October 15, 2010


Steven Mednick to work with USC research faculty, staff and students.

Steven Mednick,  Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship
and Graduate Coordinator at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC
Marshall School of Business was recently selected by the Stevens Institute for Innovation's
Ideas Empowered Program as a 2010 expert mentor in start-ups and early stage funding.  

“I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this outstanding program.” said Professor Steven
Mednick.  “It's an opportunity to work closely with many of USC's world-class research
professors as they attempt to evolve from idea to business concept.”

Ideas Empowered Program includes volunteer mentors that are considered seasoned
members of the corporate, financial, and entrepreneurial community. Membership to the
mentoring team is limited by invitation only. Mentors are selected based on their ability to
contribute to the mission of the program through their experience in coaching academic
innovators, creating new high-impact ventures, and for their enthusiasm for the Ideas
Empowered Program.

Mentors are central to achieving the Ideas Empowered Program’s mission; they participate
in the proposal review and interview process and when matched with a team, maintain
regular contact with their mentees, spending at least four hours a month in one-on-one
contact. This includes in-person contact, phone calls, e-mail, and project activities.

About The Stevens Institute For Innovation

At the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, we believe it can. But for a new idea to make
broad impact, it must transition beyond concept into real world implementation and
originate from the desire to address untapped real world opportunities. Doing so takes a
unique combination of creativity and pragmatism, which we believe can be honed and
developed for a lifetime of innovation.

USC Stevens Institute for Innovation is a university-wide resource for USC innovators in
the office of the Provost. Designed to harness and advance the creative thinking and
breakthrough research at USC for societal impact, beyond traditional academic means. The
USC Stevens Institute was specifically launched to develop a new model for innovation at a
major research university.

The USC Stevens Institute is a university commitment and a strategic priority for USC. We
collaborate with partners on and off campus to achieve our mission.

Innovation can come from the arts and social sciences as well as engineering or medicine.
It can take the shape of new products or services; new ventures, ranging from venture-
backed startups to non-profits; as well as new organizational models. Innovation can be
any ground breaking approach or advancement that changes the way we live, work, and

Innovation is absolutely strategic to USC, since "meeting societal needs” is one of the three
pillars in USC’s strategic plan.

For more information, please go to:

About The Stevens Institute For Innovation Ideas Empowered Program

The Ideas Empowered Program supports ground breaking 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.
The program grants help identify the most exciting and game-changing ideas at USC,
reduce the risks, and bring together the pieces necessary to translate the discoveries to
market.  Successful projects could 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.

The program bridges the gap between ideas and the marketplace by supporting both the
idea and the innovator through mentoring and coaching, connections to resources, and
grants of about $50K for validation of technical feasibility through proof-of-concept
experiments and prototype development.

The program is open to teams lead by full-time tenure-track or non-tenure track faculty.
Teams can include USC faculty, student researchers and staff members. This two year pilot
program will serve to help advance the most promising USC innovations, integrate students
into translational research projects, and further develop USC students and faculty as
lifelong innovators.

USC innovators that desire to participate in the Ideas Empowered Program submit a pre-
proposal that is evaluated by a review committee conformed by industry experts. After an
interview process, eight to ten teams are selected and invited to become part of that year’s
Ideas Empowered Class.

The Ideas Empowered Class is required to participate in a mentoring and idea feasibility
analysis process before any granting of funding is considered. Through a combination of
lectures and exercises, the participants advance their ability to develop a commercialization
feasibility plan, and to communicate potential opportunities arising from their research.
Each team is matched with one or two industry mentors, is assigned an MBA student and
receives one-on-one support from the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation. The teams
develop compelling milestone-based final proposals and feasibility analysis presentations
that they deliver to a granting committee. After the granting committee identifies the
recipients of the grants, the funds are distributed and the teams execute their plans with
the ongoing guidance and support of USC Stevens.

For more information, please go to:

About The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is among the nation’s leaders in
entrepreneurship education and research. Its faculty – a diverse mix of academics and
entrepreneur practitioners – together offer undergraduate and graduate programs designed
to help students acquire the tools, develop the skills, and cultivate the mindset central to
organizing, launching, and managing successful new ventures. The Greif Center has been
labeled “one of the best entrepreneurship programs” in the country by Business Week and
has been ranked among the best by U.S. News and World Report.
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