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    UCI Celebrates 20 Years of Octane OC Building an Entrepreneurial Innovation Ecosystem

    Graphic credit: Evans Akanno, UCI Beall Applied Innovation

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    Genuine collaboration and building a community that hasn’t formerly existed doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it may take decades and, much like any startup, it experiences ups and downs.

    This year, Octane a non-profit organization that drives technology and growth by connecting ideas and people with resources and capital, is celebrating two decades of building the now budding innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem that sprawls across Southern California. The UC Irvine ecosystem partner’s very seed was planted in Irvine with roots dating back to UCI’s Division of Continuing Education. That seed has grown over 20 years and continues to cultivate entrepreneurial, investment and workforce opportunities across Orange County, San Diego and Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

    And they aren’t slowing down.

    With more than 600 companies launched through their LaunchPad Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Accelerator, and now with a goal of creating more than 88,000 jobs in Southern California by 2030, Bill Carpou, CEO as of April 2015, aims to continue to build this system by working with partners like UCI to help startups and entrepreneurs make impactful connections, receive funding, bring more women and underrepresented leaders to the fold and continue to provide opportunities to underserved communities and ultimately build upon the Southern California innovation ecosystem.

    “I’m passionate about how we connect entrepreneurs, investors and industry, so it’s like a triangle of support,” said Carpou. “Entrepreneurs create the ideas, and we match them with the industry and sources of capital.”

    Though Orange County has long been touted for being a medical device and engineering hub with longstanding prosperous companies like Edwards Lifesciences, Medtronic, Massimo, and more, Tom Moebus, UCI vice chancellor of Advancement until 2001, aimed to establish the viable innovative ecosystem of modeled on his experience at MIT along with a plethora of investment opportunities to Orange County.

    Read the full article here.

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