Finalists Named in 3rd Annual Sacramento Region Innovation Awards
Nine UC Davis-affiliated companies are among the 21 finalists for the Sacramento Region Innovation Awards, presented by Stoel Rives LLP, Moss Adams LLP, and the Sacramento Business Journal. Nearly 100 nominations were reviewed by the selection committee, which was made up of representatives from the region’s business, academic, and technology sectors. Winners in the eight categories will be revealed during an awards luncheon on Thursday, November 1, 2018. The UC Davis-affiliated finalists fell within six of the eight award categories and include:
Advanced Manufacturing
  • Atocera, Inc. – Microfabricated Blades
Food & Agribusiness
  • Pheronym, Inc. – A New Kind of Pheromone for Agricultural Pest Control
Government & Civics
  • JAPA – Parking Management Solution
Hardware & Electronics
  • Chirp Microsystems, Inc. – A TDK Group Company – Ultrasonic 3D-Sensing Solutions
  • Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. – Hybrid and Electric Drivetrain Systems
  • TacSense – Flexible Iontronic Sensing Technology
Medical & Health – BioPharma
  • AnimalBiome – Gut Microbiome Assessments and Supplements for Dogs and Cats
  • Cognivive –Virtual Reality Game Treatment for Brain Injury Recovery
Medical & Health – MedTech
  • MUSE Microscopy Inc. – MUSE (Microscopy with Ultraviolet Sectioning Excitation)

UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange:
Interacting with the FDA - Tips for How to Prepare and Engage Effectively
  • James (Jim) Swick, Ph.D., Medtech, Biomedical, Preclinical, and Regulatory Consultant - Jim Swick Consulting

Interacting with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on regulatory matters is something that many life science and medical-based startups fear. The process can be complex, confusing, and daunting. During this talk, Dr. Swick will discuss how to best develop a game plan for interacting with the agency. The topics covered will include when and how to contact the FDA, who to engage with, and more importantly, pitfalls to avoid.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Join us for Lunch @
Oak Park Research Building, UC Davis Health Campus
2700 Stockton Blvd, Seminar Room 1305
Sacramento, CA 95817
Venture Catalyst and Internship & Career Center Launch the TAP TM Program
The Talent Acquisition Partnership (TAP TM) Program is a collaboration between UC Davis Venture Catalyst and the Internship & Career Center that offers startups participating in the Venture Catalyst Smart Toolkit for Accelerated Research Translation (START TM) Program access to the Internship and Career Fairs as an employer at a discounted registration rate. The TAP program enables Venture Catalyst START Program participants to recruit talented UC Davis students and alumni for internships and employment opportunities in their companies.  Contact Venture Catalyst for more information.
UC Davis Sets Record With $846.7 Million in Research Funding
UC Davis had a record year for external research funding in fiscal year 2017-18, receiving $846.7 million in awards, a $64 million increase from the previous year. Research grants from industry were up $12.1 million to $73.6 million. The UC Davis School of Medicine received the largest allocation of research awards at $300 million in fiscal year 2017-18. Other school totals include the School of Veterinary Medicine at $77.3 million, the College of Engineering at $62.4 million, the College of Biological Sciences at $54.9 million, the College of Letters and Science at $51.8 million, and the School of Education at $12.9 million.... Read More
UC Davis Pathologist Competes for Global Cancer Advancement Award (Sacramento Business Journal)
Dr. Richard Levenson, the vice chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the UC Davis Medical Center, two time Venture Catalyst STAIR TM Grant recipient, and the founder of UC Davis startup, MUSE Microscopy, is a category winner of the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize. The prize recognizes top innovations in support, education and technology. Dr. Levenson is representing technology with his microscope technology that does not require clinicians to make slides to look at magnified tissue. All three category winners will present their ideas to a panel of judges at the 2018 World Cancer Congress with the winner receiving $50,000.... Read More
Higher Levels of Bifidobacteria in the Infant Gut Associated with Lower Antibiotic Resistance
According to a new study published by researchers at UC Davis, gut microbes in children may play a role in keeping antibiotic-resistant infections at bay. The study is the first to analyze the relationship between Bifidobacteria and antimicrobial resistance. The researchers found that children with higher levels of Bifidobacteria , a common bacterium found in the gut, had reduced abundance and lower frequency of the genes associated with drug resistance. The study was led by Dr. David Mills, PhD, and Diana Taft, PhD , and was a collaboration between UC Davis and The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh. Dr. Mills is a Professor in the Departments of Viticulture & Enology and Food Science & Technology at UC Davis and the co-founder of Evolve BioSystems, a UC Davis-affiliated startup... Read More
