UC Davis-Associated Biotech Startups Showcased at Venture Catalyst BIG Event in San Francisco
The UC Davis Venture Catalyst Biotech Innovation Gallery (BIG) startup showcase event on January 15 marked the culmination of the second cohort of the BIG Accelerator program, which provided directed business training, mentorship, and support resources to 22 UC Davis-associated biotech startups participating in the Smart Toolkit for Accelerated Research Translation (START TM ) program. Through the BIG Accelerator program, approximately 75 hours of targeted mentoring and training were provided to the startups over a 4-month period with dedicated engagement around IP and regulatory strategy as well as coaching on business models, market fit, and investor pitches.
The showcase event was held in San Francisco at the Chandran Gallery at Union Square during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and offered a platform for UC Davis innovators and entrepreneurs to showcase their emerging biotech companies and connect with industry experts, potential strategic partners, and investors. During the day at the open house, startups took part in more than 80 one-on-one meetings using dedicated meeting space in the venue and, in the evening, the startups had the opportunity to network with over 200 invited guests that attended the showcase and reception, including more than 165 industry and investor representatives. In addition, ten of the startups participating in the BIG Accelerator program were selected by the Venture Catalyst team and industry mentors to provide short elevator pitches during the showcase and were provided with dedicated interaction space to have focused discussions with potential investors and partners.

  1. BCD Bioscience
  2. EicOsis
  3. InStatin
  4. Ixchel Pharma
  5. Mara Biosystems
  6. Matrubials
  7. Paramag Biosciences
  8. Sierra Biopharma
  9. Theranostec
  10. VasoBio

Venture Catalyst also created a pitch site to integrate videos, descriptions, and contact information for the startups to enable follow-up and broader investor engagement. Please click on the following link to visit the pitch site:  venturecatalyst.ucdavis.edu/pitches .
The BIG Accelerator program and showcase event were enabled by funding from the Office of Research and the UC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Expansion Bill with additional support from Squire Patton Boggs.

For more photos from the BIG event, click here
UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange
Every Idea Has a Story to Tell: How to Get Investors, Partners, and Buyers to Notice You
You may have the most amazing science, but are you getting the attention you need? First and foremost, your science needs to be understood. You need to be visible, look professional, and be taken seriously, but how do you do it with limited resources and funds? You need to get noticed by the right people. It may be investors, patients, physicians, partners, or buyers, but each group is different and needs to be communicated with in its own way. This talk, led by Paula Adduci, Co-Founder and Principal of creative agency Adduci Studios, will help you explore how you’re doing, what you need to change, and what others did to get noticed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Event Cost: Free (Registration Required)
UC Davis Venture Catalyst SBIR/STTR Knowledge Exchange
Doing Business with the Department of Defense: Opportunities for Small Business Startups and SBIR/STTR Technology Commercialization
This talk will offer an opportunity for participants to engage with the Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA), a McClellan-based specially focused government unit and research and development laboratory established by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 1997 with an emphasis on addressing the growing problem of complex microelectronics issues. Mr. Gregory L. Davis, DMEA Small Business Programs Chief and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Manager will provide an overview of DMEA and discuss DoD prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities for small businesses and startups, including the SBIR/STTR program. The event will also provide an opportunity to engage with additional DMEA personnel in attendance (SBIR/STTR topic authors, Procuring Contracting Officers, and Contract Specialists).

Thursday, January 30, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., followed by time for additional engagement with DMEA personnel

