Venture Catalyst Hosts Third Annual Biotech Innovation Gallery Event and Startup Showcase
The virtual Biotech Innovation Gallery (BIG) Event and Startup Showcase on January 6, 2021 marked the culmination of the Venture Catalyst BIG Accelerator program, which supports a cohort of exciting early-stage biotech startups by providing targeted mentoring engagements, business model and investor pitch coaching, guidance on fundraising strategy, and assistance with developing collateral used when engaging with potential investors and strategic partners. Several of the startups that participated in the BIG Accelerator program were selected to provide elevator pitches during the main showcase portion of the event, including:

  • Seven Biosciences is a GPCR targeted drug discovery company which engineers and uses cutting-edge fluorescent biosensor technology.
  • Panacea Longevity is the world's first biotech company dedicated to the research and development of fasting mimetics designed from human research to extend lifespan and improve cellular health.
  • Storx Technologies develops non-invasive fetal oximetry.
  • NeoPOSE is revolutionizing the way we diagnose Critical Congenital Heart disease in newborns, enabling doctors to catch these conditions sooner and save lives.
  • Protein Architects is developing solutions for the detection, protection, prediction, and adaptive therapeutics against zoonotic threats.
  • InVixa is developing lung-targeted therapies to treat COVID-19, using inhaled statins to allow for a more targeted, effective treatment with lower doses and side effects.
  • Botanical Solutions has a proprietary research and development platform for sustainable and improved production of consistent, high quality Advanced Botanical Materials (ABM).
  • Tesio Pharmaceuticals is developing best-in-class therapeutics to treat and prevent osteoarthritis.
  • Ravata Solutions has developed an innovative diagnostic tool to measure human embryo quality for use in In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

The event also included updates on translational research, innovation, and technology commercialization activities at UC Davis and featured a keynote talk from Thomas Osha, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development at Wexford Science & Technology, covering emerging trends in life sciences innovation driving new investment opportunities and the Aggie Square innovation district.

The BIG Accelerator program and showcase event were enabled by funding from the UC Davis Office of Research with additional support from Squire Patton Boggs.

  • Click here to view a recording of the event
  • Click here to learn more about the presenting startups 
  • Click here to learn about the Aggie Square innovation district at UC Davis

Contact Venture Catalyst to be connected to presenting startups or learn more about our investor and strategic partner engagement initiatives

UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange Webinar
Nuts & Bolts of Intellectual Property Protection for Early-Stage Startups

  • Todd Ostomel, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs 

Most startup founders have been exposed to basic information on the standard types of intellectual property (IP) – patents, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets – and understand that IP is one of the most important assets driving company value. However, many founders struggle with applying this basic knowledge to their company strategy and face challenges in grasping the nuts and bolts of protecting their IP. This is especially the case for student and alumni entrepreneurs where the university is not involved in protecting and licensing foundation IP. This talk, led by experienced IP attorney and UC Davis alumnus Todd Ostomel will provide practical insights for founders of science and technology-based companies and address topics such as:

  • Best practices for cost-effective IP protection and procurement
  • Common strategies and approaches
  • Avoiding common mistakes
  • Timelines and budgets for patent protection 
  • Timelines and budgets for trade secret protection
  • IP disclosure forms
  • Non-disclosure agreements and material transfer agreements
  • IP audits and engaging an IP attorney

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 10:30 – 11:45 am
Seed Central Innovators Showcase
Seed Central, in partnership with Venture Catalyst, the UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food & Health, and the Microbiome Special Research Program will host a virtual Innovators Showcase with pitch sessions, panel discussions, and online company visits scheduled for January 21-29, 2021. The showcase will feature startups and innovative companies in seed, ag, agbiotech, microbiome, and food & health and will also include a panel discussion on incubator and startup space in the Davis-Sacramento region, with particular focus on seed-to-fork.
‘Click Chemistry’ Cancer Treatment Developed by UC Davis Startup Now in Clinical Trials
Shasqi, a startup enabled with technology developed at UC Davis and the State University of New York at Albany, launched a Phase 1 human clinical trial of its precision activated oncology therapeutic. Shasqi is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company with a mission of developing precision activated oncology therapeutics designed to improve efficacy while decreasing systemic toxicity. Shasqi’s lead program, based on its Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC™) platform, is being evaluated for the treatment of advanced solid tumors, including soft tissue sarcoma.... Read More
Two Faculty Elected Fellows of National Academy of Inventors
Two UC Davis faculty members are among the newly elected fellows of the National Academy of Inventors:

