Happy Holidays from the Venture Catalyst Team
Student Team Wins Amazon Alexa Artificial Intelligence Challenge
A team of students from UC Davis won the global 2018 Amazon Alexa Prize and a $500,000 award for creating a “chatbot” that can converse engagingly with humans on a range of topics such as entertainment, sports, politics, technology and fashion. The prize was announced at the annual Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. Zhou Yu, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, led the team of 11 graduate and undergraduate students to victory.
UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange:
How Venture Capitalists Evaluate Entrepreneurs
Kirsten Leute, Senior Vice President of University Relations, Osage University Partners

This talk will provide insights on the process venture capitalists use to evaluate entrepreneurs and startup CEOs, and observations about the drivers of long-term success for an entrepreneur. The speaker will also engage with participants to assess mock candidate profiles and present methods of diligence to choose the right leader for a startup.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Join us for Lunch @
UC Davis Office of Research
1850 Research Park Drive
Davis, CA 95618

For more information and to register, visit: https://oupke.eventbrite.com
New TMCR Annual Report and Venture Catalyst Infographic Available for Download
The annual report shines a spotlight on some of our notable innovators, technologies and partners, and highlights how the Technology Management & Corporate Relations (TMCR) division works with campus and community stakeholders to promote innovation and technology commercialization. The Venture Catalyst infographic depicts the impact of the unit in supporting a robust and growing regional startup and innovation ecosystem, over the five years since its launch.
  • Download the TMCR annual report here
  • Download the Venture Catalyst infographic here
International Consortium Officially Launches Earth BioGenome Project in London
Key scientific partners and funders from around the globe gathered in London to officially launch the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), a global effort to sequence the genetic code of all the planet’s eukaryotes — some 1.5 million known species, including all plants, animals, protozoa and fungi. The UC Davis Genome Center is currently the administrative home for the EBP, led by Harris Lewin, a distinguished professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis and chair of the EBP Working Group.... Read More
Seed Central Networking Tech Showcase
Seed Central and the World Food Center will be hosting a networking tech showcase on January 10, 2019, for seed, ag, and food companies. The UC Davis-associated startups presenting at the event include AgriNerds, AnimalBiome, Astrona, Digestiva, Pheronym, Plexense, Ravata Solutions, Sensit, SonanuTech, Tule Technologies, XTB Laboratories, and Yolo Robotics.... Read More
Human Images From World’s First Total-Body Scanner Unveiled
EXPLORER, the world’s first medical imaging scanner that can capture a 3D picture of the whole human body at once, has produced its first scans. The brainchild of UC Davis scientists Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi, EXPLORER is a combined positron emission tomography (PET) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner. Because the machine captures radiation far more efficiently than other scanners, EXPLORER can produce an image in as little as 1 second and, over time, produce movies that can track specially tagged drugs as they move around the entire body. The developers expect the technology will have countless applications, from improving diagnostics to tracking disease progression to researching new drug therapies.... Read More
Dogs, Cats Rescued From California Camp Fire Heal With Fish Skins
Several burned dogs and cats at the VCA Valley Oak Veterinary Center in Chico have received an unique treatment to help them heal from injuries they suffered in the Camp Fire: fish skins. This is the first time sterilized tilapia skins have been used to treat burns on dogs and cats. Jamie Peyton, chief of the Integrative Medicine Service with UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital volunteered to help VCA Valley Oak veterinarians when she heard about the hundreds of burned animals they were treating..... Read More
UC Davis Takes 10 Electric Cars on Extended Test Drive
BMW is providing the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis with all-electric, BMW i3 models for 18 months. Eight of the ten pre-owned vehicles will be available soon for UC Davis faculty and staff to rent through the campus’s UC Drive program, which is managed by the Fleet Services department. The other two will be used by project researchers to conduct education and outreach with campus departments.... Read More
UC Davis Key Research Partner for World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit
The 2019 World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, being held in San Francisco, March 19-20, 2019 , is an international conference, bringing together more than 1,000 innovators, companies, and investors to explore innovation and translational research impact in the agri-food sector. Several of the preliminary speakers announced will be participating as part of the research impact stream within the conference program on Monday March 19, that has been organized by UC Davis. The speakers include Helene Dillard (Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis), Harris Lewin (Distinguished Professor of Evolution and Ecology, UC Davis), Alison Van Eenennaam (Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science, UC Davis), Justin Siegel (Faculty Director of Innovation Institute for Food and Health, UC Davis), Cecilia Chi-Ham (Director of Innovation and IP, HM.CLAUSE), Dushyant Pathak (Associate Vice Chancellor of Technology Management and Corporate Relations and Executive Director of Venture Catalyst, UC Davis), and Rao Unnava (Dean of Graduate School of Management, UC Davis).