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)
Startup Uses Advanced Imaging Technology and Machine Learning to Sort Seeds and Insects
Christian Nansen, an associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, launched a startup, Spectral Analytix, to apply machine vision and machine learning to the classification and sorting of seeds and insects. The first target market for Spectral Analytix is the seed industry, sorting dead seeds from those that are alive. In addition to viability, his system will also be able to recognize the chromosomal makeup of seeds, sorting for desirable genetic features.... Read More
UC Davis Releases 5 New Wine Grape Varieties
UC Davis researchers have released new varieties of wine grapes. The five new varieties, three red and two white, are highly resistant to Pierce’s disease, which costs California grape growers more than $100 million a year. The new, traditionally bred varieties also produce high-quality fruit and wine. ... Read More
UC Davis Selects Development Partner and Accepts Second Award for Aggie Square
UC Davis selected Wexford Science & Technology and GMH Capital Partners from a list of four finalists to design, finance, construct, own, and manage the first phase of Aggie Square. In addition, for the second time in just over a month, UC Davis has been honored for its forthcoming Aggie Square innovation hub on the university’s Sacramento campus. The Greater Sacramento Economic Council named UC Davis as the organization's 2019 Partner of the Year.... Read the Development Partner story and the Partner of the Year story
Davis and Leal Elected Inventor Fellows
The National Academy of Inventors announced the election of 168 new fellows, including two from UC Davis: Cristina Davis, the Warren and Leta Geidt Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Walter Leal, distinguished professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Election as an NAI fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors .... Read More
Spotlight on Energy-Related Innovations from UC Davis Researchers
A total of 15 UC Davis principal investigators presented 20 lightning talks on research for biofuels, energy, climate change, microbiomes, synthetic biology and genomics to the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, known as ARPA-E. ARPA-E is a Department of Energy agency that awards funds to develop new ways to generate, store, and use energy . ... Read More
$2.5M to Explore Synthetic Diamond Semiconductors at Crocker Lab
Eric Prebys, director of the UC Davis Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, is leading a project to develop a new tool based on synthetic diamond semiconductors that will be used to evaluate the performance of particle accelerators and X-Ray Free-Electron Lasers, known as XFELs. The project will receive $2.5 million over three years from the University of California Laboratory Fees Research Program competition. The annual competition is designed to promote the development of multicampus projects and collaborations that advance the missions of the national laboratories and University of California .... Read More
Startup News
Arcadia Biosciences Introduces Limited Release GoodWheat™ Flour for Gluten-Sensitive Stomachs
Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., a leader in science-based approaches to enhancing the quality and nutritional value of crops and food ingredients, announced a limited release of its GoodWheat™ Reduced Gluten Wheat Flour. Developed for those with sensitive stomachs, the flour contains 65 percent less allergenic gluten than traditional flour and is higher in fiber.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Launches GoodHemp, a New Commercial Brand of Superior Hemp Seeds, with an Ultra-Low THC Variety
Arcadia Biosciences announced the launch of a new product line: GoodHemp. As the company’s new commercial brand for delivering genetically superior hemp seeds, transplants, flower and extracts, GoodHemp debuted its first commercial product, a disease resistant and ultra-low THC hemp seed, during the American Seed Trade Association CSS & Seed Expo in December.... Read More
TDK Announces Availability of New MEMS-Based “sonar on a silicon chip” Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight Sensor with Extended Sensing Range
TDK Corporation announced the immediate availability to select OEMs of the Chirp CH-201 MEMS-based ultrasonic Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor with extended sensing range. This ToF sensor utilizes a tiny ultrasonic transducer chip that sends a pulse of ultrasound and then listens for echoes returning from targets in the sensor’s field-of-view. The technology was developed by Chirp Microsystems, a UC-Davis spin-off, which TDK acquired in 2019.... Read More
Continued Success of Novoheart to Receive R&D Grants: Innovation Technology Fund for Developing Smart Cardiac Screening Technologies
Novoheart, a stem cell biotech company, announced that it has been awarded a grant from the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of Hong Kong SAR Government for a total of HK$10 million ($1.67 million CAD) over the next 2 years.... 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
Sierra Energy Hires Operations Officer to Bring Technology to Market (Sacramento Business Journal)
