Welcoming the Community to an Open House

Ribbon cutting

Leaders of innovation at UCI celebrate the new location with a ribbon cutting ceremony. From left to right: Assistant Director Breanna Hale, Division of Undergraduate Education Dean Michael Dennin, Carol Choi, Eugene Choi, Applied Innovation Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director Richard Sudek, Executive Director David Ochi. The Chois have provided support critical to the center, such as their initial donation that helped to foster innovation on campus.

The ANTrepreneur Center’s Open House was a huge success! On March 1, we had great music, a fruit paradise, and inspiring speeches from leaders in the community. We had such a huge turnout, with over 100 guests in attendance, including faculty, local entrepreneurs, students, and alumni.

Peter the Anteater with attendees.

Attendees got a chance to meet a few rising startups as well. Nearly a dozen students and alumni showcased their businesses. Natalie Sweis represented her company Seasonally Fresh, which is a center for organic, local, and sustainable farm-fresh food. The co-founder said, “Food is distributed with less waste. The food waste is more visible to the smaller contributors.”

Amie Prathummas, founder of Pearly Pear, focuses on selling succulents. She said, “my succulents are unique and can’t be found in ordinary store They are cute and has its own personality.”

Rachel Ford, founder of El’s Oil, is a startup that focuses on helping people have healthy and longer hair. She said, “I made all natural ingredients in my products because,” eventually, hair products, “ends up in your bloodstream.”

Closed Loop Plastics

Closed Loop Plastics was among the startups showcasing their business during Open House.

Ola Adesanya presented his startup, AirNotes, which is a wearable glove that helps the blind with everyday life. He said, “Don’t think small dream big. Dreams don’t fit our reality or our current state, they are not supposed to seem possible or easy, but with each passing day take the next possible step within our reach to make that dream a reality.” These are all amazing individuals who had a small idea, but now are leaders and ANTrepreneurs!

Everyone had a blast participating in different activities and meeting new people. For those who attended the event, thank you for making this Open House possible! Hopefully, you enjoyed being the company of ANTrepreneurs and spending your afternoon at our new location. We are excited to utilize our new space to support UC Irvine and entrepreneurship in any way we can.

There’s plenty more of the event than what you’ve read. Visit our photo reel to see the whole picture.


Attendees celebrate the ANTrepreneur Center’s ribbon cutting with UCI’s Zot chant.

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