Nomination Period for the Innovator of the Year Awards Open Through March 12, 2020
The UC Davis Chancellor’s Innovation Awards are designed to recognize faculty members, community partners, and innovative leaders for their success in developing new technologies, making a societal impact, or driving innovations based on university research or academic endeavors in the preceding calendar year. These innovators play an essential role in the translation of university research to improve the lives of others and address the needs of our global society.

Up to two Innovator of the Year awards will be presented, recognizing individual faculty, staff, or teams that may include students, whose inventive, innovative or entrepreneurial activities have had a measurable societal impact in the last year, or those whose activities or achievements in the last year have a very strong potential to make a significant impact in the future. Award recipients will receive a cash award of up to $10,000 which can be applied to further their research or other innovative activities. These awards are intended to recognize innovators across all academic disciplines reflecting the diverse range of activities at UC Davis.

Nominations for the Innovator of the Year award are due by March 12, 2020 and can be submitted by anyone within the campus community. The submission form and program details can be found on the Office of Research website .

For more information, visit our website or contact Arkady Hagopian .
Venture Catalyst Announces Launch of 2019-20 STAIR and DIAL Proof-of-Concept Grant Programs
The Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) and Data, Informatics and Application Launch (DIAL™) grant programs are accepting applications for the 2019-20 program year. Funded through the Office of Research and managed by Venture Catalyst, these programs provide targeted funding to support translational science and innovative research performed by UC Davis researchers with the intent of demonstrating early proof-of-concept, commercial potential, or commercial feasibility of UC Davis technologies. More information can be found on the STAIR Grant and DIAL Grant webpages, including program materials and a list of funding partners.  

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm   

Upcoming STAIR/DIAL Grant information sessions will be held as follows: 
  • Friday, February 21, 12pm-1pm, College of Letters and Sciences, Andrews Conference Room, Social Sciences and Humanities Building, Room 2203 
  • [NEW] Monday, February 24, 12pm-1pm, Webinar. Visit at 12PM 
  • Friday, February 28, 12pm-1pm, School of Medicine, CHT Building Room 1341 

Questions and information session RSVPs should be directed to  
UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange
Growth, People, and Confidence: Building Out Top Talent and Advisors within Early-Stage Life Science Startups
  • Tara Kochis-Stach, President, Slone Partners
  • Wendy Lukas, Executive Coach and Founder, Wendy Lukas Consulting

