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Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

UCSD Impact from Quonsets to Qualcomm
By Yelena Akopian, '11, Raymond Hardie and Matt Xavier, '84

If the garage is the archetypal symbol of Silicon Valley then perhaps the Quonset hut should be the symbol of UC San Diego-generated businesses. Since its hopeful beginnings amid a scrub-and-cactus-covered Marine Base in 1960, over 640 companies have “graduated” from the University. 

The following pages celebrate some of the more than 150 active businesses founded by UCSD alumni, faculty or staff in San Diego County alone. The total economic impact of these UC San Diego-related businesses is over $20 billion. That is an impressive figure, and more than anything else illuminates the power of the UC system as an incubator of ideas, innovation and invention. Bioscientists, engineers, computer scientists, business majors, artists, communications specialists, oceanographers, etc. have all started companies and, as well as inspiration, research and discovery, the University has often provided the tools and expertise to help launch them.  CONNECT was co-founded in 1985 by Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of Extended Studies, and Richard C. Atkinson, UCSD’s fifth chancellor, to accelerate the growth of San Diego’s innovation economy. The von Liebig Center was established at the Jacobs School of Engineering in 2001 to inspire entrepreneurism and catalyze commercialization of UCSD inventions. The result of all this entrepreneurial activity is that over 18,000 local jobs have been created, and that does not account for the exponential effect of other businesses attracted to the area by their economic momentum. UCSD continues to have a profound impact on the economic life of the region and the state, and that is something to make every UCSD alum feel proud.

See all 156 companies

Dean Rosenberg, Warren ’89
Airsis, Inc

George DeVries, Muir ’84
American Specialty Health Networks

Yannis Pappakonstantinou, faculty
app2you, Inc.

Charles Bates, Muir ’76
Bates-White

Raj Krishnan,  M.S. ’06
Biological Dynamics

Kenneth Chien, faculty
Celladon Corp.

Richard, Muir ’84, and Michael, Muir ’85, Antonorsi
Chuao Chocolatier, Inc.

Dema Zlotin, Warren ’91
Covario, Inc.

Mark Schulze, Warren ’81
Crystal Pyramid Productions

Robert Akins, Revelle ’74, and Richard Sandstrom, Revelle ’72
Cymer, Inc.

Christopher Calhoun, Warren ’92
Cytori Therapeutics, Inc.

Darren Reinig, Warren ’96
Delphi Private Advisors

Nikola Clay, Marshall ’88
Dance Or Die

Murray Reicher, M.D. ’81
DR Systems Inc

Au-co Mai, Muir ’01
Emitations.com

Ivor Royston, faculty
Forward Ventures

Emilio Figueroa, Warren ’97
Gaslamp Insurance Services

Bernhard Palsson, faculty
Genomatics, Inc.

Sergey Sikora, M.B.A ’06
GenWay Biotech

Morgan Miller, Muir ’74
Huntington Capital

Andrew McCulloch, faculty
Insilcomed, Inc.

Mike Kappes, Warren  ’91
IQ Analog

Flossie Wong-Staal, faculty
ItherX Pharmaceuticals,Inc

Shahrokh Yadegari, Ph.D. ’04
Kereshmeh Records

John Dobak, M.D. ’92
Lithera Inc

Michael Sussna, Ph.D. ’97
Mathematical Images

Janet McCulley, Warren ’90
Muttropolis, LLC

Marilyn  O’Neil, Muir ’90
Nautilus Environmental LLC

William Fenical, faculty
Nereus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Michel Kripalani, Marshall ’89
OceanHouse Media

Meredythe Winter, Muir ’81
PlanetX

Michael Head, Ph.D. ’83
Precision Measurement Engineering, Inc.

Irwin Jacobs, faculty
Qualcomm, Inc.

Christopher Yanov, ERC ’99
Reality Changers

Gita Murthy, Warren ’89
Rore, Inc.

Russell Preisendorfer, Revelle ’78
Rusty Surfboards

Sandra Dijkstra, Ph.D. ’76
Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Kevin Patrick, faculty
Santech Inc

Bryan Van Noy, ERC ’94
Sonicboomwellness.com

Isabelle , Muir ’89, and Caroline, Muir ’89, Tihanyi 
Surf Diva, Inc

J. Craig Venter, Muir ’75
Synthetic Genomics

Elizabeth Plata, Muir ’03
Timeless Age Defying Laser Clinic

Thomas Shepard, Muir ’70
Tom Shepard & Associates, Inc.

Fiona Chatwin, Ph.D. ’06
Villa Musica

James Waters, Warren ’78
Waters Fine Catering

Chris Harris, Muir ’03
WebPRpro

Steve Hart M.A. ’80
ViaSat, Inc.

Jeffrey Esko, faculty
Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.