University of Southern California

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Shareholders Show Up
Put a group of Marshall Partners Shareholders in the room and what do you get? Buzz. Networking. Engagement. Here, Josef Bobeck (left), and Greg Melnyk (right) catch up as do their colleagues in the background.
Shareholders Show Up
Left to right: Prasanna Adhikari, Andrew Eastman, and Dan Fienberg.
Pre-Talk Snap
Left to right: Chris Cooper, San Diego Shareholder II, Kris Bjornerud, West LA Shareholder I, Ann Johnston, West LA Shareholder I, and Dan Fienberg, West LA Board member.
Harnessing Ideas
Under Executive Director Kristzina Holly’s leadership, the mission of the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation is to “Empower USC innovators to make an impact with their ideas.” That puts the Institute in the business of translating new ideas to tangible societal impact. Holly and her team manage the intellectual property and patents generated campus wide, which includes not only shepherding faculty ideas to market, but also helping students with ideas as well. Which, on a campus like USC, makes for abundant work. In a recent survey, USC Stevens found 50 percent of USC students have a business idea to pursue, 57 percent expect to start a new venture, and 42 percent expect to start a nonprofit organization.
Creativity Meets Pragmatism
Holly emphasizes the need to take ideas to market balancing creativity with the pragmatics of execution. Here the USC Stevens Institute puts significant resources behind its mission through its Ideas Empowered Program. The program supports groundbreaking projects emerging from USC research that, with mentoring, other programmatic support, and a small amount of grant funding, could spin out of the university within a year or two and make significant impact.  Successful projects spin out in a number of ways: attracting investment to establish a high-growth start-up company, licensing to a corporation that turns the invention into a new product or service, establishing a non-profit, or scaling a new model for organizational change.
In the last 15 years, intellectual property generated through USC faculty research has spun out of the university to create 39 companies that have collectively raised approximately $800 million in capital. Since 2008 alone, intellectual property managed by the USC Stevens Institute has attracted $380 million in capital to either fund start ups or to license patents held by USC.
Krisztina “Z” Holly, Vice Provost for Innovation, graciously fielded inquires after her presentation. Here, “Z” encourages James Bohan, West LA Shareholder I.
Much To Reflect Upon
Left to right: Kasra Ferasat, current MBA student, Brittany Deal, Chris Cooper, and Adam Mendler.
Round Up at Traddies
Innovation makes one thirsty. The group repaired to Traditions Bar & Grill, aka Traddies to continue the conversation. Left to right, Anne Johnston, West LA Board member, and Dean Hallett, Vice-Chair, Executive Committee, Marshall Partners.