From Grad School to Startup

Grafted Growers, started by students in the UA's McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, markets grafted vegetable plants under the name "Veg-Ease" to home gardeners and commercial growers.
Grafted Growers, started by students in the UA's McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, markets grafted vegetable plants under the name "Veg-Ease" to home gardeners and commercial growers.

While working toward advanced degrees, UA graduate students are producing new knowledge and products and forming companies that address significant challenges facing our state, nation and world.

These dedicated students engage in groundbreaking research, scholarship and outreach that often begins to have a real impact before they've even left the UA. When they graduate with their advanced degrees in hand, they are poised to continue making a difference in the way we think about everything from science to business and more.

After graduating, some of these students will continue to work in academia, while others will go into industry or choose to serve their communities in different ways, like joining the Peace Corps. The UA is consistently among the nation's top producers of Peace Corps volunteers.

Other alums will start businesses of their own, often with support from UA resources, such as the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship in the Eller College of Management or through Tech Launch Arizona, the UA's technology commercialization arm.

"These are smart people with great ideas, and they've worked really hard," said Zachary Brooks, president of the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council and a Tech Launch Arizona ambassador.

Brooks, a doctoral candidate in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching program, founded the UA's Research and Projects Grants program, or ReaP, to support graduate student work on campus. As a TLA ambassador, he helps to connect UA students with University resources to bring their ideas to market.

"Our goal is to help these students start businesses and stay in Arizona and in Tucson," he said.

Here we highlight just a few of the many innovators and entrepreneurs who have gone on to do just that after earning advanced degrees from the UA.

Read more from this April 22 UANews article at the link below. The article profiles Ricardo Hernández Moreno, a School of Plant Sciences alumnus. Hernández Moreno co-founded Grafted Growers, a company producing in grafted vegetable plants for commercial growers or home gardeners.

Date released: 
May 2 2014
Contact: 
Alexis Blue