As the primary conference Research Partner, UC Davis has the unique opportunity to offer a discounted registration rate specifically for academics who would like to attend the conference. Academics who enter the following code at registration will receive a 50% discount: UCDAVIS50 .

There will be several opportunities to engage with UC Davis researchers and technology commercialization representatives at the conference, including scheduled one-on-one meetings, our table in the networking area, and the Innovation in Action Tour to UC Davis .

Pheronym, a UC Davis-associated biotechnology startup, is also among the presenting startups at the event. The company's bio-remediation process uses a new pheromone to control plant-parasitic nematodes (microscopic roundworms) in an eco-friendly way and also beneficial nematodes’ efficacy to eliminate pest insects.

Support for this Research Partnership has been provided by the UC Davis College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, World Food Center, Innovation Institute for Food & Health, Graduate School of Management, College of Biological Sciences, and Office of Research.
Startup News
Sage Therapeutics Receives Notification of PDUFA Extension for ZULRESSO™ (brexanolone) Injection
Sage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date for its Priority Review of the New Drug Application (NDA) for ZULRESSO™ (brexanolone) injection for the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD).... Read More
Sapience Therapeutics to Present at Biotech Showcase 2019
Sapience Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of peptide therapeutics to address difficult to treat oncology indications, announced that it will present at Biotech Showcase 2019 to be held in San Francisco, CA on January 7-9, 2019.... Read More
TDK Showcases Solutions for Automotive, AR/VR, IoT, Mobile and Wearables at CES 2019
Chirp Microsystems, a subsidiary of TDK, will be at CES 2019, showcasing the world's first MEMS ultrasonic time-of-flight (ToF) sensor.... Read More
Startup of the Month: Cognivive (Comstock’s Magazine)
Cognivive, a UC Davis startup creating virtual-reality digital therapeutics to treat neurocognitive and neuromotor impairments caused by brain injury and atypical brain development, was named the Startup of the Month by Comstock's Magazine.... Read More
Startup Career Opportunities
Career Opportunities at Evolve Biosystems
Evolve Biosystems is currently hiring for several sales management positions across the US and Canada and two research & development positions, including Associate Director of Quality and Product Development Research Associate.... 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 manager, MEMS validation engineer, algorithms engineer, and test engineer.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Sage Therpeutics
Sage Therapeutics is hiring for several director-level positions including Associate Director of Clinical Pharmacology, Associate Director of Biostatistics, and Director of Patient Advocacy.... Learn more
Career Opportunities at Novoheart
Novoheart is hiring for several scientist roles including two senior-level scientists and two associate scientists.... Learn More
Regional Innovation News
Bayer to Collaborate with Biotech Startup, Potentially Bringing Research to West Sac (Sacramento Business Journal)
Pivot Bio, a Berkeley-based biological technology startup founded in 2011, is collaborating with Bayer Group to develop new products. Support from Bayer will either come from their Crop Science’s lab in West Sacramento or from the former Monsanto lab in Chesterfield, Missouri, potentially bringing more jobs into the region.... Read More
Sacramento Hailed as Inclusive Tech City (Sacramento Business Journal)
In a new report from the Brookings Institution, Sacramento was named as one of eight inclusive “digital cities” contributing to inclusive prosperity. According to Brookings, Sacramento thrives when it comes to women’s employment in digitally-intensive computer and mathematical occupations. Black and Hispanic Sacramento workers possess near equitable representation in the field as well.... Read More
RagingWire Hires Former Digital Realty Trust Executive to Manage Growth (Sacramento Business Journal)
RagingWire Data Centers announced that it would be hiring Kevin Dalton, a longtime executive of San Fransisco-based Digital Reality Trust Inc. Dalton, who will be assuming the role of Senior Vice President of Construction, will help RagingWire to increase the size and speed of company's data centers.... Read More
U.S. Department of Commerce Names Anpac Bio
2018 National Minority Health Firm of the Year (PR Newswire)
The United States Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) named Sacramento-based global life sciences corporation Anpac Bio-Medical Science Company, the 2018 “Minority Health Products and Services Firm of the Year” (MHFY).... Read More
Visionary Integration Professionals Secures Morgan Stanley Investment (PRWeb)
Visionary Integration Professionals (VIP), a Folsom-based company providing industry-leading system integration, management consulting, and technology deployment solutions, announced an investment by Morgan Stanley Credit Partners. Funding from Morgan Stanley Credit Partners will further accelerate the growth of VIP and it’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Meridian.... Read More
Local Startup is First in Line to Privatize Health Plan Exchange (Sacramento Business Journal)
