Faculty Innovation Fellows Program

Innovation Fellows photo
2019 FIF L to R: David Shorter, Li Cai, Alexander Young, Jeff Burke, Daniel Levi, Karida Brown, Ariana Anderson, Hirsch Perlman, Jasmine Zhou, Mitchell Spearrin

Applications for the 2021 Faculty Innovation Fellows program closed on Dec 1, 2020.  If you are interested in applying Fall of 2022 for the FIF 2022 program, please sign up to our mailing list to receive alerts and information 

UCLA's Faculty Innovation Fellows is a new, campus-wide program aimed at advancing entrepreneurial excellence and startup culture among faculty across campus. Open to all UCLA faculty, we seek to identify 8-10 faculty-led teams to participate in dedicated mentoring with Startup UCLA. This program is a twelve-week “accelerator” focused on pitch development, business strategy, and venture consulting. It is designed to advance faculty innovative academic projects into new startup companies, centers, or non-profits. Through Startup UCLA, Fellows will collaborate with colleagues across the University, with program leaders and venture consultants helping to hone and advance their ideas into action. Each Fellow will meet with a mentor with relevant experience to their area of interest. The program will culminate in a public Pitch Showcase (Spring) to a network of local entrepreneurs and investors, where the most commercially viable projects/startups may receive support by TDG's Innovation Fund.

Meet our current Fellows:

Ariana Anderson

Ariana Anderson, assistant professor-in-residence,Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences,Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior:ChatterBaby – a new technology tool that deciphers themeaning of infant cries.

Karida Brown

Karida Brown, assistant professor, Departmentof Sociology, UCLA School of Letters and Sciences –Division of Social Sciences: Du Boisian Scholar Network:W.E.B. Du Bois – an online social change platform that connects and empowers sociologists and grassroots social activists to collaborate on today’s most pressing social.

Jeff Burke

Jeff Burke, professor-in-residence and associate dean, Department of Theatre – Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance, of Theater, Film and Television, School of Theatre, Film and Television: XRA IV – a platform that brings live theatre and augmented reality together to create a next-generation entertainment experience

Li Cai

Li Cai, professor, co-director, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies: BESSTT (Building Educational Solutions for Students, Teachers and Trainers) – research-based educational assessment tools that improve student learning outcomes.

Daniel Levi

Daniel Levi, professor, Department of PediatricCardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine: Pediatric Covered Stents – stents designed specifically to meet
the needs of pediatric heart patients.

Hirsch Perlman

Hirsch Perlman, professor, Department of Art, School of Arts and Architecture : Desktop Sculptures and Archeology – a web platform for artist and archeologist providing modestly priced and modestly sized art objects, enabling cultural preservation, education and activism.

David Shorter

David Shorter, professor, Department of WorldArts and Culture, School of Arts and Architecture: Archive of Healing, Ritual, and Transformation –a searchable database of world-wide approachesto healing.

Mitchell Spearrin

Mitchell Spearrin, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science: Rocket Project – a four-year program that teaches university students how to build rockets and become the space engineers of the future.

Alexander Young

Alexander Young, professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior: mWellness – an
app that monitors patient mental health, allowing for early intervention and prevention of mental health crises.

Jasmine Zhou

Jasmine Zhou, professor, Department of Pathologyand Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine: EarlyDiagnostics, Inc. – an accurate, affordable and non-invasive tool for early cancer detection