For growing, early-stage life science startups, building out a high quality, well-rounded team is critical to attracting funding and meeting key research, development, and business milestones. This talk, led by Tara Kochis-Stach, President of executive search firm Slone Partners, and Wendy Lukas, Executive Coach and Founder of Wendy Lukas Consulting, will take a deep dive into the dynamics of building out executive teams and boards of advisors. The talk will provide startup founders and leaders with insights into hiring strategies and easy-to-follow recruiting approaches.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Event Cost: Free (Registration Required)
UC Davis Venture Catalyst SBIR/STTR Grant Workshop
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, collectively known as “America’s Seed Fund”, provide nearly $3 billion in funding each year to support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies. Venture Catalyst Associate Directors Zane Starkewolfe and Ryan Sharp will provide an overview of the SBIR/STTR program and discuss all aspects of how to strategically approach obtaining funding and developing a competitive, well-written grant application. Topics will include aligning business and technology development needs with available SBIR/STTR opportunities, requirements for program participation, the general application process, commercialization considerations, proposal development, budgets, and award management.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Event Cost: Free (Registration Required)
Kings will Pay $10,000 to Winner of Capitalize Startup Competition
The Sacramento Kings Capitalize startup contest has returned for a fifth year and will showcase entrepreneurs and innovators within the Greater Sacramento region. Capitalize extends the Kings’ commitment to the community by providing an opportunity for innovators to showcase new products and services on the NBA’s global stage. As in years past, the final four technology entrepreneurs will have a chance to win $10,000 that will be decided by input on Twitter and a crowd vote at Golden 1 Center during a Sacramento Kings home game in March. To be eligible, companies must be from within 75 miles of Sacramento. Applications are due by February 23, 2020.... Read More
Anti-Solar Cells: A Photovoltaic Cell That Works at Night
Jeremy Munday, a professor in the UC Davis department of electrical and computer engineering has developed a prototype photovoltaic cell that will work to generate small amounts of power at night. This device can generate up to 50 watts of power per square meter, about a quarter of what a conventional solar panel can generate in daytime.... Read More
Carter and Tian Named as Co-Directors of the UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center
Professor Cameron Carter, the founding director of the UC Davis Imaging Center, and Associate Professor in the department of plant sciences Li Tian have been appointed as co-directors of the UC Davis Cannabis and Hemp Research Center by Vice Chancellor for Research Prasant Mohapatra. The center was established in 2019 by campus leadership based on recommendations from a multidisciplinary workgroup which identified several research needs related to cannabis and hemp that UC Davis was uniquely positioned to address . ... Read More
Keck Foundation Grant Will Help Scientists See Small Proteins
A team of UC Davis Health scientists has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Keck Foundation to develop a tool for visualizing proteins that so far have been hard to study due to size. The tool involves using fluorescent-tagged peptides to bind and illuminate proteins of interest, even those smaller than 5 nanometers. The team includes Johannes Hell, professor in the department of pharmacology, Kit Lam, professor and chair of the department of biochemistry and molecular medicine, James Ames, professor in the department of chemistry, and Manuel Navedo, professor in the department of pharmacology.... Read More
Look What’s Inside: Full-Body Movies From EXPLORER Scanner
Researchers at UC Davis and Fudan University in Shanghai, have shown how to use an advanced reconstruction method with an ultrasensitive total-body PET scanner to capture real-time videos of blood flow and heart function. The work paves the way for looking at the function of multiple organs, such as the brain and heart, at the same time. The project makes use of the EXPLORER PET/CT total body scanner, originally developed by a team led by UC Davis professors Simon Cherry in the department of biomedical engineering and Ramsey Badawi, in the department of radiology.... Read More
Aggie Square, Alice Waters Collaborate on Edible Education Institute
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May, chef and food advocate Alice Waters, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced a new collaboration and an anchor tenant for Aggie Square, UC Davis’ planned innovation hub on the university’s Sacramento campus. The new Alice Waters Institute for Edible Education at UC Davis will bring together experts from across disciplines such as education, health care, agriculture, policy and business to create new solutions for healthy, sustainable and equitable food systems. ... Read More
Levenson Named Fellow of International Society for Optics and Photonics
Richard Levenson, professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at UC Davis, was elected a fellow of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Levenson is recognized for his technical contributions in the development of multispectral imaging and its application in pathology. He also was honored for MUSE, a technology that enables pathologists to assess high-resolution images of biopsies and other fresh tissue samples for disease within minutes, without requiring the time-consuming preparation of conventional slides or destroying the tissue. ... Read More
Startup News
Arcadia Biosciences Announces Over $3 Million in Pre-Season GoodHemp Seed Purchase Commitments 
Arcadia Biosciences secured in excess of $3 million in initial seed purchase commitments in just 50 days post launch of its newest product line: GoodHemp. As Arcadia’s new commercial brand for delivering genetically superior hemp seeds, transplants, flower and extracts, GoodHemp debuted its first commercial product, a disease resistant, USDA-compliant ultra-low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp seed, during the American Seed Trade Association CSS & Seed Expo in Chicago.... Read More
Continued Success of Novoheart to Receive R&D Grants: Innovation Technology Fund for Developing Smart Cardiac Screening Technologies
Novoheart has been awarded a grant from the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of Hong Kong SAR Government. The company is expected to receive a total of over HK$10 million ($1.67 million CAD) in grant awards from the ITC over the next 2 years, which will fund research to further enhance the drug screening capabilities of its proprietary human ventricular Cardiac Organoid Chamber and human ventricular Cardiac Anisotropic Sheet..... Read More
Novoheart Contracts with Global Pharma to Develop Novel Microplate for High Throughput Drug Screening Using Engineered Human Heart Tissue Strips
Novoheart announced the completion of a research and development contract sponsored by a top 10 global pharma. The contract deliverables will see Novoheart further expand its current testing capabilities of the MyHeart Platform by designing and developing a new versatile High-Throughput microplate which will allow the screening of hundreds of drugs using engineered human ventricular Cardiac Tissue Strips (hvCTS).... Read More