Davis-based Sierra Energy hired Johan van Walsem, a technology veteran as chief operations officer to help the company commercialize its FastOx gasification technology, which turns waste into clean energy.... Read More
TownToday App Launched on Google Play Store
TownToday, a UC Davis-associated startup, launched its free mobile app on the Google Play store. Company's app helps its users discover nearby events.... Read More
Startup Career Opportunities
Career Opportunities at Evolve Biosystems
Evolve Biosystems is currently hiring for two medical sales management positions.... 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
News from the DRIVE Network
Game Changer Incubator for the Davis-Sacramento Region: Retrospective on the UC Davis-HM.CLAUSE Life Science Innovation Center .... Read More
Regional Innovation News
Sacramento Ranked 26 Among 50 Best U.S. Cities for Starting a Business in 2020 (Inc.)
For the 2020 Surge Cities index, Inc. Magazine and Startup Genome rated Sacramento as the 26 th best city for startup growth. The magazine also ranked Sacramento as 10 th in job creation, 18 th in net business creation, and 20 th in rate of entrepreneurship.... Read More
Sacramento Partners with Berkeley SkyDeck to Attract Innovative Startups (Sacramento Bee)
The City of Sacramento's Sacramento Urban Technology Lab (SUTL) is collaborating with startup accelerator Berkeley SkyDeck to identify investment opportunities. As part of the collaboration, SkyDeck will refer a minimum of seven of its alumni companies each year to the region.... Read More
Incubating Ideas, Hatching Success (Comstock’s Magazine)
The first graduation ceremony for the Alchemist Microenterprise Academy (AMA) took place last August. AMA is a business training course operated by the nonprofit Alchemist Community Development Corporation. It gears toward food entrepreneurs from underserved communities and is the first chapter in the organization’s vision for Alchemy Kitchen, a startup program scheduled to open a commercial kitchen space by 2022.... Read More
Innovation Insight
US VC Investment in Female Founders Hits All-Time High (TechCrunch)
Based on PitchBook data, venture capital investment comprised of all-female founding teams was $3.3 billion in 2019, which represents about 2.8% of capital invested in the U.S. startup ecosystem. This amount represents an all-time high for VC investment in female founders, and an increase from $3 billion in 2018 .... Read More
The Contradictory Traits of Successful Founders (Kauffman Fellows)
A survey conducted by Basis Set Ventures (BSV) asked 60 venture capitalists 28 behavioral questions to evaluate their portfolio CEOs. One of the key findings revealed that having a complementary co-founder is more often better than having a technical one. Other traits that make a successful founder, which are often contradictory, include stubbornness and humility...   Read More
State of Startups 2019 (First Round)
The early-stage investment firm First Round received 950 survey submissions from startup founders and employees for its fifth addition of State of Startups report. According to the findings, over two-thirds of founders fear the bubble for technology companies, which is the highest number seen since the firm began its State of Startups project in 2015.  In addition to other trends found among startup founders and employees, 65% of founder respondents believe it will be harder to raise venture capital in 2020 .... Read More
Funding Opportunities
Rice Business Plan Competition
Application Deadline: January 27, 2020.... Learn More
VentureWell E-Team Grant
Application Deadline: February 5, 2020.... Learn More
Arrow Capital Student-Run Venture Fund for UC Startups
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
USAID Development Innovation Ventures
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: Moving Towards a Healthier Food System
Application Deadline: January 29, 2020.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Food, Ag + Health Entrepreneurship Academy
Dates: February 4-6, 2020
Application Deadline: January 30, 2020.... Learn More
Women in Tech Symposium
Application Deadline: March 6, 2020.... Learn More
Bay Bridge Bio - Biotech Startup School
Date: Ongoing... Learn More
Regional Events
The Forum: The Essential Networking Event Powered by Seed Central
Date: Monthly, every second Thursday.... Learn More
CleanStart Cleantech Meetup: Clean Mobility
Date: January 30, 2020.... Learn More
Health Care Leadership Forum
Date: February 6, 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
BIO CEO and Investor Conference (New York, NY)
Date: February 10-11, 2020.... Learn More
Startup Grind Global Conference (Silicon Valley, CA)
Discount Code for UC Davis Students: UCDavisStudent
Date: February 11-12, 2020.... Learn More
Food Processing Expo (Santa Clara, CA)
Date: February 12-13, 2020.... Learn More
Emerging Medtech Summit (Laguna Niguel, CA)
Date: February 18-20, 2020.... Learn More
Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference (La Jolla, CA)
Date: February 25-27, 2020.... Learn More
World AgriTech Innovation Summit (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 17-18, 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
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 
For more information or for editorial comments, please email us