UC entrepreneurs invited to meet with venture capitalists

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Robin Hunicke

Robin Hunicke, director of the Art & Design: Games & Playable Media program at UC Santa Cruz, and computer science student Brian Vallelunga are among 19 UC entrepreneurs who will get a chance to meet and pitch some of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists next month at a special lunch hosted by UC President Janet Napolitano and Christine Gulbranson, UC’s senior vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneurs were chosen randomly from more than 340 students, faculty, and staff who recorded personal videos from their offices, labs, dorms, and video recording parties this past winter and submitted them to the “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign.

Hunicke is the co-founder and CEO of Funomena, a game company in San Francisco (see her video). Vallelunga is the co-founder and CTO of Miza, a premium ad network that guards publisher ad revenue (see his video).

On May 5, the group will lunch with Napolitano, Gulbranson and VC leaders Brook Byers, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB); Josh Green, of Mohr Davidow Ventures; and Brendon Kim, of Samsung NEXT.

“These 19 entrepreneurs represent the talent, diversity and passion that makes UC an entrepreneurial powerhouse,” Gulbranson said. “The ‘I am a UC Entrepreneur’ campaign showcases their unique stories, as well as the breadth and depth of UC’s entrepreneurial efforts across more than two dozen incubators and accelerators across the system.”

Gulbranson encouraged everyone to keep sharing their inspiring stories on the “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign site (www.universityofcalifornia.edu/entrepreneurs). Students, faculty, staff, and postdocs who submit a 30-second video sharing what makes them an entrepreneur will still receive a “UC Entrepreneur” T-shirt for sharing their stories.

Entrepreneurs from each campus will be represented at the May 5 lunch. A complete list is available at the UC Newsroom.