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FirstFridays @ UCLA TDG (Topic: Finding, Using, and Being an Entrepreneurial Mentor)


Friday, May 5, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

FirstFridays @ UCLA TDG (Topic: Finding, Using, and...

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First Fridays at UCLA TDG   more info May 5, 2017 Free  

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UCLA First Fridays Event:  May 05,  2017


Topic:  "Finding, Using, and Being an Entrepreneurial Mentor"

Speaker:  John Gillespei, Entrepreneur and Investor

John Gillespie has over 30 years of experience in leading and investing in companies. Since 2006, John has invested in and advised multiple entrepreneurial ventures including a development-stage, 3D optics company based in Pasadena, a minor league baseball team and a New York City-based social and cultural club. Previously, John served as Executive Vice President and CFO of The Mentor Network, a nationwide human services company with 24,000 employees and over $1 billion in revenues. In this position, John directed the firm’s finance, IT and HR departments, as well as its debt issuance, securities law compliance, insurance coverage and strategic financial planning. Prior to joining The Mentor Network, John served as an investment banker for 18 years with Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Bear Stearns where he led financings totaling over $13 billion, including an innovative debt transaction for constructing the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Additionally, John has authored numerous articles, an award-winning book for Simon & Schuster on the history and reform of corporate governance and a screenplay which sold to Dreamworks. John received an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Harvard College. 


NOTE:  FirstFridays and UCLA TDG are now located at 10889 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Wilshire and Westwood).  FirstFridays is located at  10889 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 820-20. (Please note: we are unable validate parking for this event.)

 Join us for coffee, bagels and networking the first friday of the month. Space is limited. Please select the above "Register" button to RSVP.


 ABOUT UCLA TDG FirstFridays

UCLA Technology Development Group (TDG) hosts a monthly educational series and mixer called UCLA TDG FirstFridays.

The continental breakfast event will occur on the first Friday of every month from 9:00-10:30 in our conference room Suite 820-20, 10889 Wilshire Blvd.

The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for the campus and local communities to come and meet with our staff and interns, to hear a brief presentation on a variety of topics relevant to intellectual property and entrepreneurship at UCLA and to ask questions and network.

We hope that you can join us! 









April 07


Topic:  "The Art Side of Science"


Speaker:  Amy Fluitt, PhD - Instructor, Molecular Biology, UCLA


Amy Fluitt is an instructor at UCLA in the Life Sciences, where she teaches molecular biology. She is fascinated by the interface of art and science and has a collection of artwork made from recycling failed experiments. Her work was featured at the 2016 enTANGLEment exhibition at the Trunk Gallery for “Art Inspired by Science.” Amy earned her Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA in 2016. She previously pursued research at UC Santa Cruz, where she received her B.S., and at UC Berkeley.



March 03

Topic:  "UCLA Career Center - Connecting UCLA Student Talent to the Los Angeles Startup Ecosystem"

Speaker:  Cian Mitsunaga, Industry Relations Manager, UCLA Career Center

The UCLA Career Center serves 40,000+ undergraduate and graduate students at one of the top entrepreneurial universities in the country. The Career Center’s Startup Initiatives were created to connect the needs of the growing startup ecosystem (in Los Angeles and globally) with the corresponding growing emphatic interest in startups amongst the UCLA student population. Its endeavors have included collaborations with UCLA campus partners and with key players in the local startup/tech community.

Cian Mitsunaga is the Industry Relations Manager (Business) at the UCLA Career Center where she heads their Startup Initiatives. Prior to UCLA, Cian practiced law representing entrepreneurs on various stages of their venture formation and growth. She was a partner at METAL Law Group, a Los Angeles law firm focusing primarily on business and intellectual property law. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. from UCLA. She also served as President of the UCLA Internship Alumni Network (which supports UCLA students towards career-relevant experiential learning opportunities).


February 03

Topic:  "MedTech Innovator - The Global Competition and Accelerator for Medical Devices, Diagnostics, and Digital Health"

Speaker:  Paul Grand, Investor and CEO, MedTech Innovator

Paul Grand is CEO of MedTech Innovator, the medtech industry's global competition and accelerator, the largest platform of its kind, with a mission to accelerate the development of transformative innovations that benefit patients and deliver improved value to the health care system. He has an extensive global network in transformative medical innovation.

Prior to MedTech Innovator, Grand was Managing Director at RCT Ventures, an early-stage life science investor since 2005. At RCT, Grand focused on medtech investments and sourcing innovation. He founded MedTech Innovator as a program within RCT Ventures in 2013, and he left to run MedTech Innovator as a stand-alone company with RCT's support in 2016.



