Business,” Belasco added. “Getting to be around young, inspired, driven, curious minds, whether it’s at JA or at USC, is the greatest feeling there is.”