Minibrains Move a Step Closer to Helping Patients
A research team lead by a UC Davis neurosurgeon Ben Waldau was able to successfully grow parts of human brains. The team demonstrated that the lab-grown organoids could grow their own human blood vessels — a process called vascularization — when they were coated in the kind of cells that form the lining of blood vessels, with the growth continuing for two weeks after an organoid was implanted in a mouse. It’s possible that someday these organoids can be grown to replace portions of the human brain that were damaged by a stroke.... Read More
UC Davis Releases 10-Year Strategic Plan
UC Davis released its strategic plan, “To Boldly Go,” that creates a 10-year vision for the institution. The plan is the result of a nine-month process coordinated by a steering committee made of up faculty, students and staff with input and feedback solicited from the entire university community. The process of developing the strategic plan included online and in-person town hall meetings, small group meetings and soliciting feedback online for the draft plan. Among the five goals set forth by the plan, is to create an intellectual and physical environment that supports the development of an innovative and entrepreneurial culture that extends the benefits of research activities beyond the boundaries of the university.... Read More
Startup News
New Study Reveals Activated B. Infantis EVC001 Reduces Colonic Mucin Degradation in Babies
Evolve BioSystems, Inc. announced new study results showing that breastfed babies colonized by Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis EVC001 (the probiotic bacteria found in Evivo®) displayed significantly less evidence of mucin degradation compared to control infants who did not receive the beneficial Bifidobacterium. This is significant because the loss of mucin, a key component of the intestinal mucus layer, exposes the gut epithelium to potentially damaging interactions with the gut microbiome.... Read More
First-Ever Rapid Response Test for Levels of Bifidobacterium in Baby's Gut Microbiome
Evolve BioSystems, makers of Evivo® baby probiotic, unveiled its prototype for the first-ever rapid-response infant gut microbiome screening test. Using a small stool sample collected from a diaper the test will detect levels of Bifidobacterium , a group of beneficial gut bacteria that are especially critical during infancy. The Evivo stool test will allow doctors to discern whether babies have high or low levels of this key beneficial bacteria, Bifidobacterium .... Read More
Novoheart Recruits Notable Pharma Industry Executive, Bernard Fermini, Ph.D. as Chief R&D Officer
Novoheart, a global stem cell biotechnology company, announced that it has appointed Bernard Fermini, Ph.D. as Chief Research & Development Officer. Dr. Fermini has been a leading figure and expert in cardiac safety pharmacology for over two decades.... Read More
Renaissance BioScience Appoints Morris Chen as Director
Renaissance BioScience Corp., a leading global yeast technology company announced the appointment of Morris Chen to the company’s board of directors. Mr. Chen is a successful and experienced entrepreneur who engages in real estate development projects in Canada and the United States. He is also a director of Wealth One Bank, a Canadian bank, and the director of a TSX-listed company, CIBT Education Group Inc.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Receives US Patent for Extended Shelf Life Wheat Trait Designed to Increase Whole Grain Consumption and Minimize Waste
Arcadia Biosciences, an agricultural food ingredient company, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company a patent for extended shelf life wheat, the newest trait in Arcadia’s non-genetically modified (non-GM) GoodWheat TM portfolio.... Read More
More Plastic, More Problems: How Innovation is Taking on an Ecological Crisis (VentureWell)
According to a 2017 study, of the 9 billion tons of plastic produced since the 1950s, nearly 7 billion tons became waste, with only a fraction recycled. Polyester is the most common material used in clothing, eclipsing even cotton, and one of the world’s most-produced plastics. Ambercycle is using chemical catalysts to tease the polyester fibers out of fabric blends so they can be reused in new textiles.... Read More
Integrative Skin Care Wellness Fair
Dermveda hosted the 2018 Integrative Skin Care Wellness Fair on October 20, 2018.... Read More
Startup Career Opportunities
Career Opportunities at Evolve Biosystems
Evolve Biosystems is currently hiring for several sales positions across the US and Canada and an accounting manager position based out of Davis, CA.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Chirp Microsystems
Chirp Microsystems is hiring for several positions at its Berkeley, CA location. Open positions include software applications engineer, assembly technician, product engineering, algorithms engineer, and test engineer.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Arcadia Biosciences
Arcadia Biosciences is hiring for a Director of SEC Reporting & Technical Accounting..... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Novoheart
