Category Archives: Business

UCSB Students Present Innovative Business Ideas

What if you never had to enter another password or unlock another door for the rest of your life? That’s the promise behind Allthenticate, one of six finalists in the annual UCSB New Venture Competition. The competition features teams of undergraduate and graduate students from UCSB’s Technology Management program. The teams spend eight months working on their projects before presenting them to a panel of entrepreneurs and successful business leaders.

This year’s finalists were: Allthenticate, a mobile-based security solution to keep companies and employees safe from both hackers and thieves; EnterVIEW, a software platform designed to make the job hunt easier for candidates and companies; Guniea Gig, an application aimed at creating a central database for university research studies; MicroPrint, a highly innovative printing process which will soon enable every device you own to be powered by Micro LEDs; Selva, an on-line marketplace that connects textile mills with apparel companies to facilitate the sale and usage of deadstock (excess) fabric; and The Hurd Co, a more sustainable pulp feedstock for textile production from cannabis waste.

Learn more about these upcoming companies and see who takes home the top prize.

Watch — 2019 New Venture Competition Finals

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From “Never Medicine” to Acclaimed Physician-scientist

When he was a young man, Dan Lowenstein used to proclaim that he would never be a doctor. Fast-forward to today and he is not only an accomplished physician-scientist in the area of epilepsy, an award-winning medical educator, and an innovative and forward-thinking leader but he is also UCSF’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. As provost he oversees the university’s academic programs and tackles issues ranging from the modernization of the Parnassus Heights campus to the future of big data in healthcare.

In prior roles, he helped launch UCSF’s Academy of Medical Educators, led UCSF’s Physician-Scientist training programs, and served as Dean for Education of Harvard Medical School. In this interview with Dr. Robert Wachter, Chair of UCSF Department of Medicine, Lowenstein describes his circuitous path to a career in medicine, his passion for social justice, and the importance of authenticity for leaders. Find out how we went from “never medicine” to where he is today and what keeps him going.

Watch — Dr. Daniel Lowenstein – A Life in Medicine: People Shaping Healthcare Today

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Investing for Good

What if you could align your values with your investment portfolio?

Leaders from the world of impact investing discuss what it means to invest for good. Their stories are fascinating and you will understand the path of early stage ventures that create meaningful social and environmental value.

First up is a panel with Lewam Kefela, Investor at VilCap Investments; Noushin Ketabi, Founder of Vega Coffee; Nancy Swanson, Executive Director of Linked Foundation. The moderator is Julia Sze an impact Investment strategy advisor. They discuss their paths to investing for good.

Then, Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Radicle Impact, talks about the problem with the banking system and how it can be fixed. She is the CEO of the Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

Watch — Investing for Good: Women in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Series

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Women in Leadership 2019

“Where on an imagined clock of equality do we now stand?” asks veteran journalist Lynn Sherr at the start of this year’s Women in Leadership panel.

Listen in as Sylvia Acevedo, Chelsea Clinton, Jedidah Isler answer that question and share their thoughts on the present and future of the role of women in America. Each panelist reflects on her road to leadership and details the support mechanisms and mindsets needed to get there when faced with adversity.

This is the second annual Women in Leadership panel – convened to celebrate and honor the legacy of Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space.

Watch — A Conversation with Sylvia Acevedo, Chelsea Clinton, Jedidah Isler, and Lynn Sherr

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Is it Time to Rethink the Idea of the Amoral Economic Man?

There is a widely held belief that when designing public policy or legal systems, it makes the most sense to assume that all citizens are entirely self-interested and amoral. It’s a theory known as “homo economicus” or “economic man.” But, economist Samuel Bowles argues against that belief in his book The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives are no Substitute for Good Citizens. Bowles laid out the case for his argument during a recent talk at UC Berkeley.

Bowles says there are two key reasons to move away from the economic man idea. First, he says polices that follow the paradigm can be self-fulling – making the assumption of universal amorality truer than it might otherwise be under different policies. Second, he argues that fines and rewards often do not work as intended.

The problem Bowles argues, is that incentives can “crowd out” otherwise altruistic motives people might have for any given action. He cites the classic example of a daycare that imposed a small fee for parents who showed up late. The result? Many more late parents. The thinking goes that the fee turned being late into a commodity rather than an inconsiderate action. Thus, the incentive backfired, and ended up having the opposite of its intended effect.

However, Bowles says incentives themselves are not to blame. He argues they can be designed in a such a way to encourage good civic behavior, while avoiding possible pitfalls. For example, when Ireland wanted to get rid of plastic bags, lawmakers imposed a small tax. But, they paired the tax with a huge media campaign about not trashing the Emerald Isle. Appealing to citizens better nature made the difference, and most shoppers stopped using plastic bags within weeks.

Watch — The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives are No Substitute for Good Citizens

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