Entrepreneur Kevin Xu ’11 and his wife, Leah Yang MA ’13, have established the Brighten Award for Entrepreneurial Gerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology.
The award, named in honor of the couple’s son, will provide $20,000 each year on an ongoing basis to students who demonstrate entrepreneurship and aim to incorporate elder-friendly elements into their ideas. Xu and Yang are both USC alumni; Xu received his bachelor of arts in neuroscience; Yang received her master of aging services management in 2013.
USC works to equip future aging professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to respond effectively to the needs of an aging population, including the ability to introduce new aging-related innovations to the public. Many USC Davis graduates have gone on to become entrepreneurs and leaders in the aging industry, and the school strongly supports projects with translational possibilities. In particular, the school’s centers for Digital Aging and Creativity in Aging focus on developing new technologies and programs for use by older adults in the real world.
As a young biotechnology entrepreneur and member of the USC Davis Asian Advisory Board, Xu said he believes that a huge potential market related to the elderly population is underestimated. He said he hopes that the Brighten Award will encourage promising innovators for decades to come.
“We rely on our future entrepreneur generation to fully uncover the hidden value and benefit the nation both economically and structurally,” said Xu, CEO of MEBO International, a California-based intellectual property management company responsible for managing Human Body Regenerative Restoration Science. He is also CEO of Skingenix, a California-based company working on drug development in the field of damaged organ regeneration.
The couple’s pledge supports the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multiyear effort that seeks to raise $6 billion or more in private philanthropy to advance the university’s mission of academic excellence and to advance research and scholarship that will address society’s most pressing challenges. Three years after its launch, the campaign has raised more than $3.7 billion.