Innovations in Parking, Digital Medicines Top UC Davis Business Competition
Two UC Davis students with a mobile app to take the pain out of parking claimed the $10,000 first prize in the 18th annual Big Bang! Business Competition at UC Davis. Their venture, JAPA, uses smart data and advanced analytics to provide drivers and parking lot managers with real-time parking information. UC Davis faculty-led startup Cognivive won the $5,000 second prize for its "digital medicine” to treat children with cognitive impairments, as well as people with cognitive limitations resulting from brain injury or aging. UC Davis postdoctoral scholar Denise Bronner took home the greatest amount of prizes of the night for Anu Snacks, which makes all-natural snacks from the spent grain of microbreweries. She won the $2,500 People’s Choice Award, the $12,000 Food and Agricultural Sector Award, and the $3,000 Food, Ag and Health Innovation Award, for a total of $17,500 in price money.
In the main Big Bang! event, five finalists from among 62 entries presented their ventures. They were judged based on their integrated strategy, steps toward implementation and market opportunity. Prizes for Big Bang!, including its pitch and poster competitions, totaled $112,000.
Sacramento Region Innovation Awards Nominations
Nominations are now being accepted for the third annual Sacramento Region Innovation Awards, presented by Stoel Rives LLP with support from Moss Adams LLP and the Sacramento Business Journal. The awards program will recognize business and technology innovations in eight categories. The nomination categories include advanced manufacturing, food & agribusiness, hardware & electronics, government & civic (new in 2018) medical & health (separate categories for medtech and biopharma), software, and sustainability. Nominations are due Friday, July 20, 2018 and can be submitted online.... Read More
Sage Therapeutics Announces FDA Acceptance of NDA Filing and Grant of Priority Review for Brexanolone IV in the Treatment of Postpartum Depression
Sage Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company foundationally enabled by clinical research performed by UC Davis professor Mike Rogawski , announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the filing of a New Drug Application (NDA) for Sage’s lead product candidate, an intravenous formulation of brexanolone (SAGE-547) for the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD). The NDA was granted Priority Review status and the FDA assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target date of December 19, 2018. As expected for a new molecular entity with a new mechanism of action, the FDA is currently planning to hold an advisory committee meeting to discuss the brexanolone IV application.... Read More
Evolve BioSystems Announces $40 Million
Series C Financing to Expand its Flagship Infant Probiotic Product Evivo
Evolve BioSystems, a UC Davis spinoff, announced that it has completed a $40 million Series C round of funding co-led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Horizons Ventures, the venture division of the Li Ka Shing Foundation. The new funds will be used to expand the availability of Evolve's flagship infant probiotic product, Evivo®, in the US and worldwide. In addition to expanding its global footprint, this new financing will also support efforts to develop new products for additional age segments beyond infants, and accelerate company efforts to bring to market the first-of-its-kind microbiome diagnostic test.... Read More
Calling All UC Student Innovators! – Innovation Ambassadors Program
The Big Ideas contest is seeking highly motivated students interested in economic impact and entrepreneurship to serve as Innovation Ambassadors. The Innovation Ambassadors will work with students, academic and industry leaders, and the Big Ideas team to foster and engage the social innovation network on their respective campuses. The goal is to provide aspiring student entrepreneurs with a platform and the resources necessary to transform their innovative ideas into promising social ventures. The application deadline is Monday, June 18, 2018.... Read More
Meet the 2018 Big Ideas Award Winners!
