The Qualcomm Institute is setting up a new space where companies can apply to lease offices or labs on the second floor of Atkinson Hall, across from the CSE building. The institute announced the first seven companies that have been approved to be the first tenants of the facility, with more in the queue. The space is not an incubator, but it's a natural home for faculty, staff or student startups, because it allows a founder to locate startup staff within easy walking distance from the faculty member's departmental office. The Qualcomm Institute Innovation Space (QIIS) was also designed to work closely with other campus units that make up the entrepreneurial ecosystem of UC San Diego, including venture capital funds (Triton Fund, UC Ventures), the Moxie Center for Student Entrepreneurship, The von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center, The Basement (the recently-launched incubator/accelerator program for student entrepreneurs), etc.
In addition to three faculty startups (Sinopia Biosciences, STEAM Engine and VirBELA) and three early-stage companies that collaborate closely with researchers on campus (Comhear, Technosylva and RAM Photonics), QIIS is now home to the Foundation for Learning Equality (FLE), launched by a team of undergraduate and graduate students including recent cognitive science alumnus Jamie Alexandre (pictured center back row). “It’s estimated that one in three children worldwide lacks access to a quality basic education,” said Alexandre. “Sixty percent of the global population lacks the connectivity needed to access online education, so we have been developing an offline version of Khan Academy. Since being launched in December of 2012, the open-source platform, KA Lite, has now been installed in more than 140 countries and is used by thousands of schools, orphanages, community centers, refugee camps and prisons.” The offline server can be downloaded and run on a basic device such as a Raspberry Pi or even on aging Windows PCs, then other devices nearby can connect to that server to access the Khan Academy videos. A teacher with a single server can provide a classroom of 35 students with simultaneous access to KA Lite, and track their progress using teacher dashboard tools to enable them to most effectively intervene and help students who are struggling. By being located in Atkinson Hall, FLE gets proximity to the population of student programmers it needs in order to keep rolling out enhancements of KA Lite, and CSE students are already actively engaged. Current interns and student workers from CSE include undergraduates Teresa Do, Christine Pham (all class of '15), as well as Chris Li and Antriksh Yadav (both class of '16). Also working on KA Lite, CSE grad student Srishty Agrawal (MS '16), and cognitive science major David Canas, who is minoring in computer science.
Read the Qualcomm Institute Innovation Space news release.
Learn more about FLE and its current team members.