  • David A. Horsley, professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering, College of Engineering. Horsley is co-founder and chief technology officer of TDK-Chirp Microsystems, a manufacturer of ultrasonic sensors using micro electromechanical systems, or MEMS, technology. Horsley holds 21 issued and licensed U.S. patents and 11 pending patent applications for MEMS-based sensors and actuators on silicon devices.
  • Michael Rogawski, professor of neurology and pharmacology, School of Medicine. Rogawski is the inventor, with UC Davis project scientist Dorota Zolkowska, of brexanolone (Zulresso), the first Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for the treatment of postpartum depression. He holds seven U.S. patents and has additional pending patent applications, mostly related to new treatment approaches for seizures and epilepsy. 

Their election brings the total number of current UC Davis faculty members who are fellows of the academy to 12. Established in 2012, the fellows program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.... Read More
Promise for New Proteins (Comstock’s Magazine)
The Sacramento region has experienced significant advancements in the alternative protein sector. An example of a startup in this space, NuCicer, was spun off from UC Davis in 2019. Co-Founded by Dr. Douglas Cook and Katheryn Cook, the company is breeding modern-day chickpeas with varietals from the past, which increases its protein content as well the protein quality, making a more nutritionally sound chickpea. Furthermore, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Growing Convergence Research program awarded UC Davis a roughly $4 million grant to research cultured meat... Read More
Identifying Where to Reforest After Wildfire
Researchers from UC Davis, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Cal Fire, and the U.S. Forest Service developed a predictive mapping tool to learn where forests are likely to regenerate. The tool, also known as the Post-fire Spatial Conifer Regeneration Prediction Tool (POSCRPT), will help forest managers identify within weeks after a fire where sufficient natural tree regeneration is likely and where artificial planting of seedlings may be necessary to restore the most vulnerable areas of the forest.... Read More
UC Davis Center for Neuroengineering & Medicine Aims to Improve Quality of Life for All
The UC Davis College of Engineering launched the UC Davis Center for Neuroengineering & Medicine (NE&M), an integrated, multi-disciplinary effort that seeks to repair, restore, and augment human capacity to benefit society. Center investigators will apply engineering principles to complement UC Davis’ existing expertise in neuroscience and medicine through highly interdisciplinary research, development and translation of engineered systems that interface with the brain and the body.... Read More
U.S. Small Businesses To Get More Cash As Pandemic Loan Program Re-Opens (Reuters)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the third round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $284 billion in new funds. The new program will initially use smaller lenders to prioritize smaller businesses that may not have received enough funds during the first two rounds of the PPP.... Read More
Stay Informed of Latest COVID-19 Research and Information from UC Davis: COVID-19 Research Working Group
Startup News
Sage Therapeutics Announces the Appointment of Barry Greene as CEO
Sage Therapeutics announced that, as part of the Company’s plan to accelerate growth and leverage the talents of the leaders in the brain health space, Barry Greene has been appointed chief executive officer.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Announces Closing of $8.0 Million Registered Direct Offering Priced At-the-Market
Arcadia Biosciences announced the closing of its previously announced registered direct offering of 2,618,658 shares of its common stock. The offering was priced at-the-market at a purchase price per share of $2.93, for gross proceeds of approximately $7.7 million.... Read More
Izotropic Reports High Degree of Confidence After Pre-Submission Meeting with FDA
Izotropic Corporation announced it has received the finalized meeting minutes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in connection with the Company's recent pre-submission meeting and the market approval process for its commercial Breast CT Imaging System.... Read More
Startup Career Opportunities
Career Opportunities at AnimalBiome
AnimalBiome is currently hiring for an animal care specialist and a laboratory technician.... Learn more
Career Opportunities at Chirp Microsystems
Chirp Microsystems (part of TDK) is hiring for multiple engineering positions, along with positions in product marketing, accounting, and lab supervision.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Evolve Biosystems
Evolve Biosystems is currently hiring for two senior management position.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Novoheart
Novoheart is currently hiring for an engineer, a research assistant, and three scientist positions.... Learn more
Career Opportunities at Sage Therapeutics
Sage Therapeutics is hiring for a wide range of positions from director-level positions to contract administrator.... Learn more
News From the DRIVE Network
Botanical Solution Inc. (BSI) Secures $3.3 Million in Funding with Second Round Planned for Spring 2021