The 2018 Rudd Family Foundation Big Ideas Contest received over 300 applications from over 100 students across 11 campuses. In the final round, 42 teams were awarded prizes ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 across 8 different categories. Under the “Hardware For Good” category, Innovis Medical, from UC Davis, placed first. The company provides health care practitioners with the tools they need to diagnose clotting dysfunction at the point-of-care with a solid-state, disposable sensor capable of operating in mobile situations.... Read More
Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange:
Getting Your Startup Funded
  • Elton Satusky, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Garrett Anderson, Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

This talk will provide practical tips and strategies for success in getting your startup funded. The speakers will discuss the new ecosystem facing startups, from bootstrapping, incubators and accelerators, seed funding from micro-VCs and SAFEs, and Series A Preferred Stock financing. The presentation will also touch on IP strategy "do’s and don’ts" to support fundraising efforts.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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

Psychedelic Drugs Change Structure of Neurons
A team of scientists at UC Davis is exploring how hallucinogenic drugs impact the structure and function of neurons — research that could lead to new treatments for depression, anxiety and related disorders. In a paper published in the journal Cell Reports, they report that a wide range of psychedelic drugs, including well-known compounds such as LSD and MDMA, increase the number of neuronal branches (dendrites), the density of small protrusions on these branches (dendritic spines), and the number of connections between neurons (synapses). These structural changes could suggest that psychedelics are capable of repairing the circuits that are malfunctioning in mood and anxiety disorders.... Read More
Arabica Coffee Genome Sequenced
UC Davis researchers Juan Medrano (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences), Allen Van Deynze (College of Biological Sciences), and Dario Cantu (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences) sequenced the Coffea arabica genome. Coffea arabica is a species responsible for 70 percent of global coffee production. The new genome sequence has been posted to, the public database for comparative plant genomics coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute. It is available for use by scientists and plant breeders around the world.... Read More
UC Davis Chancellor May Appoints David A. Lubarsky as Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences,
CEO of UC Davis Health System
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May has appointed David A. Lubarsky to the position of vice chancellor of human health sciences and chief executive officer of UC Davis Health System, which includes the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, UC Davis Medical Center, and Primary Care Network. Lubarsky is the chief medical and systems integration officer with the University of Miami Health System, a position he has held since 2012.... Read More
UC Davis Chancellor Appoints Robert Segar as Aggie Square Planning Director
UC Davis chancellor Gary S. May has appointed Robert Segar to serve as planning director of Aggie Square. Segar currently serves as associate vice chancellor for campus planning and environmental stewardship, a position he will continue to hold. As Aggie Square planning director, Segar will be responsible for stewarding the many people, programs and activities that are pivotal to moving the innovation hub to the next level.... Read More
UC Davis Climbs in World Rankings
UC Davis has been recognized in the Times Higher Education World Reputation rankings for 2018, ranking 47th among the 100 top ranked universities by reputation. The World Reputation Rankings employ the world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey to provide the definitive list of the top 100 most powerful global university brands, based on the judgment of senior academics. UC Davis ranked 49th last year.... Read More
News from our Startups
Sage Announces Pivotal Phase 3 Trial Status for SAGE-217 in Major Depressive Disorder and Postpartum Depression based on FDA Breakthrough Therapy Meeting
Sage Therapeutics announced its expedited development plan for SAGE-217 following a Breakthrough Therapy meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This development plan is intended to support a potential filing for approval of SAGE-217 in the U.S. for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and postpartum depression (PPD).... Read More
Bifidobacteria Supplement Colonizes Gut of Breastfed Infants
Supplementing breastfed infants with activated Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis) bacteria had a positive impact on babies’ gut microbes for up to a year, according to a recent study by researchers at UC Davis and Evolve BioSystems, a UC Davis-affiliated startup. The work was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition in Boston by Bethany Henrick, director of immunology and diagnostics at Evolve BioSystems.... Read More
Efficient Drivetrains Receives PHEV Bus Order for City of Kunming, China
Efficient Drivetrains announced that they have received a production order for PHEV bus drivetrain systems from the city of Kunming, China. The 30 unit order brings the total China fleet size to 168 vehicles, all of which are deployed on leading OEMs across urban and rural routes in China.... Read More
Novoheart Becomes Member of International Consortium Advancing Cardiac Safety in Drug Development
Novoheart announced that it has become a member of the Cardiac Safety Technical Committee of the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI), an industry-led, international consortium including major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that aims to advance innovative approaches for early detection, prediction, and elimination of cardiac risk in drug development.... Read More
Novoheart Receives C$400,000 in Research Funding from the Innovation and Technology Commission of Hong Kong
Novoheart has been awarded a non-delutive government grant of C$400,000 from the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of Hong Kong. The grant has been awarded to Novoheart to further enhance the drug screening capabilities of its proprietary human ventricular cardiac tissue strip, as part of its unique MyHeartTM Platform of bioengineered human heart tissues.... Read More