Novoheart is hiring for several scientist and business development roles including business development manager and senior scientist positions..... Learn More
Regional Innovation News
Startups Could Help Solve Some of Sacramento's Challenges (Sacramento Business Journal)
The city of Sacramento will partner with Startup-in-Residence, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, to connect entrepreneurs with various city departments and use technology to streamline solving problems..... Read More
Cloud-Based Security Camera Company Nabs $3 Million Venture Investment (Sacramento Business Journal)
Rhombus Systems, a Sacramento-based security camera company, raised $3 million in venture capital funding. The round was led by Lemnos Labs, a San Francisco venture fund, in addition to Promus Ventures and Portfolia. The company has a total of 15 employees and has offices in downtown Sacramento and Oakland.... Read More
Growing Pondera Solutions Taps OpenTable Veteran for Its Board (Sacramento Business Journal)
Former OpenTable executive Michael Xenakis joined Pondera Solutions, a Folsom-based fraud detection software company. Xenakis is the third person to join Pondera’s board of directors, the others being Harvard professor and fraud detection expert Malcolm Sparrow, and technology CEO Michael Borman.... Read More
Seed Company Opens $18.5 Million Research Lab Near Woodland (Sacramento Business Journal)
Sakata Seed America completed the development of a 219 acre, $18.5 million seed innovation center near Woodland. The center, which consists of four buildings, will produce seeds for commercial and hobby producers of hot peppers, sweet peppers, watermelon, melon, and tomato.... Read More
Fortune 500 Company Finalizes Deal for Massive Sacramento Campus, Developer Closes Escrow (Sacramento Bee)
The health insurance company Centene closed a deal to open a major campus in Sacramento’s North Natomas neighborhood. The company already employs 3,000 people in Sacramento. With the addition of the North Natomas campus, Centene can recruit up to 5,000 more.... Read More
GO-Biz and CDFA Announce $650,000 Federal Grant for California’s Global Trade Expansion Program
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that California received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help California small businesses boost trade and exports abroad. GO-Biz and CDFA will use the funds as part of the California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) to help California small businesses participate in activities like foreign sales trade shows and access foreign markets through trade promotion initiatives.... Read More
Marrone Cuts Deal to Market Products in Southeast Asia (Davis Enterprise)
Davis-based Marrone Bio Innovations announced an exclusive distribution agreement with Hop Tri Investment Corporation for three MBI products in Vietnam and Cambodia. The products are bioinsecticide Grandevo, biofungicide Regalia, and bionematicide Majestene.... Read More
Innovation Insight
Science and Engineering R&D at Colleges and Universities (State Science & Technology Institute)
Federal funding for science & engineering R&D grew by $7.2 billion from 2002 to 2016, reaching more than $31.6 billion. This represents a 29.4 percent increase during the period, or approximately 2.0 percent per year, according to an State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) analysis of data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. The Sacramento region was ranked 27 out of 204 metro areas.... Read More
Public Contracting for Private Innovation: Government Expertise, Decision Rights, and Performance Outcomes (National Bureau of Economic Research)
Cooperative agreements, compared to grants, provide the government substantially greater discretion over, and monitoring of, project progress. Cooperative agreements are also more likely to be used for early-stage projects and those for which local government scientific personnel have relevant technical expertise; in turn, cooperative agreements yield greater innovative output as measured by patents, controlling for endogeneity of contract form.... Read More
The Portrait of a Founder as a Young Man is Finally Coming to an End (Quartz)
A record number of women are founding startups and joining the top venture capital firms, which effectively is putting an end to the image of a typical startup founder or a venture capitalist of being a young, white male.... Read More
How Agtech Has Quietly Transformed Agriculture During the Downturn
Over the past five years, since corn prices tumbled and the threat of trade wars still looms, agricultural technology emerged as the dominant theme in a rapidly reshaping agricultural economy. A two-part series from the AgFunder News explains how agtech is transforming the agricultural sector and forecasting what is likely to be next in agtech. The first article provides an assessment of the current state of the agricultural economy, and highlights the rise of the agtech, especially as it relates to farm management platforms. The second article illustrates some of the core themes in agtech adoption to date, including satellite image ry, farm-level profit optimization, field-level production optimization, and sensing, and predicts the next phase in agtech development.
