The Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship shapes the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. We offer hands-on experience and an immediately useful education about the process and importance of entrepreneurial enterprises. With a pronounced focus on the particular needs of ambitious visionaries, our programs equip you with knowledge and resources to launch a successful business.
A hub of activity, education, networking and practical experience, our center is a driving force for discussion and study of current entrepreneurial and innovation issues. With our deep connections and strong partnerships within the greater entrepreneurial community, we are a global leader in practice and output as we continue to encourage new ideas and inspired invention.
A world-renowned expert in the design and marketing of products and services, Imran Currim, faculty director of the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has published more than 50 articles in top journals and has consulted and conducted projects and executive education for more than 100 companies. Currim’s professional journey has its roots in innovation and entrepreneurship: As a young man in India, he developed two startups in the product (umbrellas) and service (auto rental) spaces.
Under Currim’s leadership, the Beall Center has focused on the development of curriculum and new programs on innovation and entrepreneurship; a new Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the first of its kind of the University of California system; an undergraduate minor; and certificate programs for Merage graduate and undergraduate students. Previously, Currim was the Merage School’s associate dean overseeing master’s, executive, undergraduate and doctoral programs.
Currim is a distinguished professor of marketing at UCI, a title that is the highest campus-level distinction and reserved for senior faculty who have achieved peak levels of scholarship over the course of their careers. He was also awarded the Distinguished Faculty Leadership Award, one of the premier commendations bestowed by the UCI Academic Senate.
Currim earned a BE in electrical engineering from the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute of the University of Bombay, India; an MBA from the University of Wisconsin; and MS (statistics) and PhD (business) degrees from Stanford University. He has also taught at UCLA, New York University and Yale.
We gratefully acknowledge the contribution that Don Beall and Ken Beall have made to the center. We also recognize the following individuals who generously give their time and resources in support of the center and our programs.
Ken Neeld, Chairman of the Board
Ken Beall, Chair Emeritus
Don Beall, Chair Emeritus
Amir Banifatemi, Advisor, Special Programs
Aaron Anderson, PIMCO
Matt Bailey, UCI Applied Innovation/Lecturer, UCI Paul Merage School of Business
Pamina Barkow, Orange County Pain Management
Melissa Beck, Big Brothers Big Sisters
Aditya Choksi, Sanraj Corporation
Juiling and Shengfa Johnson Chuang, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Richard Creager, IOI Partners
Daniel Dai, Intel Corporation
Dimple Dhillon, CSSDP Investments
Paul Dhillon, CSSDP Investments
Rehema Feleke, FundBand, Inc.
Ariel Gabriel, Gabriel Holdings
Shalabh Gupta, Globavir Biosciences
Chris Halliwell, Business Executive
Richard Henson, PhageTech, LLC
Julie Hill, Business Executive
Dan Jenkins, Business Executive
William Leveson-Gower, ValueScape
Simon Loo, GE Grid Solutions
Shahin Mehdizad, Qualcomm
Howard Mirowitz, Searchlight Advisors LLC
Robert Motoshige, PAAMCO
Ramin Mousavi, Edwards Lifesciences
Ken and Carla Neeld, Delphi Display Systems
David Ochi, UCI ANTrepreneur Center
Gus Ordonez, Business Executive
MK Raheja, Abbott Medica Optics
Stanton Rowe, Edwards Lifesciences
Matt and Lily Sand, 3DEO
Fiza Shah, Developments in Literacy
Mansoor Shah, Business Executive
Emanuel Shaoulian, Pacific Coast Cardiology
Numan Siddiqi, Brown Rudnick LLP
Alfred Somekh, GEHR
Larry Wilk, Lecturer, UCI Paul Merage School of Business
Matt Zimmer, StackTek
Pamela Baird, City of Irvine
Amir Banifatemi, K5 Ventures/Lecturer, UCI Paul Merage School of Business
Bill Carpou, OCTANe
Ray Chan, K5 Ventures/The Portal
Feyzi Fatehi, Corent Technology, Inc.
Vijay Gurbaxani, UCI-Taco Bell Professor of Information Systems and Computer Science
Brittany Hurd, loanDepot
Sam Kamel, Business Executive
David Knuff, UCI Paul Merage School of Business
Chelva Kumar, EPIR Technologies, Inc. / Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar
Chet Lakhani, Lecturer, UCI Paul Merage School of Business
Newth Morris, Telogis, Inc.
Karen Nguyen, Inspired Art Wine
Alicia Rantos, Schneider Electric
Neil Sahota, IBM
Glen Schrank, Eccentex/Lecturer, UCI Paul Merage School of Business
Arie Shen, Business Executive
Jason Stern, Business Executive
Michael Wong, Genea
“A vibrant entrepreneurial educational environment combined with an engaged business ecosystem is critical to creating a region which will deliver strong job growth and an innovative corporate community.” - Ken Beall, Advisory Board Chair
At the Beall Center, you can take your bright ideas from conception to launch and gain the skills to lead a viable and profitable venture. Southern California is rich in resources and opportunities for startups and entrepreneurial ventures, and our programs contribute to that reputation. Within our immersive experiences, you receive useful training, hands-on experience, resources and support, along with valuable connections with our partners and broad network of executives, entrepreneurs and investors.
Industrious, creative and successful business innovators from every industry continuously work with us to provide new opportunities and to bring educational and innovative experiences to the entrepreneurial community and our students.
If you have suggestions for a new program or would like to partner with us on an event, please contact Breanna Hale.
Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Thinking about pursuing that great idea and turning it into a business? How about launching a new product or service within an established company? What about launching or scaling a social enterprise?
The Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIE) is the first and only program of its kind in the UC
Undergraduate Minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Whether your dream is to be an entrepreneur innovating to form new companies or an intrapreneur innovating within existing companies, the Undergraduate Minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship helps you gain the knowledge and practical experience to achieve your career goals. We train you in core topics on the process of innovation and entrepreneurship such as Planning a New Venture, Lean Startup Methodology, Venture Capital, Private Equity,and more. In this program, you are strongly encouraged to apply your acquired skills in the New Venture Competition and internships.
For course descriptions, prerequisites, and enrollment restrictions, please visit the Undergraduate Course Catalog.
Undergraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
As an undergraduate student, pursuing the Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers you an opportunity to put your entrepreneurial skills to the test. The hands-on experience and core topics covered provide you an extra edge which can make all the difference in your success in opportunities after graduation.
To be eligible for this certificate, you must be a UCI undergraduate student enrolled in either the Business Administration or Business Information Management major.
1. Participation in the Merage School's New Venture Competition preferably in your final year
2. Enroll in and pass the following two courses
You are encouraged to check with the Undergraduate Programs Office on enrollment limits and criteria for each requirement. For course descriptions, prerequisites, and enrollment restrictions, please visit the Undergraduate Course Catalog.
Once the requirements are fulfilled, complete the online application at the beginning of your final quarter before graduation. The certificate will be awarded after successful completion of all requirements.
MBA Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
As an MBA student, pursuing the MBA Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers you an opportunity to put your entrepreneurial skills to the test. The hands-on experience you will gain through the competition will give you an extra edge which can make all the difference in your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Merage School graduate students (FTMBA, FEMBA, EMBA, HCEMBA, MSEM and MSBTM) are eligible to pursue meeting requirements for this certificate.
1. Participation in the Merage School's New Venture Competition preferably in your final year
2. Enroll in and pass a minimum of two courses from the list of courses below
You are encouraged to check with your program office on enrollment limits and criteria for each requirement. For course descriptions, prerequisites, and enrollment restrictions, please visit our Graduate Course Catalog.
After completing all of the eligibility requirements, you must:
The certificate will be awarded after successful completion of all requirements.
“Participating in New Venture Competition is the single most rewarding experience in my MBA journey. I befriended many mentors in different fields that continue to guide me through my career. The knowledge I gained expanded my entrepreneurial spirit and enabled me to visualize my business and career from a holistic point of view.” - Simon Loo, FEMBA '17
“The New Venture Competition gave me a whole new set of skills that I would have never learned in school. I learned how to network, create a business plan, write a concept paper, and pitch to judges, all in the span of 8 months. It was a learning experience that contributed greatly to both my personal and professional development.” - Emily Vu, UCI BA, Physics 2019, 1st Place NVC Winner: Consumer Products Track in 2018
There are many opportunities within the Beall Center for successful entrepreneurs and business executives to share knowledge and experiences with the next generation of entrepreneurs:
Become a Mentor
As a mentor during the annual New Venture Competition, you work with a student team from February to May. You set expectations and provide structure while creating an environment for success.
Become a Speaker
Business leaders and innovators like you frequently headline our Beall Center presentations, including the quarterly speaker series, Beall Center Bashes, New Venture Competition workshops and other events.
Invest in Our Future
Support the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship by sponsoring events such as the New Venture Competition, speaker series and more. The center’s programming depends on the generosity of the business community, and your contributions make a big impact on the work we do.
ELF Therapeutics won two categories at this year's New Venture Competition with it's fat-zapping device. The team was just one of 54 teams out of 106 who advanced to the final round of the competition, which is hosted by the Beall Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business.
Palmer Luckey, a self-made millionaire and the founder of Oculus VR and Anduril Industries, spoke at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business’ Distinguished Speaker Series in May. Anduril, which is based in Orange County, is currently creating devices that leverage radar and sensory technology to detect everything – humans, vehicles, animals, plants – within a two-mile bubble, Luckey said.
Merage School undergraduate Patrick Dumas' startup Waterborne Skateboards sells simple, easily installed aluminum parts that transform skateboarding into surfing-like experience. Demand for the product line — which includes not only the adapter, but three skateboard models — is growing so fast that Dumas recently opened a warehouse in California.
Enroll with just the grain of an idea to start a business, or to profitably grow an established organization in an inventive way. Nine months later, graduate with a plan to innovate — plus the knowledge, skills and network to do so.
Fifty-four teams competed in the final round of the 2018 New Venture Competition held Friday, May 18 at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business. Fourteen of those teams walked away with cash and prizes valued at more than $100,000. The event was hosted by the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with UCI Applied Innovation.
A total of 54 teams will be heading into the final round of the 2018 New Venture Competition (NVC) presented by the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and UCI Applied Innovation, where they will compete for more than $100,000 on May 18 at the Merage School. See the list of winning teams here.
For the first time, a team of Full Time MBA students from the Merage School will be headed to the final round of the HKUST Global MBA Challenge to be held in Hong Kong in April. Team members, from the class of 2019, include Matt Morris, Swamy Narayanaswamy, Summer Hu, and Karen Ning, FTMBA ’19 will compete for up to $20,000 in prize money.
The UCI New Venture Competition (NVC), powered by the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Merage School and by UCI Applied Innovation, has reported a record-breaking 98 entries, approximately 400 participants in all, for the 2018 competition.