Novoheart Wins Coveted 2018 MedTech Breakthrough Award
Novoheart announced that its MyHeart™ platform has been selected as 2018’s “Best New Technology Solution – Drug Development” by MedTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global health and medical technology market.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Welcomes Lilian Shackelford Murray to Its Board of Directors
Arcadia Biosciences announced that Lilian Shackelford Murray, an investment fund manager, has joined its board of directors. Murray was elected at the company’s annual stockholders meeting and replaces Uday Garg of Mandala Capital. Amy Yoder, CEO of Anuvia Plant Nutrients, was also re-elected to the board at the meeting.... Read More
One Big Hot MEMS Vendor & 17 Little Ones (EE Times)
Chrip Microsystems was mentioned in the EE Times list as the "Hot MEMS Vendor". The company, which provides ultrasonic sensing solutions, was recently acquired by TDK.... Read More
Izotropic Corporation Completes Initial Public Offering
Izotropic Corporation announced that it has successfully completed its initial public offering of 2,000,000 common shares in the capital of the Company at a price of $0.10 per Share... Read More
Regional Innovation News
Why Big Pharma is Finally Discovering the Bay Area (San Francisco Business Times)
Many big pharma companies, including AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merck, are expanding to the Bay Area. Forming partnerships with regional up-and-coming pharma-bio startups as well as enhanced collaborations with research institutions, are among the reasons for the increased interest.... Read More
New Chemical-Free Soil Amendment Firm Sets up in Solano (Daily Republic)
SymSoil announced their plan to launch a 10,000-square-foot Center for Soil Science in Solano County, close to Vacaville, at the County Fairgrounds. The firm produces a “biologically active soil amendment product and process” that does not require usage of fertilizer chemicals or pesticides.... Read More
Local Company Raises $11.2 Million from Investors Including VSP Global, J&J, Nikon (Sacramento Business Journal)
NeuroVision Imaging has raised $11.2 million from Johnson & Johnson, Nikon, and VSP Global. The company will utilize these funds to advance their non-invasive imaging system. NeuroVision also aims to raise $15.2 million from its Series C venture capital round.... Read More
Davis-Based Software Company Maintenance Connection to be Acquired
Texas-based Accruent announced that it will be acquiring the Maintenance Connection, a Davis-based provider of computerized maintenance management systems. Accruent provides cloud-based software to help businesses manage their physical assets.... Read More
Cesca Therapeutics Raises $5.5 Million in Stock Offering (Sacramento Business Journal)
The Rancho Cordova-based regenerative medical technology developer, Cesca Therapeutics, raised $5.5 million through commons shares and stock purchase warrants. The company plans to use the money towards operational expenses.... Read More
Innovation Insight
Beyond Silicon Valley, Surprising Threats Emerge: City, State Governments Funding Disruptive Startups (CNBC)
CNBC’s latest Disruptor 50 list showcased an increasing number of tech startups emerging from cities beyond Silicon Valley and New York. The list includes numerous companies originating from domestic cities such as Cincinnati, Reno, and Pittsburg to international locations like Beijing, Bangalore, and Amsterdam.... Read More
SBIR/STTR Awards, 2013 – 2017 (State Science and Technology Institute)
The SBIR/STTR program distributed over 25,500 awards from the years 2013 to 2017 to small technology firms across the US. On average, companies received 3.5 awards. Over 20% of the awardees were in California, with an average of close to 1,100 awards per year. Close to 68% of the awards between 2013 and 2017 were Phase I awards.... Read More
Funding Opportunities
Power Inn Alliance Making Your Mark Micro-Manufacturing Business Competition
Application Deadline: June 29, 2018.... Learn More
2018 Request for Innovators: IIFH FoodShot Fellowship
Application Deadline: June 30, 2018.... Learn More
CTO Forum & Vertical Venture Partners - UC Startup Showcase
Application Deadline: July 1, 2018.... Learn More
iMatSci Innovation Showcase
Application Deadline: August 1, 2018.... Learn More
VentureWell E-Team Grant Program
Application Deadline: October 3, 2018.... Learn More
Autodesk Entrepreneur Impact Program
Application Deadline: Ongoing... Learn More
UC Santa Cruz SVLink Accelerator
Application Deadline: Rolling Applications accepted on 15th of each month.... Learn More
California Technology Council First Pitch
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
CLSI Professional Development Course: Understanding Drug Pricing and Reimbursement
Date: June 20, 2018.... Learn More
Rosenman Medical Device Symposium
Date: June 20, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Biomedical and Engineering Entrepreneurship Academy
Date: June 26-28, 2018.... Learn More
FOOD IT: The Full Stack
Date: June 26, 2018.... Learn More
I-Corps@NCATS Regional Short Course at UC Davis
Application Deadline: August 3, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Graduate School of Management Pitching Creative Ideas
Date: August 14, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship UC Entrepreneurship Academy
Date: September 12-14, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Central Valley Entrepreneurship Academy
Date: October 2-4, 2018.... Learn More
Biomedical Engineering–Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance
Date: October 16-17, 2018.... Learn More
SBIR/STTR Fall Innovation Conference
Date: October 23-25, 2018.... Learn More
Valley Ventures Fall 2018 Cohort
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Regional Events
CleanStart Cleantech Meetup, Energy Generation
Date: June 21, 2018.... Learn More
Startup Grind Davis, Mark Haney, HaneyBiz
Date: June 21, 2018.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Startup Summer Party
Date: July 10, 2018.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Brian Wong, Kiip
Date: August 16, 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
Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit
Date: June 20-21, 2018.... Learn More
FOCiS Transnational Immunology Conference (San Francisco, CA)
Date: June 20-23, 2018.... Learn More
New York Venture Summit (New York, NY)
Date: July 10-11, 2018.... Learn More
Seed Central
Date: Monthly, 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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