Come to the Info Sessions for Real-Time FAQ
Dates and locations for the Info Sessions are located on the Home page
Dates and locations for the Info Sessions are located on the Home page
Who Can Apply?
Any enrolled student at UCSD can apply from any department. Graduate students are given a preference in applying.
When will I hear if I am accepted?
The class has a rolling admission and quickly after you apply, you will receive word. You will also be asked to talk with the teaching team or meet up to discuss the class to answer any questions you might have.
I have some questions, whom should I contact?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am interested in finding team members or joining a team, where can I look?
Fill out the application form as an individual and the instructors will be in touch or go to one of the information sessions listed on the home page.
How do apply?
See the application page
Can I apply as a team with an idea/technology?
Yes, but you need to contact one of the members of teaching team to discuss your idea and get help finding a sponsor to sponsor your team.
How do I join the mailing list?
Press the join mailing list here.
I am not technical, can I apply?
Yes, any student can apply. The best efforts come from teams that have a diverse background.
I have an idea/project that I think the Hacking 4 Environment: Oceans program would be interested in. It doesn't fit one of the problem topics, can I still apply for this class?
Please contact the teaching team as soon as possible to see if it is possible to identify an organization to sponsor your project.
What is the difference between this class and the Lean Launchpad or I-Corps?
In the Haas Lean Launchpad, student teams come to class with a vision of a product or service they’d like to build. In H4O, student teams select from an existing set of problems provided by the industry. Although teams pick a problem to solve, H4O is not a product incubator for a specific technology solution. Instead, it provides teams with a deeper understanding of selected problems, the challenges of getting them out to the field, and the host of potential technological solutions that might be arrayed to solve them.
Do I have to be a US citizen to take this class?
No, all nationalities are welcome.
Do I have to have previous experience with environmental research organizations?
No prior experience required - the class has a set of mentors and advisers to assist the teams.
How will we figure out who to talk to from sponsoring organizations?
Each team will have a dedicated sponsor. They are the providers of the problem and will be making initial introductions for you. Then the rest is up to you, your teammates, mentors, and advisers to help you figure whom else to talk to.
How much time per week will I be spending on this class?
While the class meets once a week for three hours, students regularly spend 10-15 hours each talking to customers and building minimal viable products. Do not take this class if you cannot commit the time.
Team Formation & Ideas
Who owns the intellectual property tested in the Mission Model?
If you’re working with a UCSD related-technology (i.e. either research from one of the team members or University IP), you must check with the Policy & Records Administration to understand UCSD ownership rights in any resulting IP.
- You own what Intellectual Property (patents, hardware, algorithms, etc.) you brought to class with you. No one (other than UCSD) has claim to anything you brought to class.
- You own all intellectual property (such as code for a web-based project) developed during class. You are agreeing to open-source your class developed assets. Your sponsor will have access to those materials.
- You and your team members need to disclose to each other and your sponsor what IP/Licensing rights any company you’ve worked at has to inventions you make at school.
- If any of you decide to start a company based on the class, you own only what was written and completed in the class. You have no claim for work done before or after the class quarter.
- If a subset of the team decides to start a company, they do NOT “owe” anything to any other team members for work done in and during the class. All team members are free to start the same company, without permission of the others. (We would hope that a modicum of common sense and fairness would apply.)
- By taking this class you have agreed to these terms with your team.
I feel my idea / Mission Model may become a real company and the "next killer app" and I want to own it myself what should I do?
A number of startups have come out of the Lean LaunchPad/Hacking for X classes. However, this is a team-based class. While you're in these classes your slides, notes, and findings will be shared with your team. There are no Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA's.) Your team owns everything done in class. Discuss Intellectual Property rights with your team from the beginning. If you can’t come to agreement with the team, join another team, pick another project, or drop the class. Remember anything you do and learn in the class is public.
Will my Intellectual Property rights be covered under non-disclosures when I discuss my ideas with the class?
NO. This is an open class. There are no non-disclosures. All your presentations and Customer Discovery and Validation notes, business model canvas, blogs and slides can, and most likely will, be made public. This class is not an incubator. At times you will learn by seeing how previous classes solved the same class of problem by looking at their slides, notes and blogs.
Keep in mind that successful companies are less about the original idea and more about the learning, discovery and execution. (That’s the purpose of this class.) Therefore you must be prepared to share your ideas openly with the class. It is a forum for you to "bounce" your ideas off your peers.
I’m not comfortable sharing what I learn with others, what should I do?
Do not take this class. At times you will learn by seeing how previous classes solved the same class of problem by looking at their slides, notes and blogs.
What kind of support will our team have?
The teaching team consists of professors, experienced government professionals, and multiple Course Assistants. Each team will be assigned two mentors and a liaison. A mentor is an experienced researcher, investor or consultant assigned to your team. They’ve volunteered to help with the class and your team because they love hard problems, love startups and appreciate the importance of addressing issues facing the city. Their job is to guide you as you get out of the building and to interface effectively with your sponsors.
How often can we/should we meet with our mentor?
Your mentor is expecting to meet with you at least every week face-to-face or by Skype. You can email them or meet with them more often if they have time.
Can I talk to a mentor not assigned to my team?
By all means, do so. All the mentors are happy to help. However they cannot support your team full time unless your mentor decides to swap places with them.
I have a busy schedule and my mentor can’t meet when I want them to.
Mentors have day jobs. Asking them to meet or reply to you ASAP is not acceptable. So plan ahead to allow for a reasonable amount of time for a reply or meeting. Be concise with your request and be respectful of their time.
I need help now.
You first stop is your GSIs. Email or sit down with them during the week if you have a problem. Your professors have office hours every (Time TBD). If you need something resolved sooner, email us.
What roles are in each team?
Traditionally, each team member is part of the “customer development team”. You have to figure out how to allocate the work.
What if my team becomes dysfunctional?
Prepare to work through difficult issues. If the situation continues, approach the teaching team. Do not wait until the end of the quarter to raise the issue.
What if one of my teammates is not "pulling his/her weight"?
Try to resolve it within your team. If the situation continues longer than a week, please approach the teaching team. Final grades will reflect individual participation and contribution.
What kind of feedback can I expect?
Weekly continual and direct feedback. Substandard quality work will be immediately brought to your attention