Introducing UCLA’s Innovation Fellows!

Introducing UCLA's Innovation Fellows!

Ghostly Greeting, Bruins! 👻🎃
Have a spook-tacular, boo-tiful, wooo-nderful, and fang-tastic Halloween!
 Be safe!

Have you been thinking of how you can make an impact at UCLA and your community?  We encourage you to check out the Bruin Impact Challenge and the Big Ideas Competition. Win money for your idea!


UCLA’s Innovation Fellows is a campus-wide program aimed at advancing entrepreneurial excellence and startup culture among faculty and postdocs. The 2022 program is intended to be hybrid with in-person and Zoom events.

Open to all UCLA faculty and postdocs, 8-10 teams will be invited to participate during winter and spring quarters 2022. The program is designed to advance innovative projects into new startups or non-profits through a series of workshops and 1:1 venture consulting meetings. Postdocs and project scientists may apply for the program with a letter of support from their faculty supervisor.

The program culminates in a public Pitch Showcase to the UCLA community and a network of local entrepreneurs and investors. Learn more and apply by November 28th here:


Please join us for the first Bruin Impact Challenge Event – “Find Your Why” – on Nov. 8 at 3:30 pm! 💡 You’ll hear from leaders in social impact and get hands-on support for developing and presenting your idea for the challenge.⁠

After an interactive Q&A with our guest speaker, attendees will work through their personal motivations and consider how and why they want to focus their attention on social impact. Understanding your personal motivations will help you articulate your “why” behind your social impact idea in your Bruin Impact Challenge proposal and pitch.⁠

Learn more and register by visiting All Bruin Impact Challenge workshops will be hybrid, so you can join online via Zoom or in-person at Startup UCLA’s space at Covel Commons 203. Stay tuned for two more upcoming workshops! ✨⁠


Meet The Kawa Project! Kawa is on a mission to enable a circular economy to flourish by upcycling used coffee grounds and transforming them into ingredients and products for the personal care and food industries.

The project was started by Aaron Feigelman when he was a senior at UCLA after he realized that 30% of the food we grow ends up being wasted, ultimately contributing to 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions. To remedy this, Aaron acquired chemistry equipment and started using coffee grounds from coffee shops around Westwood as test material. After drying the coffee grounds, Kawa uses a clean chemical process to extract and refine the oils in the grounds. The oil is then fractionated and ready for use in personal care and food products!

Aaron has been working on The Kawa Project full-time since January 2020 after graduating from UCLA in December 2019. Today, Kawa sells candles and soaps made from this coffee oil in grocery stores both in Los Angeles and in the Bay Area. Kawa is currently working on soaps made from sequestered CO2 as well as a collaborative candle project with Couplet Coffee – another UCLA alumni startup.

Interested in learning more? Check out The Kawa Project here.


Pasadena Angels is looking for volunteers!
Pasadena Angeles is looking for energetic volunteers who are driven by innovation and want to make real contributions to their entrepreneurial culture. This exciting 3-month opportunity will provide exposure to the process, mechanics, and community of early-stage investing and may include real-world functions such as deal sourcing, due diligence, portfolio tracking, branding and awareness, marketing, events, and recruitment. Learn more and apply


Put it to the Test: Design the Future of Point of Care Testing

What: The goal is to help underserved communities get better access to healthcare by proposing improved Point-of-Care products or services. 
About: The winners in addition to $10,000 in cash prizes will get a guaranteed interview with Thermo Fisher Scientific. Thermo Fisher Scientific will also make a donation to the winning individual or team’s nonprofit of choice. Up to 9 solutions will win prizes. 
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by October 28 here.

CSUDH Impact Founders Pitch 2021
What: Showcasing entrepreneurs who are working on socially-driven ventures or are majority-owned by founders from diverse backgrounds
About: Applications are open to all Southern California startups in the idea to Series A raising phases. $25K in investment prizes will be awarded to teams with social ventures and diverse teams. All finalists will receive 6 months of CSUDH Innovation Incubator mentoring and connections with various investors, VIPs, and collaborators.
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by
October 28 here.

2022 Voqal Fellowship
Talent and startup accelerator for people from historically underrepresented communities
About: The Fellowship provides a $30,000 stipend for six months to work on an early-stage idea with hands-on storytelling and business development coaching. Voqal seeks social-justice-oriented leaders, thinkers, doers, and believers who have an idea for a new way to organize communities and bring about equitable social change.
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by
October 31 here.

The Slavin Fellowship
What: Providing support to dedicated students that have a desire to contribute to humanity and the ability and discipline to bring entrepreneurial ideas to life.
About: Fellowships will be awarded to students of extraordinary potential pursuing entrepreneurial projects. Fellowship awardees receive support, mentorship, and perks including a $4,000 grant and an invitation to their annual summit. They will be hosting an in-person summit in 2022.
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by
October 31 here.

