Fielding Buck, staff Fast Pitch finalist Shannon Nelson Stephens demonstrates her concept for a pan that collects and removes irrigation fluids from operating rooms. The resentation was in Riverside County Board of Supervisors chambers Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

College-affiliated start-up incubators are bringing concepts to the marketplace that might not otherwise be there, according to Inland educators.

“Sadly, industry is no longer interested in licensing all these innovations. They don’t want to take the risk,” said Michael Samardzija, associate vice president for research and development at Loma Linda University Health.

His incubator was one of two last week showing off what they do and the way they serve clients by teaching them to pitch their own projects.

“Whether you’re in industry or in academia, you’re trying to convince people that your project is well worth it.” – n3eight

Loma Linda’s new start-up incubator, called n3eight, held an open house to show off its new home in a decades-old duplex across the street from Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Loma Linda University Health’s new start-up incubator occupies a former rsidential duplex.

Although converted to office space, the building still looks residential.

“That’s why I like it,” Samardzija said. “It gives you that organic feel that a startup company needs.”

The incubator is serving nine clients, all in life science, whose projects were displayed on posters throughout the building.

They ranged from screws to aid in back surgery to an app to help dentists find implants and cell therapy to regenerate organs.

Loma Linda University Health celebrated the opening of its start-up incubator n3eight by handing out futuristics pens. The one on the left is closed; the one on the right is open.


Seven-month-old Riverside EPIC marked the end of April, Riverside County’s Innovation Month, with the final round of a capital funding competition called Fast Pitch.

Formally known as the Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept and Innovation Center, EPIC is an initiative of the county and UC Riverside that works with members of the public as well as UCR faculty members and students.

“As a university, our mission is to educate,” said director Larry Morgan. “But we have the privilege in our group to be able to fund and coach entrepreneurial.”

Eleven finalists from throughout the county gathered in Board of Supervisors chambers to try to impress judges with their ideas in five-minute talks.

The winner was Blue.Social, an app that uses Bluetooth that helps people connect with strangers in crowds. It was presented by Jose Montero, representing Temecula and Murrieta.

Runner-up was was Shannon Nelson Stephens from the Coachella Valley, showing off a container that traps and drains irrigation fluids in surgery.

Prizes included mentoring, coaching and legal services.


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