Laser Vision Correction Surgery


Company Description

Invention:   LASIK Vision Correction Surgery
Location:   Los Angeles
Year Founded:   1983
Status: More than 11 Million Surgeries Performed
Inventor:    Rangaswamy Srinivasan

Rangaswamy Srinivasan graduated from USC in 1956 with a PhD in physical chemistry and went to work in IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, experimenting with lasers. Srinivasan extended the use of Excimer lasers beyond the usual etching of plastics and fine-tuned it to work on organic tissue, working alongside an ophthalmologist to develop the procedure that would become LASIK vision corrective surgery. Srinivasan was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2012 and has also been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.


Computer Virus Defense Technology


Project Description

Invention:   Computer Virus Defense Techniques
Location:   Los Angeles
Year Founded:   1983
Status: Created multi-billion dollar cybersecurity and anti-virus industry
Inventor:    Fred Cohen

Fred Cohen didn’t just lay the foundation for creating his own business while he was a student at the USC School of Engineering in 1983. He pioneered an entirely new field that is still dominant three decades later. Cohen was the first to write a “parasitic” application that would “infect” computers—the first known virus—as a means of learning how to product networks from such an attack. His subsequent research has helped spawn the multi-billion dollar cybersecurity industry, which covers everything from simple antivirus software for personal computers to large-scale network security. Cohen currently owns his own private firm and frequently works closely with the U.S. government as a cybersecurity consultant.




Project Description

Company:   MySpace
Location:   Los Angeles, CA
Year Founded:   2003
Status: $580M
Co-Founder:   Josh Berman & Chris DeWolfe

As anyone who ever had a MySpace account can tell you, Tom Anderson is the face of the early Internet hangout, but it was his USC alumnus partner Chris DeWolfe, who ran the business side of the company, which was purchased by News Corp in 2005 for $580 million.


Nikhil Aitharaju,  Tim Koo,  Ryo Chiba – Tint


Company Description

Co-Founders: Nikhil Aitharaju,  Tim Koo,  Ryo Chiba
Grad Years:   2011, 2012, 2013
Company:   Tint
Year Founded:   2012
Status:   TINT is the easiest platform that allows you to beautifully display any social media feeds onto your website, mobile app, retail TV display, event wall, and or jumbotron. Over 45,000+ active brands using TINT today.

TINT is a social media marketing platform that connects brands and fans into one social hub. Your hubs can live on-site or anywhere else with a screen like mobile, digital advertising, TV, interactive displays, digital billboards, and jumbotrons. Over 45,000 brands use and love us.  Our vision is to help brands drive deeper engagement with their audience by allowing them to integrate any social feeds into any of their digital properties.

William Wang – Vizio

Project Description

Co-Founder:   William Wang
Grad Year:   1986
Company:   Vizio
Year Founded:   2002
Valuation: $3.5B (2016)

Electrical engineering alumnus William Wang (class of 1986) established himself as a pioneer in screen technology, creating Vizio in 2002 to provide affordable, high-definition televisions for the switch from analog to digital. Vizio wisely launched its products with wholesale giant Costco and built itself into one of the top HDTV brands in the country, having grown to a $3.1 billion valuation. Wang has been in charge every step of the way, serving as the CEO to this day.

Paul Orfalea – Kinko’s

Company Details

Founder:   Paul Orfalea
Grad Year:  
:   Kinko’s
Year Founded:   1970
Status: Purchased by FedEx for $2.4B

A 1970 USC alumnus, Paul Orfalea had an idea that stemmed from a need he recognized in his fellow students—enabling procrastinators to survive. Thus, he formed that 24-hour print and copy store Kinko’s, opening the first location near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Shipping giant FedEx purchased Kinko’s in 2004, initially rebranding as FedEx Kinko’s before ultimately dropping the Kinko’s name and becoming FedEx Office.


John Knoll – Photoshop

Company Description

Co-Founder:   John Knoll
Grad Year:   1993
Company:   Photoshop
Year Founded:   1987
Status:   Acquired by Adobe in 1995

What began as one computer engineer Thomas Knoll’s attempt to improve the image viewing capabilities of early Mac computers, took off when his brother, USC Cinematic Arts alumnus John, joined the effort. Together, the brothers created the program that would be acquired by Adobe in 1989 and come to dominate the digital photo editing market.

Marc Benioff – Salesforce

Company Description

Co-Founder:   Marc Benioff
Grad Year:   1987
Year Founded:   1999
Valuation:   $1.1B (At 2004 IPO)   (NYSE:CRM) is an American cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Though its revenue comes from a customer relationship management (CRM) product, Salesforce also tries capitalizing on commercial applications of social networking through acquisition. The company was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a company specializing in software as a service (SaaS). Harris, Moellenhoff and Dominguez, three software developers previously at consulting firm Left Coast Software, were introduced to Benioff through friend and former Oracle colleague Bobby Yazdani. Harris and team wrote the initial sales automation software, which launched to its first customers in the fall of 1999.


Aaron Levie – Box

Project Description

Client:   Box
Founder:   Aaron Levie
Grad Year:   1986
Company:   Box
Year Founded:   2009
Valuation: $1.7B (2015)   (NYSE: BOX)

Box (formerly is an online file sharing and personal cloud content management service for businesses. The company adopted a freemium business model, and provides up to 10 GB of free storage for personal accounts. A mobile version of the service is available for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, WebOS, and Windows Phone devices. The company is based in Los Altos, California.