Bruins in Finance
What: Bruin Transfers In Business (BTiB) will be hosting Riya Godbole and Omar Rayess for their Bruins in Finance Fireside Chat.
About: Riya Godbole graduated from UCLA in 2019 with a major in Business Economics & a minor in Entrepreneurship. Riya started full-time at Venmo as a financial analyst and now leads a new user strategy on the Growth Marketing team. Omar received his B.A. in Economics with a Concentration in Investing from UCLA and passed the CFA Level 1 in August 2021. Omar Rayess is an Analyst for the Opus Group at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management.
Event Information: The event will take place on
November 1 on zoom

Baylor New Venture Competition
Win over $250,000 in cash and prizes as part of this business plan competition!
About: The eleventh annual Baylor New Venture Competition will be held on March 24-26, 2022 at Baylor University’s Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. The competition provides participants with a chance to compete for over $250,000 in cash prizes and vital resources.
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by
November 1 here

AWS US University Startup Competition
What: Enter your startup into the AWS US University Startup Competition to win an equity-free cash prize to help fund your venture.
About: All current university-affiliated entrepreneurs are eligible to apply. The top 10 finalists will pitch their startups to a panel of investors and AWS Startup Team members at a virtual event, and three winners will be chosen for up to $20,000 in cash prizes and $100,000 in AWS Activate credits.
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by
November 1 here.

BCLA Nucleate Los Angeles
What: A student-run nonprofit organization that facilitates the formation of new life science ventures.
About: An equity-free Activator program that supports companies that tackle the biggest challenges in human health (Bio Track) and sustainability (Eco Track). The program connects scientific trainees and business students with a world-class advisor network of startup founders, executives, venture investors, and renowned scientists. Nucleate LA operates in partnership with BCLA, and USC, UCLA & Caltech biotech clubs as well as various other student groups in the Los Angeles area.

Application deadline: Learn more and apply by November 8 here.

Education Innovation Case Competition
What: Design an innovative technology solution that addresses a problem aligned to achieving accessible and equitable quality education.
About: Call for Code is hosting a case competition that should address one of the diverse challenges aligned to the theme and demonstrate how technology can help communities in need around the world. A prize pool of $37,000, which includes invitations to various programs and internship opportunities. 
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by November 10

Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program
What: A year-long program to help women lead, grow and scale their business.
About: Through this program, you will receive one year of virtual education programming, workshops, and business guidance; a $5,000 grant for business education; access to private online peer community; and a trip to NYC for culminating networking and community-building.
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by November 12

Big Ideas Competition
What: Provides students, even those with the earliest of early-stage ideas, with the platform and structure necessary to create – launch – fund & scale their innovations.
About: Receive extensive feedback (~10 pages) from industry experts who review your proposal, workshops, and online resources to help you refine your idea, team building, mentorship, and networking opportunities. You can win up to $20,000 for your social innovation.

Application deadline: Learn more and apply by November 18 at 1 PM here.  

Techstars Los Angeles Accelerator
What: This program focuses on innovations that make the world a better place [the 40  companies who have participated in the past have raised over $159 million, and have a combined market cap of $373 million across multiple LA-based programs].
About: To participate in this program, companies should have at least 2 full-time founders, have raised $2M or less, and at a valuation of $10M or less. Techstars LA is fully committed to investing in underrepresented founders that reflect the diversity of Los Angeles’ multicultural community.

Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by December 1 here. 

Bruin Impact Challenge Competition
What: To cultivate early-stage ideas that drive positive social and environmental impact.
About: The Bruin Impact Challenge invites students from ALL backgrounds and majors to bring ideas in the following tracks: Social Ventures, Creative Projects, Advocacy, and Strategic Giving. This challenge will provide you with the resources for your idea and the opportunity to win cash from a prize pool of $10,000!
Application deadline: Learn more and apply by December 5

Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Competition
 Chapters and partners of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) will host competitions at the local and national levels, which will serve as qualifying events in the competition journey to the GSEA Global Finals.
About: You must be enrolled in a university/college as an undergraduate or graduate student at the time of application at least part-time. You must be the owner, founder, or controlling shareholder of your student business. Your student business must have been in operation for at least six consecutive months prior to the application generating income.
Application Deadline: Learn more and apply by February 24

Citi Impact Fund
What: Using the $200 million Impact Investment Fund, Citi is making equity investments in  U.S.-based private sector companies that are applying innovative solutions to help address some of society’s most pressing challenges.
About: A portion of the fund is designated for earlier-stage seed investments. We are actively seeking opportunities to invest in businesses that are led or owned by women and minority entrepreneurs to help combat the gender and ethnic gap that exists in the startup world.

Application: Learn more and apply here.


National Red Ribbon Week: 15 Startups that are finding new ways to tackle addiction
National Red Ribbon Week is celebrated during the last week of October to raise awareness around alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, there have been more than 700,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States since 2000. StartUp Health has joined forces with over a dozen startups that have developed radical new ways of fighting addiction and ending the opioid crisis. Read more here.





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