HealthSherpa, a Sacramento-based healthcare company founded in 2013, secured a new federal partnership to operate a website that assists users with enrollment and allows them to compare individual health plans on the federal government’s exchange. The new federal policy will allow private companies like HealthSherpa to set up their own exchanges outside of Healthcare.gov.... Read More
Innovation Insight
In Venture Capital, It’s Still the Age of the Unicorn (TechCrunch)
The number of unicorns has increased from 39 five years ago to 376 currently, with 81 new unicorns created in 2018 alone. Companies are staying private longer due to the amount of funding in the private market. It is important to note, however, that although the number of unicorns has risen, the number of companies funded by venture capital also increased.... Read More
California Life Sciences Industry Report (California Life Sciences Association)
According to the newly-released California Life Science Industry report by the California Life Science Assocation, California’s life sciences sector directly employed 311,126 people in 2018 (a 4.2% annual increase in total life sciences jobs), at an average wage of $119,000. Furthermore, California also leads the nation in digital health VC investment, NIH grants, science and engineering PhDs, and venture capital life sciences investments. Overall, California’s life sciences sector generated $178 billion in revenue in.... Read More
What’s Computer Vision and Why It’s Increasingly the Rocket Fuel for Bay Area Startups (San Francisco Business Times)
Computer vision, which captures, processes, and analyzes real world images and videos through the use of cameras and artificial intelligence, has been a trending in the Bay Area. Several San Francisco-based computer vision startups have landed funding deals, including Umbo CV, which received a $6.8 million Series A round last year for its autonomous video security surveillance systems from CDIB Venture Capital, AppWorks Ventures, Mesh Ventures and Substance Capital.... Read More
How the Biopharmaceutical Industry Contributes to Open Scientific Knowledge (Information Technology & Innovation Foundation)
Given the rising costs of drug development, a growing number of nations have begun to argue in favor of limiting drug prices as a means of cutting back on national healthcare costs. Limiting drug prices, however, negatively impacts the production of knowledge necessary for drug innovation. There is a strong correlation between drug company revenues and R&D. When price controls are enacted, the pace of drug discovery is slowed, and when drug discovery is slowed, so does the knowledge generation and sharing.... Read More
Funding Opportunities
World Agri-Tech Pitch Day & The Radicle Challenge
Application Deadline: December 21, 2018.... Learn More
FoodShot Global Innovating Soil 3.0
Application Deadline: January 8, 2019.... Learn More
NSF Partnerships for Innovation
Application Deadline: January 17, 2019.... Learn More
Little Bang! Poster Competition
Application Deadline: January 21, 2019.... Learn More
Big Bang! Business Competition and Little Bang! Poster Competition
Application Deadlines: February 21, 2019.... Learn More
CITRIS Core Seed Funding Opportunities
(Areas of interested include health, people & robots, and sustainable infrastructures)
Application Deadline: January 31, 2019.... Learn More
Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge
Application Deadline: February 1, 2019.... Learn More
VentureWell E-Team Grants
Application Deadline: February 6, 2019.... Learn More
Rice Business Plan Competition
Application Deadline: February 10, 2019.... Learn More
UC Santa Cruz SVLink Accelerator
Application Deadline: Applications Accepted on the 15th of Each Month Until Full.... Learn More
IndieBio Accelerator
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
Open SBIR/STTR Grant Topics. ... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Big Bang! Business Competition Workshops.... Learn More
Innovations in Regulatory Science Summit
Date: January 5, 2019.... Learn More
Non-Dilutive Funding Summit
Date: January 9, 2019.... Learn More
California Climate & Agriculture Summit
Date: March 4-5, 2018.... Learn More
Regional Events
2019 Economic Forecast
Date: January 16, 2019... Learn More
Sacramento Civic Innovation Challenge
Date: January 16, 2019.... Learn More
Greater Sacramento Economic Council Conversations with the Community - Building a New Economy in the Greater Sacramento Region: A Center for Future Mobility
Date: January 23, 2019.... Learn More
Davis Chamber of Commerce Installation Gala
Date: February 2, 2019.... Learn More
Health Care Leadership Forum
Date: February 14, 2019.... Learn More
Greater Sacramento Economic Council Competitiveness Forum
Date: March 28, 2019.... Learn More
Regional Educational Events – AgStart Founder Education Workshops
January 23, 2019: Early Stage Financing for Tech-Led Businesses
February 20, 2019: Perfecting Your Pitch
March 20, 2019: Pitch Practice.... 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
Digital Medicine & Medtech Showcase (San Francisco, CA)
Date: January 7-9, 2019.... Learn More
Biotech Showcase (San Francisco, CA)
Date: January 7-9, 2019.... Learn More
Redefining Early Stage Investments (San Francisco, CA)
Date: January 8, 2019.... Learn More
AgEmerge (Monterey, CA)
Date: January 9-11, 2019.... Learn More
Precision Medicine World Conference (Santa Clara, CA)
Date: January 20-23, 2019.... Learn More
Startup Grind Global Conference (Redwood CIty, CA)
Students: use code " UC-Davis " for a discounted rate of $75/ticket
Date: February 12-13, 2019.... Learn More
Festival of Biologics
Date: March 3-5, 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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