Since its inception in 2011, the Easton Industry Mentors Program has connected Easton students to technology leaders, managers and entrepreneurs. Many of the mentors have served on the Easton Industry Mentors Board for multiple years. The industry mentor board is comprised of the following companies this year:
Easton hosted the Industry Mentor Program Night at the UCLA Fowler Museum on April 23, 2014. More than 40 Easton mentors and mentees with an interest in technology networked and discussed cutting-edge technology. Topics of discussion included “design thinking” and the “battle for your living room.” UCLA Anderson Professors Rakesh Sarin, Chris Tang, Guillaume Roels and Bob Foster, as well as Easton’s former faculty director, Charles Corbett, and Easton’s executive director, Vandana Mangal, also attended.
The Easton program offers 1:1 mentoring sessions with executives from the tech field. This year, Sue Baumgarten (’79), an executive-in-residence for technology at UCLA Anderson who served as president of Raytheon International, and David Wolff, the owner and CEO of Database Specialists, met individually with Easton students for 45-minute mentoring sessions. Since 2010, more than 200 Easton 1:1 mentoring sessions have taken place.
The UCLA Medical School offered two internship opportunities to Easton students in 2013-14. One internship involved working with the Accelerator Staff to map out the current deal structure and terms (i.e., milestones, royalties and ISR research funding) for different categories of therapeutics in different therapeutic areas. The other project involved mapping out the current landscape of potential exits for digital health applications.
Easton students were taught a framework for navigating new and difficult work situations through personality-based management. This framework includes Strength Deployment Inventory, 360-degree assessment and the Birkman method. The SDI workshop was co-led by Joe Mayberry (‘15).
Easton students participated in a UCLA pitch competition hosted by Plug and Play Tech Center on Sept. 10, 2014, in Sunnyvale, California. The participating Easton students were Hernandez Britto (’15), co-founder and CEO of Cient, an educational Arts and Design platform, Neama Dadkhahnikoo (’14), CEO of MacroBattery, a clean energy startup, and Nitin Mohan (’15), COO of Omnimmerse, a cutting-edge approach to buying and selling real-estate properties. Panelist judges included Professor Bob Foster, instructor George Abe and Easton executive director, Vandana Mangal. UCLA participated in the University Council of the First Look West (FLoW) competition, along with Caltech, USC and UC Berkeley, to determine its strategic directions and execution. The FLoW conference is a competition and mentorship program sponsored by the Department of Energy. During the semi-finals at UCLA on April 4, 2014, 25 teams competed both onsite and through videoconferencing to qualify for the regional finals and ultimately compete in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington, D.C.