The Applied Innovation Foundation was originally founded as the Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative (BMIC) in 2009.  

The concept started as a Mobile Innovation & Entrepreneurship class, taught by Ken Singer at UC Berkeley in the Fall of 2008 in which students competed in the same way that companies compete for investment dollars.


After two successful years of “beta testing” the program, BMIC was formed by Ken Singer, Paul Nerger, and Bill Washburn to take the concepts of the competitive nature of the course and turn it into a global competition between universities worldwide.


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The name was changed in the fall of 2012 to The Applied Innovation Institute (AII) to reflect the need to extend the idea of learning entrepreneurship through competition beyond the field of mobile and to create an academic side of the organization that would assist faculty around the globe in the field of entrepreneurship.

The Institute began to advance a broad range of application areas by connecting student, faculty, and industry leaders.

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In the Spring of 2016, the Board of Directors determined that the Applied Innovation Institute should be split into two distinct entities.​

The entity branded as "Applied Innovation Institute" continues as a think tank leveraging global faculty for issues relating to innovation, and continues in its charter for public service. 

The second entity derived from the original AII has been re-branded as "Applied Innovation Foundation" and continues to focus on "expanding the global capacity for innovation."