Friday, May 3, 2013

Faculty Startups Nominated for Innovation Awards

Mushroom Networks and app2you.comm, two local startups founded by UC San Diego Jacobs School engineering faculty, have been nominated for the San Diego Business Journal’s Innovation Awards 2013. According to the San Diego Business Journal, the awards honor “people and organizations that continue to stretch boundaries and to recognize those individuals and companies who demonstrate how the innovative spirit drives economic value.”

Rene Cruz, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Cahit Akin, a former researcher in the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), founded Mushroom Networks to provide faster and more reliable internet connections for mission critical applications. enables anyone to create custom web applications without having to do any programming. It was founded by Computer Science and Engineering professor YannisPapakonstantinou.

ECE Professor Rene Cruz (second from left) shared his experience going through the commercialization process at a 10th anniversary celebration for the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center. Cruz founded Mushroom Networks, which, along with, has been nominated for the San Diego Business Journal's 2013 Innovation Awards.
Both companies received pre-seed funding and support from the Jacobs School’s von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center. Cruz was one of four faculty inventors to share his experience with the commercialization process at a dinner last year held in honor of the von Liebig Center’s 10th anniversary. The center was founded in 2002 to help faculty and students transfer their inventions to the marketplace. Cruz said the full impact of learning how to build a company and being able to share that with students is something that can only be “measured on a 100-year timescale.”

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