Start-Ups Get Started with UCLA Extension

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UCLA Extension's new Technology Innovators Forum gives working software, IT and Internet professionals the tools to start their own high-tech companies.

How does new technology make it from the drawing board to the customer? How do start-ups start up? Technology Innovators Forum, a new UCLA Extension course designed for working software programmers, IT engineers and aspiring Internet entrepreneurs, aims to demystify the process for everyone with a good idea -- but no idea how to start a high-tech company.

Each week, the forum presents different guest speakers who have successfully started their own high-tech companies. Combined with a customer-oriented business model developed by instructor Daniel Curran, the forum gives participants the know-how they need to start a company with little or no outside funding, while employed elsewhere. As they learn about everything from the customer value proposition to patents, forum participants develop their own IT or Internet start-up launch plans and presentations.

Guest speakers (subject to availability) include:

Afshin Behnia, CEO of workflow software company Mitratech; Dan Conners, founder and CEO of online gaming company Telltale Games; Romeo Elias, founder and CEO of Interneer, an Internet SAAS business; Monty Ferdowsi, CEO of online communications systems provider Nextcom, and founder and CEO of VOIP systems integrator Broadcore; Jon Kraft, founder and former CEO of database software company Stanford Technology Group and online radio station provider Pandora; Lauren Lackey, founder and former CEO of Aii, a hard drive manufacturing equipment provider; Greg Moore, founder and CEO of Claimstream, a SAAS provider for the healthcare industry; John Morris, chairman, and Bill Collins, president, Los Angeles Tech Coast Angels Network; Bill Reichert managing director of venture capital fund Garage Technology Ventures; and Ibrahim Surani, founder and CTO of mortgage software firm Astera.

Course instructor Daniel Curran, M.S., is CEO of DC CyberCom, a management consulting firm for high-tech start-ups; a Wall Street technology hedge fund consultant for Standard & Poors and others; CEO of AlaStor Networks; former VP and acting COO of Western Digital’s Silicon Valley Connex and SA Navigator subsidiaries; and former CEO of USLab.

“Technology Innovators Forum” meets Mondays, 7-9 p.m., April 3-June 19 in Dodd Hall Room 121, UCLA. The fee is $375. For more information, call (310) 206-1548. For complete course description and to enroll online, visit


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