AnimalBiome Completes $1.5M Seed Funding Round, Hires Carlton Osborne as CEO (Pet Age)
AnimalBiome completed a seed funding round totaling $1.5 million. In addition, Holly Ganz, the CEO of the company, announced she will be moving into the chief science officer position. President of AnimalBiome, Carlton Osborne, JD, will now be taking over as the company’s new CEO.... Read More
Startup Career Opportunities
Career Opportunities at Evolve Biosystems
Evolve Biosystems is currently hiring for two research associates and a management position.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Sage Therapeutics
Sage Therapeutics is hiring for a wide range of positions from staff scientist to senior-director level positions.... Learn more
Career Opportunities at Novoheart
Novoheart is currently hiring for an engineer, a research assistant, and  scientists .... Learn more
Career Opportunities at Arcadia Biosciences
Arcadia Biosciences is hiring for bioinformaticians, a marketing communications associate, and a senior analytical chemist.... Learn more
Career Opportunities at AnimalBiome
AnimalBiome is currently hiring for an animal care specialist and a laboratory technician.... Learn more
News from the DRIVE Network
Davis CoWorking's Expansion
Davis CoWorking has expanded its facilities with an additional 18 shared workspaces and a conference room that seats 8. In addition, Davis CoWorking also began offering discounts to students for membership and day passes. ... Read More
Regional Innovation News
Marrone Bio Treatments for Commercial Hemp get EPA Approval (Sacramento Business Journal)
Marrone Bio Innovations, a Davis-based ag-tech company, received US EPA approval for two of its biologically-based fungicide products, Stargus and Regalia, to be used on commercial hemp crops.... Read More
Mental Health Startup Says it's Ready for U.S. Launch After Recent Acquisition (Sacramento Business Times)
Wellin5, a Vacouver-based mental health startup, which recently opened its US headquarters in Sacramento, acquired an online journaling and and mental health app company Therachat. The acquisition, which adds about 5,000 therapists, will enable Wellin5 to operate in the US.... Read More
Tech Company Rolls Out Due Diligence Tool for Commercial Real Estate (Sacramento Business Journal)
Gold River technology company introduced the EScreenLogic technology platform, which uses data from local, state, and national databases to create an environmental assessment report on commercial properties. This report enables lenders or investors to make decisions quicker and with less cost, since hiring an environmental screening firm may no longer be necessary.... Read More
Innovation Insight
US Venture Capital Investment Surpasses $130 Billion in 2019 for Second Consecutive Year (National Venture Capital Association)
According to the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report, venture capital investments into US-based companies for 2019 reached $136.5 billion, exceeding the $130 billion-mark for the second consecutive year. The exit value of venture capital-backed US companies also hit a record value of $256 billion in 2019 .... Read More
These New Rules Might End Tech’s Reliance on Chinese Investors (Fortune)
The U.S. Treasury Department issued new regulations that expand the scope for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a US interagency committee that evaluates and assesses the threats and vulnerabilities of foreign investments on national security. The new regulations will protect the US critical infrastructure, technology, sensitive data, and apply to both controlling and non-controlling investments impacting companies considering foreign investments. While these new regulations apply more broadly, additional scrutiny is expected for investments from countries with records of violations. ... Read More
Federal Agencies Join Efforts for Electronic Home for Biotech Regs (Food Safety News)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, launched a new joint website, which will streamline information from the three regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing agricultural biotechnology products and provide enhanced customer service to innovators. ... Read More
2020 Healthcare and Life Sciences Investment Outlook Report
KPMG released its 2020 Healthcare and Life Sciences Investment Outlook report. Some of the identified drivers of increased investment activity include: About 70% of the survey respondents think that higher spending in R&D will result in increased investment in the innovation being developed. Furthermore, 60% indicated that new market entrants would increase investment activity both in life sciences and in healthcare.... Read More
Funding Opportunities
World Bank Innovate4Climate Pitch Hub Competition
Application Deadline: March 1, 2020.... Learn More
Y Combinator Summer Cohort
Application Deadline: March 16, 2020.... Learn More
Rosenman Innovators
Application Deadline: April 14, 2020.... Learn More
Arrow Capital Student-Run Venture Fund for UC Startups
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
IndieBio Accelerator
Application Deadline: Currently accepting.... Learn More
Open SBIR/STTR Grant Topics. ... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship 20th Annual Big Bang! Business Competition Workshops Series
Workshop Dates: Through April, 2020.... Learn More  
Distinguished Speaker Series in Research and Innovation: Creating a Net-Positive Civilization
Date: February 24, 2020.... Learn More
UC Berkeley Women in Tech Symposium
Application Deadline: March 6, 2020.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Food, Ag + Health Entrepreneurship Academy
Dates: March 9-11, 2020... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship National Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy
Dates: July 13-16, 2000.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship UC Entrepreneurship Academy
Date: September 15-17, 2020.... Learn More
Regional Events
The Forum: The Essential Networking Event Powered by Seed Central
Date: Monthly, every second Thursday.... Learn More
Startup Sac: What Every Startup Founder Should Know about their Financials
Date: February 26, 2020.... Learn More
Startup Weekend Sacramento
Date: March 6-8, 2020.... Learn More
AgStart Office Hours
Date: Ongoing.... 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
Bay Area NSF Innovation Corps Immersive Short Courses
 Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
1 Million Cups
Date: Weekly (Wednesdays).... Learn More
Industry Events
Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference (La Jolla, CA)
Date: February 25-27, 2020.... Learn More
SoCal Startup Day (Irvine, CA)
Date: February 26, 2020.... Learn More
Natural Products West (Anaheim, CA)
Date: March 3-7, 2020.... Learn More
World AgriTech Innovation Summit (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 17-18, 2020.... Learn More
Venture Summit West (Santa Clara, CA
Date: March 23-24, 2020.... Learn More
Silicon Valley AgTech Conference (San Jose, CA)
Date: April 9, 2019.... Learn More
Indoor Ag-Con (Las Vegas, NV)
Date: May 18-20, 2020.... Learn More
BIO International Conference (San Diego, CA)
Date: June 8-11, 2020.... Learn More
Forbes AgTech Summit (Salinas, CA)
Date: June 24-25, 2020.... Learn More
Institute of Food Technologist Annual Event & Food Expo (Chicago, IL)
Date: July 12-15, 2020.... Learn More
TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo: SBIR/STTR, Nanotech, and AI (National Harbor, MD)
Date: June 29-July 1, 2020.... 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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