Beall Family Foundation Gift to Fund UCI’s First-of-Its-Kind Nonprofit Business Accelerator
Last week, The Beall Family Foundation, led by Donald and Joan Beal, granted a multi-million dollar gift to the University of California, Irvine. This new donation has brought the Beall family’s total contributions to UCI to almost $30 million. The most significant segment of this donation will go to UCI Applied Innovation, the campus’s entrepreneurial and innovation platform, which is to be renamed UCI Beall Applied Innovation.
UCI Applied Innovation was created in 2014 by Chancellor Howard Gillman to bring “campus-based inventions and entrepreneurship together with Orange County’s vibrant business community to support job creation and economic growth.” It intends to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Irvine and surrounding cities.
Donald Beall is chairman of The Beall Family Foundation and a principal in Dartbrook Partners LLC. After a 30-year career at Rockwell International — 20 of which he served as either chairman/CEO or president/COO — Mr. Beall retired in 1998. Mr. Beall sits on the advisory boards and executive committees of several schools and units across UCI, and his wife, Joan, sits on the advisory board of the Beall Center for Art + Technology.
“The impact the Bealls have on furthering the mission of UCI is remarkable,” Chancellor Gillman stated in a quote. “From the arts to business to innovation, their generosity is felt throughout the campus, and we are grateful for their support.”
“UCI Beall Applied Innovation understands that bringing great innovation to market requires a very intentional approach to industry engagement, and no one knows that better than Donald Beall,” said Richard Sudek, Ph.D., executive director of UCI Beall Applied Innovation and UCI’s chief innovation officer. “His generosity of leadership and acute business acumen are tremendous skills he brings to our board. His legacy of supporting innovation and technology translation will ensure that Orange County remains responsive to developing industries and economic opportunities. And this is at the heart of UCI Beall Applied Innovation.”
Mr. Beall’s son, Kenneth Beall, is a successful real estate entrepreneur and has also been highly involved at UCI. He was on the task force that initially created UCI Applied Innovation, and has also previously served as chairman of the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business. He succeeded his father as chairman of the entrepreneurial hub in 2018. In addition, he also helped to create and launch a master’s program in innovation and entrepreneurship, the only one of its kind in the UC system, which will begin its first year this fall.
UCI Beall Applied Innovation and the Beall Family Foundation have also begun a new endeavor, in collaboration, entitled University Lab Partners. It is set to be the first nonprofit wet lab incubator/accelerator in Orange County. University Lab Partners will open in September and will provide 17,000 square feet of specialized labs and equipment. Its primary focus is on life sciences and medical technology. NXT Biomedical, led by Stan Rowe, the former chief scientific officer at Edwards Lifesciences, will be one of the new program’s initial residents.