USC will spark new startups and innovation under a new collaboration with Techstars, a leading pre-seed investor.

The collaboration is also promising for the local economy as ideas generated at USC are converted into products and businesses that will enhance the university’s economic footprint at “Silicon Beach.” The budding tech corridor spans Los Angeles County and portions of Orange County, and it hosts several tech and biotech industry leaders, including the USC Information Sciences Institute in Marina del Rey and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles.

The new partnership will reinforce the work of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, the university’s technology licensing office. Led by executive director Erin Overstreet, the center was established by a gift from USC Viterbi alumnus and USC Board of Trustees member Mark Stevens to support entrepreneurship at the university and the commercialization of USC IP.

The USC Stevens Center will streamline the IP commercialization process to match the robust support and faster development time of the Techstars accelerator program. Twelve USC-affiliated companies will be selected each year to participate in the USC and Techstars Digital Economy Accelerator.

“Our partnership with Techstars is a strategic step toward realizing an even greater impact on the Southern California innovation ecosystem,” Overstreet said. “It catalyzes product-oriented research and entrepreneurial ventures among our faculty and students and fulfills a critical need for the USC community. We’re excited about the unique opportunities this collaboration presents.”

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