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Meet Gloria Negrete of The Basement, UC San Diego

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gloria Negrete.

Gloria, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Established in 2015, The Basement was created to equip and assist innovative, entrepreneurial, and change maker project teams. The unique program is both an incubator and accelerator for all undergraduate students looking to expand their ideas into real-world applications.

We began with a blank canvas in the basement of Mandeville Hall on the UC San Diego campus. Although we were extremely thrilled to have it from the start, the now vibrant creative space known as The Basement, was admittedly dreary and barren before we got started. I remember getting lost my first time there and once I found my way there was not much there but a child’s broken tricycle, for some reason, along with a few other odd ends mostly music.

In its previous lives, space served the music department as a room for recitals, dance rehearsals and choir practice, evidenced by the reams of old sheet music found in these storage lockers. In the 1960s, when Highway 101 ran straight through campus, rumor has it that the only gas station for miles sat on this spot. Today, The Basement is helping to fuel student innovation in creating companies, technologies, jobs and societal impact.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Thanks to the incredible support from alumni, campus partners and the startup community, we have had a smooth journey in establishing ourselves and in supporting the innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs on campus.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
As the flagship student startup incubator at UC San Diego, The Basement incubates student-led technologies, social innovations, startups and talent. Part of The Basement’s success comes from the way it alleviates risk for students, allowing them to focus on creation rather than securing workspace or supplies.

Students receive mentorship, resources, and space to develop their business or social impact ideas via The Basement program. At The Basement, students learn the startup formation process by building their own startup for themselves not by reading about it. They are living it — successfully bringing new ideas to market and thriving in today’s burgeoning entrepreneurial climate.

What are you most proud of as a company and what sets us apart?
The Basement is a campus-wide discipline agnostic program, which means all students can access The Basement as their resource. Additionally, The Basement is an IP (Intellectual Property), Free Zone, where undergraduate startup teams can retain full IP of their technologies and inventions. Cross-disciplinary approaches to startup formation are encouraged. Any student with an idea for a business or a product can apply to start or join a team.

How do you, personally, define success? What’s your criteria, the markers you’re looking out for, etc?
The Basement’s mission is to stimulate, encourage and serve the entrepreneurial, innovative and change maker spirit of UC San Diego students by providing space, resources and mentorship.

We see success in supporting all students broadly across campus and disciplines. Connecting the community with our programming to intersect with the campus’ innovation ecosystem and our students is key here. The Basement is more than just an incubation program for companies and technologies; we focus on helping students.

The skills students acquire at The Basement are immensely useful in today’s evolving job market. Resilience, resourcefulness, and an ability to handle risk are valuable traits for current positions as well as the start-up world.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jeff Belk, Sin Fronteras, Waitz and  Chancellor Pradeep Khosla

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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