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Ag Certificate Group-1

Learning about technological entrepreneurship is often linked to innovation through research universities and can be used to help provide for underrepresented communities. UC Riverside's Office of Technology Partnerships (OTP) provides many resources for people to succeed through entrepreneurship, expand the pipeline of entrepreneurs, and promote intellectual property and start-up creation.  

Through hard work and commitment, 21 individuals are taking the INNOVAR Entrepreneurship class as part of the Modern Agriculture certificate program that runs from June 20th to August 24th. It has been an incredible experience for participants who are starting their businesses in the Inland Empire as they can learn and grow to be better entrepreneurs. Attendees from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of business experience have been deeply excited to develop their business ideas with the help of mentors and classes.  

This program, generously funded by the James Irvine Foundation, has received a lot of interest and excitement, with attendees presenting new and innovative business ideas ranging from creating disease-resistant fruits to producing local supplies of medicinal herbs and ornamentals.  

Through the INNOVAR courses, the participants are equipped with essential tools to achieve a stronger product-market fit by employing customer discovery methods. Furthermore, they benefit from dedicated mentorship, guiding them through every step of their entrepreneurial journey.  

The participants are passionate about helping their communities by providing safe organic food, reducing food deserts, and promoting urban farming. The program is also helping those who are trying to scale their existing businesses/farms and reach new markets.  

By the end of the course, the participants will be able to present their vetted business idea and have an opportunity to apply for proof of concept funding of up to $20,000 as well as continued support from OTP through UCR's EPIC Small Business Development Center. With access to the necessary tools and knowledge, these aspiring entrepreneurs are well-equipped to create successful and sustainable businesses. The ripple effects of their endeavors will benefit the communities they serve, fostering growth, resilience, and prosperity for all. 

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