NextSpace and Soquel Group Team Up To Offer “Most Commercial” Prize At UCSC Engineering Competition

SANTA CRUZ, CA — June 8, 2009(For Immediate Release): NextSpace Coworking + Innovation, Inc., and Soquel Group LLC will jointly offer a prize to the UCSC Jack Baskin School of Engineering student team whose project is the “Most Commercial” at the upcoming bi-annual Senior Design Competition on June 12, 2009. The $2,000 Most Commercial prize will be judged by representatives of NextSpace and Soquel Group including Mark Kalow, Managing Director of Soquel Group. Other awards at the competition include Best Overall Project and Highest Technical Achievement.NextSpace and Soquel Group are offering the Most Commercial prize to give students incentive to think about the pragmatic aspects of creating technology, including solving an existing problem and bringing a product to market. Winning criteria include (1) whether the student project can be brought to market with an angel-level financial investment of $1 million or less, (2) whether the project responds to a practical need, and (3) whether the project addresses an identifiable customer target.

“Our goal with this prize is to stimulate entrepreneurial activities by UCSC students. We believe that senior and graduate Baskin Engineering students at UCSC represent an incredibly rich reservoir of ideas and talent. Tapping into those ideas and that talent is central to the mission of NextSpace and essential for creating a strong, vibrant economy here in Santa Cruz.,” explained Jeremy Neuner, co-founder and CEO of NextSpace, a coworking and innovation company in downtown Santa Cruz.

“As a patent agency, we want to encourage student innovations and for the innovations to lead to successful goods and services. An innovation that solves a real-world problem creates significant value,” added Robert Blumberg, Managing Director of Soquel Group, a full-service patent agency based in Santa Cruz.

The competition is part of a two-quarter undergraduate capstone course, where students work in cross-disciplinary teams, applying knowledge and skills gained in their elective track to complete a significant interdisciplinary design project, and win prizes! The projects are judged at the June 12 event at Baskin Engineering on the UCSC campus.

About NextSpace

NextSpace is a coworking and innovation company in downtown Santa Cruz. The mission of NextSpace is to catalyze local ideas, local talent, and local capital in Santa Cruz to create products, services, and solutions for the global marketplace. In addition to managing an 11,000 square foot coworking and innovation facility, NextSpace offers business consulting and capital formation services to small and start-up businesses.

About Soquel Group

Founded in 2005, Soquel Group is a full-service patent agency that provides services to companies and private inventors for every step of the patent process, including drafting, filing, continued prosecution, analysis, licensing and commercialization. Soquel Group consists of scientists, engineers, and business analysts with broad technical and financial backgrounds. Soquel Group works with clients to cost-effectively develop, strengthen and expand their patent portfolio with the goal of creating intellectual property portfolios that generate significant value.

About the Jack Baskin School of Engineering

The Jack Baskin School of Engineering ( at UCSC prepares technologists–and sponsors technology–for our changing world. Founded in 1997, Baskin Engineering trains students in six future-focused areas of engineering: biotechnology/information technology/nanotechnology; bioengineering; information and communication infrastructure; mathematical and statistical modeling; software and services engineering; and system design. Baskin Engineering faculty conduct industry-leading research that is improving the way the world does business, treats the environment, and nurtures humanity.

For further information please contact:

Jeremy Neuner
Co-Founder and CEO, NextSpace Coworking + Innovation, Inc.
Tel: (831) 420-0710

Robert Blumberg
Managing Director, Soquel Group
Tel: (831) 426-8200

Mary Trigiani
Jack Baskin School of Engineering, UC Santa Cruz
Tel: (831) 459-2495