Join the inaugural Synchrotron Program!

What is it?

  • 10-week long educational program
  • Meets Mondays 6-8:30 pm at Viterbi Startup Garage, includes light dinner
  • Includes free full-time residence in the Viterbi Startup Garage for 3 months

Why participate?

  • Free workspace in Silicon Beach during the program
  • Admitted teams are automatically considered for Viterbi Venture Fund
  • Select teams with deep technologies will be considered for $25,000 awards from IN-LA for customer discovery

Am I eligible?

  • USC affiliation (student, faculty, staff, alumni) or IN-LA affiliation*
  • You need not have a business yet, but need ideas
  • Teams up to 3 people may participate

* You must have completed or be registered for a ZAP! program.

Mentors and panelists:  Email us to participate!


  1. Lean startups:  Customer discovery, business model canvas, validating hypotheses
  2. Ecosystems: Identifying lead users and investing in finding them
  3. Law:  Corporate and intellectual property issues (will be led by attorneys)
  4. People: Growing teams; developing Advisory Boards and Boards of Directors
  5. Operations: Linking order fulfillment to cash flow; modeling cash flow and income
  6. Finance: Angel and venture investors; SBIR how-to; capitalization tables
  7. Playing the game:  Effective executive summaries, decks, and other communication tools
  8. Integration:  Linking a business model canvas and financial model
  9. Working session: Prepping for pitch session
  10. Pitch session


Aaron Fyke
Aaron FykeInstructor
Aaron Fyke has spent over twenty years as an entrepreneur, having founded, or assisted in the creation of, five companies and with a track record of building successful energy companies across a number of technology areas including fuel cell, ocean power, concentrating solar, advanced automotive engines, and energy storage technologies. He has deep experience as an operating executive, investor, and engineer.

He is currently a Investment Director at Rusheen Capital, and a Venture Partner with Climate Impact Capital. He was previously the CEO of Edisun Heliostats and Energy Cache. Previously he led the development of a $10m energy prize for the X PRIZE Foundation. Prior to that he was a Partner at Starfish Ventures, Australia’s largest venture capital firm, where Aaron led the investment into the fund’s biggest investment and exit – Ausra, a KPCB and Khosla Ventures backed solar thermal energy company.

Aaron earned his MBA and MSME as an LGO fellow at MIT, and his BEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria, where he graduated at the top of his class. He has achieved certification as a Professional Engineer both in California and British Columbia.

Customer discovery

  • If you have not done so previously, you must conduct 20 customer interviews during this program.
  • Teams with previous customer discovery experience will be given priority.

New to this?  Sign up for customer discovery education with Innovation Node – Los Angeles.


Key Dates

Applications Open
Application Deadline
Acceptance Notifications
Program Launches
Pitch Night!

How to Apply

 Apply Here by Sunday, February 12, 11:59 pm PT

Click Here