I-Corps Information Session

Crossing the Chasm from Lab to Market: The I-Corps Program

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, 4:30-5:30 PM

Admission is free, registration is requested

Register Here


Curious about whether your research might make for a useful commercial product, but aren't sure how to find out? Interested in receiving a $50,000 grant to decide whether a startup is right for you? Tired of studying for finals and want free pizza?

Join us on June 2nd to hear from Caltech teams that have participated in the National Science Foundation's I-Corps program, transforming their research results into successful startups. Speakers will discuss their experiences with the program, giving you an inside look at how research moves from a lab bench experiment to an actual product. We'll provide information on how you can be eligible for a $50,000 grant to transform your work into a startup.

Eat free pizza and meet with others at Caltech who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship!


Where:  Cahill Patio (Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics)

When: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 (brief talks from 4:30 to 5 p.m.; Q&A and networking reception 5-5:30 p.m.)


Pietro Perona is the Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering at Caltech. He directs Computation and Neural Systems (www.cns.caltech.edu), a PhD program centered on the study of biological brains and intelligent machines. Professor Perona's research centers on vision. He has contributed to the theory of partial differential equations for image processing and boundary formation, and to modeling the early visual system's function. He is currently interested in visual categories and visual recognition. He was a co-founder of a startup, Anchovi Labs, that participated in the I-Corps program in 2012, and which was subsequently acquired by Dropbox. 

Melanie Yen did her graduate work at Caltech in the lab of Harry Gray and joined Bob Grubbs' lab for a postdoc. During her time at Caltech she acted as the Publicist for the Caltech eClub and was on the Caltech Biotechnology Club Board. Those roles reflected her increasing interest in applied chemistry. When one of her projects had defined commercial potential, she applied for the NSF I-Corps program as a way to learn more about translating science from the academic research lab to an independent company. She served as the Co-PI on a $50,000 I-Corps grant and, as of May 2016, just completed the I-Corps program. 

Andrea Belz is the incoming Vice Dean for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.  She serves as the Director of the NSF Innovation Corps ("I-Corps") funded Innovation Node - Los Angeles and has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, with faculty appointments in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; the Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation; and the USC Marshall School of Business.  She also currently serves as Visiting Professor of Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.  Her research focuses on modeling technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystems, particularly in the  with an emphasis on the NASA SBIR program, and she has published research in optical systems, nuclear physics, geomicrobiology, and systems engineering. She is the founder and chair of the Technology Transfer and Infusion session at the IEEE Aerospace Conference.  Dr. Belz is Managing Director of Kinetic Intelligence, an intellectual property strategy consultancy, and has previously guided strategic planning for world-class innovators including Avery Dennison, BP, California Institute of Technology, CVI Melles Griot, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Occidental Petroleum, Raytheon, SPIE, and UCLA, as well as venture capital firms, university technology startups, and international public-private partnerships supporting technology transfer ecosystems.  An active angel investor, she serves on the Board of Directors of Caltech spinoff laser manufacturer Ondax.  She holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Maryland at College Park, with High Honors in physics and University Honors in political economics; a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology; and an M.B.A. in finance from the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business.