San Diego Business Journal

Five companies are joining a new technology accelerator program at UC San Diego’s Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, or IGE.

The accelerator is a joint project of the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Rady School of Management.

The accelerator provides each team up to $50,000 in financial support in the space of a year. One main focus of the program is to help teams validate both their technologies and their business models by field testing their prototypes with strategic partners. Program participants also get entrepreneurship training, mentoring in both business and technical subjects, and access to prototyping facilities — not to mention some industry connections.

Since timing often makes the difference between success and failure, the new accelerator tries to reduce the time it takes each team to get their first customer, UC San Diego said in a statement.

The five accelerator participants are:

• A team led by Rajan Kumar developing stretchable, form-fitting batteries for wearable applications.

• A team developing a specialized laser — specifically a tunable, chip-level, solid-state BIC laser for LIDAR applications. The invention might help autonomous vehicles operate. LIDAR is a radar-like process that uses light. The initials BIC stand for bound states in the continuum, which is an unusual pheonomenon in wave physics. Ashok Kodigala is the team lead. (Incidentally, Kodigala and five other UC San Diego affiliates wrote up their findings on the subject in the scientific journal Nature early this year.)

• Veocor, a company that is also part of the Rady School’s StartR accelerator, which has developed the first personalized tool to assess the risk of blood clot formation and associated stroke. Lorenzo Rossini is the team lead.

• A team developing specialized coatings that will let medical professionals use standard instruments (notably catheters and guidewires) in procedures involving an MRI — that is, magnetic resonance imaging. Sanjeet Hegde is the team lead.

• A team developing a medical instrument for cardiologists to protect the esophagus during a specific type of heart surgery. Karcher Morris is the team lead.

Sujit Dey is director of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur. The institute is supported by state funds, augmented by a gift from the Legler Benbough Foundation.