Want to raise investment capital for your budding startup?

Investment Prep helps take your company’s life journey to the next level.

Designed with funding in mind, the program helps you analyze your business for investment readiness, address challenge areas, build an outstanding investor pitch and prepare to pitch at curated investor pitch sessions that bring investors to you.

The program, started in January 2020, is an adaptive program that adjusts to each founder's unique set of needs so that companies can focus on their next inflection point and raise capital, supported with dedicated 1:1 coaching and group learning sessions. Applicants are hungry, coachable and ready to learn. The program is open to current faculty, staff, student, recent alumni, or founders with foundational technology licensed from UC San Diego. 

“We respond to your needs, we are a rolling program, the only way you really graduate is to start driving revenue or raising capital,” said San Diego-based tech startup founder Paul Shockley. “We react to your needs. If you have something you're passionate about, we take it to the next level.”


Your business. Your ideas.

With a commitment to helping young entrepreneurs develop this passion, the program offers roadmaps and inflection points to raise capital, fueling the next wave of fundable startups hitting the open market.

"We look for an entrepreneurial fire in applicants - a commitment to doing the work past the ideation stage,” said consultant Mark Leibowitz. “While we have a loose curriculum, in the end it's about appreciating what each individual and company needs and supporting their development.”

This past year, student-team SurfUp, made its way to the finals in UC Berkeley’s LAUNCH Accelerator competition, learning how to not only structure pitches, but gaining valuable insights into what investors look for in a pitch, highlighting key points of their brand.

“Investment Prep helped us think through the scalability of the model, to be able to highlight a hyper focused approach with surfboard rentals in SD but it also helped us develop the long term vision for SurfUp to demonstrate the potential for this model at a much grander level,” said Natalie Moazzez.

This program is for anybody that wants to make something real...teaching people the concept of hustle is hard but we will guide you.

For next-generation drug development, Palm Therapeutics, advised by current Entrepreneur-in-Residence Prasad Sunkara, is treating cancer at the root. Selected as a finalist at the BI Innovation Prize Reception, as well as their recent work at the 3rd Annual San Diego Innovation Showcase, the program’s ability to foster connections was a key takeaway. 

 “The most valuable aspect of this course has been the one-on-one mentorship provided by Mark and Paul,” said Andrew Rudd. “Specifically, they have helped to make introductions which have led to us bringing on two new advisors in areas of expertise where we were lacking.”


Designed to raise investment funds, we are pleased to share the current 2019/2020 cohort success. 

  • Palm Therapeutics has received funding for an SBIR
  • SoundSwell has closed a seed funding round
  • Micronoma has closed a $3 million funding round
  • Visicell Medical Inc & Palm Therapeutics have made it into the final 30 for the Alliance For Southern California Innovation First Look SoCal showcase

“This program is for anybody that wants to make something real, to take your idea/company/passion and drive revenue,” said Shockley. “Teaching people the concept of hustle is hard but we will guide you.”


Paul Shockley 

Paul has been a creative entrepreneur for the past decade and loves using his imagination across many mediums to create business opportunities and growth. From SaaS platforms, location aware mobile experiences, film, marketing, education, mobile apps and on to his new pursuits in virtual and augmented reality, telling impactful stories that engage viewers is his passion. contact: pshockley@ucsd.edu

Mark Leibowitz 

Mark is a physiologist with over 25 years of experience building and leading successful drug discovery and development teams in both large and mid/small pharmaceutical companies and as a consultant to private companies. More recently he was the Director of the Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept and Innovation Center at UC Riverside with responsibility for the NSF I-Corps Site Program and other entrepreneurial education and mentoring activities.  In addition to his role developing and overseeing the Investment Prep Program, he is currently an Executive in Residence at the CSUSM College of Business.

About Investment Prep 

This program is designed specifically to raise investment funds for startups by supporting them with dedicated 1:1 coaching and group learning sessions. We help startups analyze their business for investment readiness, address challenge areas, and build an outstanding investor pitch. Finally, we curate investors across the UC San Diego and regional networks to match the needs of startups in the program.

Ready to take your company to the next level?

Applying is the first step. Connect with us today!
Application closes August 31st, 11:59 PM PST