Westcliff University Launches Innovation Hub and Business Incubator Aimed at Revolutionizing Higher Ed

Center Dedicated to All Things Innovation Supports Students, Faculty and the Community

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Westcliff University, a leader in innovative higher education, today announced the formal launch of its Innovation Hub, a center of excellence committed to developing highly relevant programs to respond to modern market demands. Created to house Westcliff’s most pioneering strategic programs, the Innovation Hub enhances student experiences with resources that generate opportunities within and beyond Westcliff University curriculum and instruction, while also creating unique opportunities for the greater community.

With three key focus areas of 1) fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and culture throughout students’ educational experiences, 2) transforming the processes of learning and teaching to engage students like never before and 3) leveraging the cutting edge of technology to drive student outcomes and advance industries, the Innovation Hub’s programs deliver a range of forward-thinking solutions from a business incubator that is integrated within the curriculum, to training devised for augmenting faculty instructional approaches and tech programs designed to prepare students for today’s most in-demand jobs.

The Innovation Hub’s newly launched academic incubator, IGNITE, is already giving start-up companies the benefits of access to multiple cohorts of diverse students educated with the latest business curriculum. The incubator was developed to help accelerate business growth while concurrently giving students the hands-on, real-world business experience employers desire. Its first participating companies include FynCom, a nanopayment company; AONDevices, a semiconductor company specializing in application-specific edge AI processors; Seekrz, a trading and authentication platform for the pre-owned luxury streetwear market; BrainLeap Technologies, which offers gaze-driven video games for training and measuring attention skills in children; and Saya Life, a water management company using machine learning and AI to predict water overuse, leaks, and changes in water quality before they become catastrophic events. Other promising partnerships are also on the horizon.

“The Innovation Hub is a realization of the vision of Westcliff University’s first provost, the late Dr. David McKinney, who sought to put Westcliff University at the direct intersection of education and industry,” said Dr. Anthony Lee, president and CEO of Westcliff University. “His sudden passing intensified the university’s effort to make this vision a reality, which includes making certain that student and community needs remain at the heart of what drives Westcliff University.”

Accessible on Westcliff’s Irvine, Calif. campus and also available to those who prefer remote options, other key Innovation Hub programs include:

  • The Strategic Management of Applied Research and Technology (SMART) program designed for MBA students to work directly with established local and international companies in their capstone courses to apply the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired to address real-world opportunities within these organizations. Satisfied SMART customers include successful non-profits, such as CHAMPS Charter High School, global corporations, such as OmniPrint International, and local startups, including five IGNITE Incubator companies.
  • The Distinguished Innovator Speaker Series connects students and the community with a diverse range of successful, innovative leaders in various fields, including Martin Cooper, the “Father of the Cell Phone” and Paramount Pictures’ Futurist-in-Residence Ted Schilowitz. The program supports the university’s goal of serving as a leading academic resource by providing a platform for informative and thought-provoking discussions.
  • The Entrepreneur in Residence program offers one-on-one mentorship and coaching services to student entrepreneurs, drawing on the experience of proven business leaders such as Westcliff’s own serial entrepreneur, Dr. Barry Sandrew, to accelerate innovation and train tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to be successful.
  • The Full Stack Coding Bootcamp certificate program prepares students for careers as web developers. Fully immersive live online learning experiences offer students the ability to gain proficiency in front- and back-end web development technologies. Similar programs on the horizon for Westcliff include Cybersecurity, AR/VR Mobile Game Development, and Data Analytics.

“The Innovation Hub and the IGNITE incubator underscore our commitment to the continuous innovation required to arm students with the ability to thrive in the world of work after graduation,” said Westcliff University’s Director of Entrepreneurship Dr. Barry Sandrew. “Westcliff is proud to be working alongside students to ensure their academic and career endeavors are successful and that they are prepared for the demands of today’s hyper-competitive business environment. Current programs are still being expanded with new programs on the way, and we expect all Innovation Hub programs to continue to grow throughout this year and into the future.”

For more information about the Innovation Hub, and to learn how you can participate in its programs, please visit: https://www.westcliff.edu/innovation-hub/.

About Westcliff University: Westcliff University is an innovative global higher education institution with its finger on the pulse of the international business landscape and the needs of today’s employers. Founded in 1993 and based in Irvine, Calif., it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees spanning 21 areas of study including business, education, technology, computer science and engineering – and most recently law with the acquisition of Western State College of Law. Westcliff is a California Public Benefit Corporation which affirms its dedication to operating in the best interests of its students and the surrounding community. Its programs focus on both the hard and soft skills needed to secure quality jobs in high-growth industries; it offers community and business engagement opportunities for the hands-on experience today’s students require; and it provides innovative and affordable programs live online and in classrooms across the globe. Visit www.westcliff.edu and www.wsulaw.edu to learn more; and follow Westcliff on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Editor’s Note: Media interested in speaking to expert staff, faculty and leadership of Westcliff University should email westcliff@beyondfifteen.com to facilitate interviews.



Leslie Licano, Beyond Fifteen Communications, Inc.

leslie@beyondfifteen.com | (949) 733-8679 ext. 101

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