January 06

Cancelled due to the Holidays






December 02

Topic:  "Make in LA - An Early Stage Accelerator for IoT, Robotics, VR, etc. "

Speaker:  Shaun Arora, Managing Director & Co-founder, Make in LA

Make in LA is an early stage accelerator and fund created to support technology enabled hardware companies (IoT, robotics, wearables, VR, etc). The accelerator, operated by an experienced team, helps startups avoid costly pitfalls associated with hardware production through a four-month comprehensive concept-to-market program that applies best practices from mentor-driven accelerators, lean startup methodologies, and design for manufacturing principles. Make in LA attracts global deal flow, and acceptance into the program is competitive. Perks include office space, prototype lab, production facilities, mentoring, and investments up to $150,000 in the first 4 months.




November 04

Topic:  "What inventors should know about Patent Prosecution"

Speaker:  Charan Arora, J.D., Ph.D., Patent Prosecution Manager, UCLA

Bio: Charan joined UCLA TDG in December 2013 as a Patent Prosecution Analyst. Prior to UCLA, he worked as a Patent Attorney at a New York City law firm where he drafted and prosecuted patent applications. Charan holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School  and a B.S. from UCLA. 



October 07

Topic:  "Life Sciences Startup Ecosystem in Greater Los Angeles"

Speaker:  Dina Lozofsky, Executive Director, Biocom Los Angeles

Bio: As the Executive Director of Biocom’s Los Angeles office, Dina brings a 20-year career working in and around science and technology in Southern California. Before joining Biocom, Dina was the Associate Director for Licensing and Business Development at UC Santa Barbara’s Office of Technology and Industry Alliances. While at UC Santa Barbara, Dina designed, launched and led a program to mentor and support startup companies formed around UCSB technology. A key outcome of this program was to raise awareness and visibility of the high quality startups being spun out of UCSB. Dina is also a member of the board of the LA Venture Association, an organization focused on education and networking opportunities for Los Angeles start-up, emerging growth and late stage venture-funded company executives. 

Dina has deep experience in intellectual property (IP) management and in leveraging IP to structure strategic alliances for both companies and universities.  She worked in the technology transfer offices of both UCLA and USC prior to working with UCSB, facilitating university collaboration with industry and fostering startup formation and licensing.




September 02

Topic:  "Los Angeles Innovation Ecosystem - InnovateLA 2016"

Speaker:  Chris Rico, Director of Innovation for Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)

 Bio:  In his role as Director of Innovation for the LAEDC, Chris Rico leads the continued development of an innovation program for LA County, where he will build broad external support and provide thought leadership and strategic direction for the mission of the Innovate LA program, as well as its goals and priorities. Chris manages the day-to-day operations, programs and initiatives of the Innovate LA Program, including LA Innovation Week, the Blackstone LaunchPad Program in support of Southern California’s entrepreneurial economy, and all of the external communications, marketing and social media for Innovate LA. Chris will also be charged with developing new initiatives and approaches within the Innovate LA Program to increase its relevance, impact and influence within the broader innovation economy and business and economic development communities. 




August 05


Topic:  "Understanding Your Customer Base"

Speaker:  Mel Bulu-Taciroglu, NSF I-Corps Instructor; Economist, Lecturer, UCLA HSSEAS

 Bio: Mel Bulu-Taciroglu is a specialist in Finance and Economics education. She has been teaching various classes for the Technology Management Technical Breadth Program at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering since 2011. She is also active at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability where she recently developed a new course titled “Entrepreneurship and Finance for Environmental Scientists.” Bulu-Taciroglu continuously collaborates with active entrepreneurs, corporations, as well as non-profit organizations to deliver the most up-to-date information and real-life examples to her classes. She holds a B.S. from the Middle East Technical University in Economics, M.A. from Boston College in Economics, M.S. in Mathematics and Ph.D. (ABD) in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.




July - Canceled Due to the July 4th Holiday



June 03

Topic:  "Perfecting Your Startup Pitch"

Speaker:  Barbara Seymour Giordano

Bio: As an Executive Communications Coach specializing in speaker coaching, writing and directing, Barbara Seymour Giordano has advised Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs and TED presenters on the art of creating global talks that unite, influence and inspire audiences worldwide. In her career, Barbara has worked as an assignment editor with CNN and E! Entertainment Television as well as produced internal videos, global sales meetings and events for Amgen, Cisco Systems, and Nike to name a few. In front of the lens Barbara has been an on-camera national TV spokesperson for Lands’ End, Neiman Marcus, and TJX Corp. With an uncanny knack for turning highly complex subjects into stories that spark imagination across cultures, Barbara helps her presenters get to the WHY of the story – the meaningful gift that inspires audiences to action.



May 06

Topic:  "Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)"

Speaker:  Mike Swords, VP Partnerships, LACI

Bio: Prior to joining LACI, Michael Swords served as the Executive Director of Strategic Research Initiatives and Global Partnerships within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) at UCLA. In that capacity, he was responsible for developing large, multi-disciplinary research centers and institutes. He was also responsible for developing partnerships with government agencies, foundations, industry and non-profits, both here in the United States and abroad.