Botanical Solution, a member of Davis Coworking, secured $3.3 million in a seed round of funding, and is planning another round of funding for Spring 2021. The Spring 2021 round of funding will boost BSI’s ability to discover and develop novel botanical products that are sustainable, highly consistent and cost effective.... Read More
Regional News
Mosaic and BioConsortia to Collaborate on New Nitrogen-Fixing Microbial Products
The Mosaic Company and BioConsortia entered into a collaboration to develop and launch nitrogen-fixing microbial products for corn, wheat and other major non-legume row crops. The Mosaic – BioConsortia partnership is aimed at developing yield enhancing in-furrow and seed treatment products that can be used either stand-alone or in combination with conventional chemistries and fertilizers.... Read More
Startup of the Month: Unfold (Comstock’s Magazine)
Unfold, a Sacramento-based startup focusing on serving the indoor growing facilities in a better manner by transforming fruit and vegetable seeds, was identified as the startup of the month by Comstock’s Magazine…. Read More
Innovation Insights
Five Reasons Startup Boards Fail To Add Value (Forbes) 
There are several mistakes that startup founders make, which diminish opportunities for boards to add value. The five most common include: 1) Death by reporting: excessive reporting instead of future planning, 2) Board overflow: boards of inordinate size, 3) Investor “showboating”: letting egos interfere with important decisions, 4) Optics over strategy: staffing certain people simply for their ‘name’ instead of their work, 5) Lack of diversity: lacking a diversity of backgrounds in their board members.… Read More
Woman-Led Startups Hit Harder In This Pandemic Year (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
Fundraising by women-founded startups declined by about one third in 2020 compared to 2019. The drop follows three years of gains in the amount of money going to venture-backed companies led by women. On the positive side, venture exits by female-founded companies have increased 16% year-over-year.... Read More
US Seed Stage Investment Flourished During the Pandemic (TechCrunch) 
During the initial stages of the pandemic, there were significant layoffs within startups with declines in funding. However, by the third quarter of 2020, dealmaking activity was back up and seed-investing was flourishing to a record-breaking level.... Read More
Funding Opportunities
MedTech Accelerator & Competition
Applications Deadline: January 25, 2021.... Learn More
Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge
Application Deadline: January 29, 2021.... Learn More
Rice Business Plan Competition
Application Deadline: February 2, 2020.... Learn More
VentureWell E-Teams
Application Deadline: February 3, 2021.... Learn More
Caltech Rocket Fund, CleanTech Funding
Application Deadline: March 1, 2021.... Learn More
KidneyX Artificial Kidney Prize
Application Deadline: March 24, 2021.... Learn More
GROW Impact Accelerator
Currently accepting applications.... Learn More
IndieBio Accelerator
Currently accepting applications.... Learn More
Open SBIR/STTR Grant Topics.... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Entrepreneurship
Dates: January 23-24, 2021 and April 17-18, 2021.... Learn More
Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Big Bang! Business Competition Events and Workshops
Dates: Ongoing.... Learn More
SBIR Road Tour Virtual Events
Dates: Ongoing.... Learn More
Regional Events
Startup Grind Sacramento: Avoiding Startup Legal Mistakes
Date: February 9, 2021.... Learn More
AgStart Office Hours
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Sacramento State Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Events and Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Small Business Development Center Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Silicon Valley USPTO Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Bay Area NSF Innovation Corps Immersive Short Courses
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
1 Million Cups
Date: Weekly (Wednesdays).... Learn More
Industry Events
BIO CEO & Investor Digital Conference
Date: February 16-18, 2021.... Learn More
Startup Grind Global Conference (Virtual)
Date: February 22-25, 2021.... Learn More
Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference (Virtual)
Date: February 23-25, 2021.... Learn More
World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit (Virtual)
Date: March 9-10, 2021.... Learn More
SXSW Conference (Virtual)
Date: March 16-20, 2021.... Learn More
TechCrunch Early Stage (Virtual)
Date: April 1-2, 2021.... Learn More
Venture Summit Virtual Connect
Date: May 5-7, 2021.... Learn More
JLABS Virtual Educational Events
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
About Venture Catalyst 
UC Davis Venture Catalyst supports the development of new ventures fueled by university research and technology. Venture Catalyst offers several innovative programs that bridge the gap between early-stage research and commercialization and provide entrepreneurs the resources, support, and connections needed to successfully form and grow technology-based startups. With a focus on accelerating technology-led economic development in the Davis-Sacramento region, Venture Catalyst also works closely with partners in the regional innovation and economic development ecosystems. 
Contact Venture Catalyst 
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