First Pepperdine University-UCSB 15X Project Nets More Than 100 New Commercialization Ideas for Existing Technologies

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Feasibility of new business opportunities based on titanium cooling technology earns UCSB technologist, Pepperdine MBA team $1000 grand prize in co-university tech commercialization trial.

Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management hosted presentations exploring potential opportunities to commercialize University of California, Santa Barbara intellectual property on Friday, April 1. Five teams composed of a UCSB technologist with two Pepperdine MBAs presented their recommendations to a private audience of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

Less of a contest and more of an opportunity amplifier, this first 15X Project event succeeded in its primary goal: uncover multiple commercial opportunities from each of five existing innovations. It also served to prove that collaboration between MBAs and research university scientists could have a far-ranging economic impact.

“We wanted to see if we could create a process to identify multiple new revenue streams from existing intellectual property,” says the event’s organizer Mike Sims, Executive Officer, Corporate and External Relations of the Graziadio School. “We did that by partnering a major research university with a professions-dominated graduate business school. The results are exciting.”

Prior to the event, the five teams worked to take existing intellectual property designed for a specific purpose and identify additional market opportunities to generate new revenue. At the event, the teams used a creative process called 15X and presented a combined 135 new ideas.

“15X succeeded better than we had originally expected,” says Sims.

More specifically, MBAs and UCSB researchers presented ideas that match zinc oxide thin film with smart window technology; apply fast and accurate nanoparticle analysis technology to the cosmetics industry; introduce organic epoxy based on the chemistry of squid beaks to composite manufacturing; apply a unique software program designed to measure and correct visual distortion due to macular degeneration to the design of drugstore kiosks; and a titanium cooling technology as a replacement for silicon packaging in commercial electronics.

Judges at the event pressed the 15X teams to defend the feasibility of the new business opportunities, their market and cost analysis, while questions from the audience prompted further scientific explanation. In the end, the titanium technology iterations won the event prize: $1,000 for each of the team’s members. The Graziadio School is assisting in the creation of a separate for-profit early stage venture capital fund to leverage 15X generated opportunities.

UCSB doctoral innovator Payam Bozorgi developed the winning titanium cooling technology. He collaborated with Pepperdine MBAs Travis Brewer and Evangelos Magiatis to explore a number of potential applications. “It was a great opportunity for me to bring our technology to the public and entrepreneurs,” says Bozorgi.

“As a pilot project 15X was very successful,” says Sims. “The process helped UCSB uncover many new commercial applications.”

About Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management
Founded on the core values of integrity, stewardship, courage, and compassion, Pepperdine University’s Graziadio (GRAT-ZEE-ah-DEE-oh) School of Business and Management has been developing values-centered leaders and advancing responsible business practice since 1969. Student-focused, experience-driven, and globally-oriented, the Graziadio School offers fully accredited MBA, Masters of Science, and bachelor’s completion business programs. More information found at


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