Mike has also served as the Board President for Cleantech Los Angeles (CLA) which, prior to merging with LACI, was a multi-institutional collaboration between UCLA, USC, Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRALA), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), Central City Association (CCA) and the Los Angeles Economic Development Council (LAEDC) to establish Los Angeles as the global leader in research, commercialization, and deployment of clean technologies. He also serves on the Board of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters (LALCV), and the Executive Advisory Committee for the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.



April  01

Topic:  "The Top 10 Employment Law Issues Impacting Technology Startups" 

Presentation Description: 

California’s employment laws are widely recognized as the most protective for employees and the most onerous for employers. Technology startups, despite their small sizes, are not immune from these laws, many of which carry the same force and effect regardless of the employer’s size. Attorneys from Littler, the world’s largest law firm dedicated solely to employment law, will provide an overview on the biggest employment law challenges facing startups and discuss steps which startups and emerging companies can take to comply with the law. They will cover key issues such as (i) whether your first hires can lawfully be classified as independent contractors, (ii) if you should pay your employees on a salary or hourly basis, and (iii) the extent to which you can hire unpaid interns. They will also be available to answer any questions you have during the presentation’s Q&A.

 Speakers:  Kayvan Iradjpanah and Eugene Ryu, Littler 


 Kayvan Iradjpanah – Kayvan Iradjpanah litigates and counsels employers on all aspects of employment law including wage and hour law, discrimination/harassment, independent contractor analysis, leaves and accommodations, and workers’ compensation. Although he represents many Fortune 500 companies in high stakes litigation, his advice and counsel practice centers on technology startups throughout California. Kayvan counts many startups, incubators, and accelerators as his clients. He is committed to providing them with the resources they need to establish a legally compliant framework. 

Eugene Ryu: Eugene Ryu is a Shareholder located in Littler’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices. His diverse clients include many emerging growth companies, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. He represents Companies in all aspects of employment law.




March  04

Topic:  "Connecting UCLA Startups with Alumni Resources"

 Speaker:  Tom Kehler, CrowdSmart (UCLA Startup-in-a-Box member)  

 Bio:  CrowdSmart’s mission is to empower UCLA startups to connect and collaborate with the broader UCLA alumni community, and to enable alumni to find and propel promising Bruin startups to greater success. CrowdSmart’s software platform gives UCLA startups the tools they need to tap community-wide expertise, knowledge, best ideas and insights using proven collective intelligence and machine-learning technologies. CrowdSmart can help UCLA startups achieve market traction and product/market fit faster, and help alumni discover and provide promising startups with the critical resources they need to succeed.



February 05 

Topic:  "UCLA Engineering and Entrepreneurship"

 Speaker:  Bill Kisliuk, Director of Media Relations and Marketing, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science  

 Bio:  Bill Kisliuk leads a small group of communications professionals in promoting the work of UCLA Engineering faculty and students. In this role he works closely with faculty and students seeking to garner media attention and funding for their innovations and new research; with development officers promoting greater financial support of the school; with alumni; and with other UCLA units ranging from the Office of Media Relations to Government Affairs and the Office of Intellectual Property. Prior to joining UCLA Engineering in 2013, he worked as a news reporter and editor for publications in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.



January 01 - Canceled due to the Holidays.




December 01

Topic:  "Top 5 Early Stage Mistakes"

Speaker:  Scott Iyama, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe 

Bio:  A key focus of Mr. Iyama’s practice is the representation of life science and healthcare companies. Mr. Iyama represents companies founded by leading scientists and clinicians at UC San Francisco, Stanford University, Stanford Medical School and UC Davis, each of which is developing and commercializing novel technologies with the aim to enhance the delivery of healthcare. From formation, to financings, to strategic transactions, Mr. Iyama has represented such companies, which include AcroMetrix (sold to Life Technologies), Aridis Pharmaceuticals, Crossover Health, Laserscope (sold to AMS), LS9 (sold to Renewable Energy Group), Precise Light Surgical and SBR Health. 






November 06

Speaker:  Chris Rico, Director of Innovation for Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) 

Have questions about FirstFridays @ UCLA TDG (Topic: Finding, Using, and Being an Entrepreneurial Mentor)? Contact UCLA TDG Events

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When & Where

UCLA TDG FirstFridays Event
10889 Wilshire, Suite 820-20
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Friday, May 5, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

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The UCLA Technology Development Group (TDG) hosts and co-sponsors seminars, conferences, and networking events designed to help UCLA inventors form startups, protect intellectual property, and develop collaborations with industry.


UCLA TDG events also provide unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and industry executives to meet UCLA faculty researchers developing the next wave of innovation at UCLA.

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FirstFridays @ UCLA TDG (Topic: Finding, Using, and Being an Entrepreneurial Mentor)
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