The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Brandon Eicher, UCLA Ventures
Under Brandon Eicher’s stewardship, the startup program at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) has gained a new name and a new focus. Set up as the UCLA Venture Capital Fund in 1999, it was renamed UCLA Ventures in 2017, a year after Eicher – previously at philanthropic consultancy Grenzebach Glier in Chicago – became the fund’s director.
Over recent years, UCLA has become a hotbed of startup support. A report published last year by the Milken Institute – Concept to commercialisation: the best universities for technology transfer – put the university ahead of 224 rival institutions when it comes to creating new businesses.
Among UCLA Ventures’ portfolio companies is Water Planet, a spinout that develops membranes to treat industrial wastewater. The fund took part in Water Planet’s $8.4m series B fundraising round in 2015.
Another investment, surgical tool developer Ceterix Orthopaedics, has raised a total of $95m in debt and equity funding since being set up in 2010.