Funding Opportunities
National Science Foundation Idea Machine
Application Deadline: October 26, 2018.... Learn More
THRIVE Accelerator
Application Deadline: October 31, 2018.... Learn More
Illumina Accelerator
Application Deadline: November 1, 2018.... Learn More
Pitch and Play - AUTM Venture Challenge
Application Deadline: November 1, 2018.... To apply, email and put Pitch and Play – AUTM Venture Challenge in the subject
Little Bang! Poster Competition
Session 1 Application Deadline: November 8, 2018.... Learn More
PharmaDirections JumpStart Grant
Application Deadline: November 10, 2018.... Learn More
Big Ideas Contest
Application Deadline: November 15, 2018.... Learn More
Procter & Gamble Ventures Innovation Challenge
Application Deadline: November 25, 2018.... Learn More
Big Bang! Business Competition
Early Application Deadline: December 7, 2018.... Learn More
UC Santa Cruz SVLink Accelerator
Application Deadline: Applications Accepted on the 15th of Each Month Until Full.... Learn More
Autodesk Entrepreneur Impact Program
Application Deadline: Ongoing... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Big Bang! Business Competition Kickoff
Date: October 25, 2018.... Learn More
For Big Bang! Workshops, click here
Inaugural Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Symposium
Application Deadline: October 26, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Graduate School of Management Building and Leading Great Teams
Date: October 26, 2018.... Learn More
Cyclotron Road Entrepreneurial Research Fellowship Program
Applicatin Deadline: October 31, 2018.... Learn More
HHS SBIR/STTR Conference (Dalas, TX)
Date: October 30-November 2, 2018.... Learn More
CITRIS Day, Harnessing the AI Revolution
Date: November 8, 2018.... Learn More
Innovations in Ag Irrigation Technology Demonstration and Showcase
Date: November 16, 2018.... Learn More
Women in Tech: The Future of AI
Date: November 16, 2018.... Learn More
Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy
Applications Accepted through Early-December 2018.... Learn More
Rosenman Institute, The First Dollar: Strategies and Ethics of Seed-Stage Fundraising
Date: December 11, 2018.... Learn More
California Climate & Agriculture Summit
Date: March 4-5, 2018.... Learn More
Valley Ventures Fall 2018 Cohort
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Regional Events
NextTech Tri-Valley Life Sciences Summit
Date: October 25, 2018.... Learn More
Sacramento Region Innovation Awards
Student Ticket Discounts ($30 off)
Date: November 1, 2018.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Derek Andersen, Startup Grind / Bevy
Date: November 13, 2018.... Learn More
Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit
Date: November 27-29, 2018.... Learn More
AgStart Founder Education Workshop Series
UC Davis Discount Code: GOAGGIES
Date: December 5, 2018.... Learn More
NextTech: From Scientist to CEO - Building a Biotech Company from the Ground Up
Date: December 6, 2018.... Learn More
Greater Sacramento Economic Council Annual Dinner
Date: December 6, 2018.... Learn More
Hacker Lab Hands-On Education
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Small Business Development Center Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Silicon Valley USPTO Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
1 Million Cups
Date: Weekly (Wednesdays).... Learn More
Industry Events
Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum (San Diego, CA)
Date: October 29-30, 2018.... Learn More
Xconomy XCON (Boston, MA)
Date: November 4-6, 2018.... Learn More
2018 Food Tank Summit (San Diego, CA)
Date: November 14, 2018.... Learn More
Aging 2.0 OPTIMIZE (San Francisco, CA)
November 14-15, 2018.... Learn More
World Vaccine & Immunotherapy Congress (San Diego, CA)
Date: November 28-30, 2018.... Learn More
Biotech Showcase (San Francisco, CA)
Date: January 7-9, 2019.... Learn More
Seed Central
Date: Every Second Thursday.... Learn More
About Venture Catalyst 
UC Davis Venture Catalyst facilitates the translation of University research and technology by enabling the development of new ventures. Venture Catalyst engages with the Davis and Sacramento business, governmental and economic development community to highlight the development of technologies and ventures coming out of UC Davis that will drive tomorrow’s regional job creation. Working closely with these partners, Venture Catalyst is invigorating the technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem of the entire region. 
The Venture Catalyst START™ Suite of programs and services provides the ABCs to equip UC Davis entrepreneurs with the tools they need to form and grow robust startups. The program gives founders the START they need to create a well-structured company and ensure the company is prepared for success. 
Contact Venture Catalyst 
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