California Lutheran University, in Thousand Oaks, has awarded $180,000 as part of its inaugural Dorfman Incubator Grants program. The funds will be used to provide hands-on opportunities for students and help alumni and professors launch startups.
The grants are not contingent on an equity stake or repayment. Recipients must, however, provide experiences to students and alumni and share information on their experiences with Cal Lutheran through lectures, case studies or in other ways.
“These startup grants are a quintessential example of the reciprocal partnerships Cal Lutheran has prioritized in its 2022-27 Strategic Plan. These partnerships aim to concurrently provide real-world learning to students and financial assistance and research expertise to community members, organizations and businesses,” Cal Lutheran President Lori Varlotta said in a statement.
The grants will be awarded annually for seven years.
One of the recipients of a grant was Calabasas-based InvoCure, an online medical marketplace for medical care facilities.
The company’s founder and chief executive, Brian Malchow, received a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems in 1999, and an MBA in information technology management in 2001 from Cal Lutheran.
Cal Lutheran student Jack Spar is an intern at the company.
Also receiving grant funding was Modern Football Technology, based in Rocklin, which helps football coaches analyze game data. Undergraduate alumni Tom Leogrande and Christian Masegian co-founded the company. Former University of Texas football coach and Cal Lutheran alumni Tom Herman is an adviser and a board member. The grant will allow the company to conduct speed tests of football players at California community colleges.
A video game created by Joshua Janik called “A Fox and His Robot” also received funding. Janik began working on the game while at Cal Lutheran; he graduated from the university in 2018. The funding will be used for marketing.
Tlali•pani was the fourth company to receive grant money. Tlali•pani sells artisanal home goods made by indigenous women-led artisan families in Oaxaca. It was founded by Fabiola Lara and Sabith Khan, director of Cal Lutheran’s Master of Public Policy and Administration program.
The grant money will be used for a line of chocolates.
Applications for the next round of grants from Cal Lutheran will open early next year.