Logo: University of Southern California

USC Viterbi Startup Garage Accelerates Tech Companies Like AIO Robotics

USC Viterbi students and alumni-led companies get a boost into the marketplace
By: Stephanie Shimada
September 15, 2013 —

The USC Viterbi Startup Garage is helping USC student and alumni entrepreneurs turn their ideas into real business ventures. Launched on May 28, 2013, the incubator provides financial support, mentoring and other strategic resources to a select group of USC students and alumni over a 12-week period, with the overarching goal of creating major engineering-led, high-tech companies in Los Angeles.

The Garage is an extension of the Viterbi Student Innovation Institute (VSI2), led by Ashish Soni, Executive Director. It features a unique collaboration between USC, venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and Hollywood talent firm United Talent Agency (UTA). More than 90 teams competed for 10 spots in the accelerator, with the selected teams receiving $20,000 in exchange for four percent equity.

Since the Garage’s inception, the venture accelerator has seen the invention of everything from a 3D printer to an app that displays a real-time measure of how crowded local gyms are.

Below is a sampling of the media stories that featured the Viterbi Startup Garage and its successes. Click on the logos to read the stories.


AIO Robotics, a startup venture of the USC Viterbi Startup Garage, has invented a multi-functional, all-in-one, 3D printer that may be a game changer in getting this technology into the commercial market.

GymFlow, one of the 10 USC startups that was accepted into the Viterbi Startup Garage, has launched an early tester program for its Apple and Android app, which provides users a real-time measure of how crowded local gyms are.

Ashish Soni, founding Director of the USC Viterbi Startup Garage, discusses how he created the Garage to foment a more supportive startup culture in Los Angeles, and to help provide aspiring entrepreneurs with access to capital, guidance and mentoring.
AIO Robotics introduced its 3D printer, Zeus, via Kickstarter on September 4. Zeus functions as a traditional all-in-one printer that can also scan and transmit three-dimensional objects. According to a RepRap forum post, Zeus is forecasted to be “the most reliable and usable 3D printer so far.”
AIO Robotics introduces Zeus on Kickstarter, a 3D printer that doubles as a 3D scanner, allowing users to print, copy and fax objects to another machine. Gizmodo comments that Zeus “has the potential to be a leading contender in the 3D printer market.”
GigaOM discusses how AIO Robotics’ Zeus 3D printer, a combination printer and scanner, is an “inevitable combination.” AIO Robotics is the brainchild of Jens Windau and Kai Chang, two computer science Ph.D. students at USC Viterbi.
Built in Los Angeles selects the USC Viterbi Startup Garage as its May “Startup of the Month.” In the article Ashish Soni, founder of the Garage, discusses his vision for helping build large technology, engineering-backed companies.
AIO Robotics’ Zeus exceeded its $100,000 Kickstarter funding goal after approximately one day after beginning crowdfunding. Zeus simplifies the print and scanning process and features a familiar, clean-looking user interface, giving it a consumer, mainstream feel.