Author Archive: Sydney Liu

Most people agree that Stanford’s entrepreneurial spirit and talented students played a pivotal role in the growth and success of Silicon Valley. Many believe the same culture will be essential to the success of growing Southern California’s own startup culture.

With giant conferences like E3, showing off the coolest new video games to the world, very few innovations arrive in the game industry that’s off the screen. Enter Doozy, an interactive, life-sized board game for everybody ages 8 through 88.

The company was founded in 2012, developed by an all-Trojan team and has already made a big splash with this first-of-its-kind travel website. It was a finalist in Marshall’s New Venture Seed Competition and it has earned a place within IncubatriX, a startup Incubator through USC’s Grief School of Entrepreneurship, which currently houses over a dozen USC startups.

Los Angeles is the only place in the US with a collegiate hackathon, an event where programmers spend hours together programming and building, of that scale and the LA Hacks team from UCLA made sure it was awesome. Organizer Hadar Dor, who is currently a senior at UCLA, said, “Our mission is to be the driving force to establish Los Angeles as one of the top tech cities in the world. We want UCLA to be the top tech school that comes to mind.” And they did a good job with it.

It isn’t the biggest secret that the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins aren’t the best of friends, especially on the football field. These rivals took their battle to a new platform: startups.

On February 6th, eager students crowded into a room in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California to hear Robert Herjavec speak at an event by the Annenberg Dean Ernest Wilson III. Herjavec, a shark on ABC’s popular show “Shark Tank,” is the CEO of Herjavec Group, an author of two books, and now a Hollywood star.

We live in a generation of startups. The time is ripe for innovation. There was a time my company could not meet payroll the next day and was about to go out of business. Luckily I met with Steve Jobs, who offered to sell my product. It was a success and we made payroll. The difference between success and failure is hair thin.

The University of Southern California has developed a reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship over the years. On Friday October 25th, this innovative spirit was put on display at the 2013 Student Innovator Showcase. In this yearly event put on by the Stevens Center for Innovation, 30 teams, selected from a pool of 70 applicants, presented their unique ideas to crowds of students, parents, and judges.

“The Silicon Beach movement is the future of the Los Angeles tech area – tech, mobility, digital content, entrepreneurship, etc. I wanted to connect LA’s incredible entrepreneurs with the larger business community and with the resources of USC.”