Message from Associate Vice Chancellor Dushyant Pathak
I recently announced my departure from the university, and this will be the last Venture Catalyst newsletter that I will be sending you. While you will continue to hear from the team going forward, I do hope our paths will remain connected. I know I speak for my colleagues in Venture Catalyst, in hoping you will continue to engage with the team’s excellent efforts, and I encourage you to continue your support of what I’ve worked with my colleagues to build at UC Davis since coming on board in early 2012. Thanks so much for your support, collegiality and collaboration.
Significant Three-Year Impact from Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion Initiatives
PHOTO: Fatma Kaplan and Karl Cameron Schiller, cofounders of Pheronym recently relocated from Florida to become a tenant in the UC Davis-HM.CLAUSE Life Science Innovation Center and participant in the Venture Catalyst START program.
Fiscal Year 2018-2019 marked the conclusion of the three-year campus deployment period for the $2.2 million of innovation and entrepreneurship expansion funding received by UC Davis from the State of California under the University of California Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion legislation (AB 2664), approved in 2016. Implementation of this funding, managed by UC Davis Venture Catalyst, was organized under a unique collaborative framework that included 13 key campus and community partners. Supplementing the $2.2 million, campus partners and Venture Catalyst were able to secure an additional $4 million in matching funds from external sources, allowing the campus to put a total of $6.2 million to work to support 25 new and expanded innovation and entrepreneurship programs. The majority of these programs have developed a mechanism for sustainability, providing extended opportunities to spur economic development in the region and state, enabled by UC Davis innovation drivers in the years ahead.

Over the past three years, new and expanded programs have directly enabled the launch of 30 startups, led to the development of 47 products, accelerated 86 companies, provided training to over 1,400 aspiring entrepreneurs, delivered close to 3,800 hours of mentoring to innovators, and awarded $1.25 million of proof-of-concept grants and awards to teams of researchers and students. Since deployment of these funds, startups launched or supported through these programs have raised over $1.2 million of funding to advance their technology ventures.

With this funding, Venture Catalyst launched new initiatives including the Biotech Innovation Gallery (BIG TM ) Accelerator program and startup showcase, expanded programs like the Worldwide Accelerated Research Partnerships (WARP TM ) program, and added over 27,000 square-feet of incubator space which included the deployment of more than 53 pieces of advanced equipment and instrumentation within the Distributed Research Incubation & Venture Engine (DRIVE TM ) Network. To enhance services available to incubated startups, Venture Catalyst also launched the Discounted Access to Research Translation Services (DARTS TM ) program, a partnership with 32 campus core facilities offering competitive rates for access to services and equipment.
UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange:
Setting Your Company Up for Success in Any Due Diligence Process
  • Elton Satusky, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

There are many pitfalls for a startup founder, but one of them, your corporate records and hygiene, can definitely be managed if you are mindful. Many founders are consumed in their day-to-day activities with the business, which is understandable, but having an eye for good record-keeping, proper contract management, use of standard forms, following through with paperwork on equity commitments, getting all invention assignment agreements in place, and other more “mundane” activities will be very important to investors and other professional counter-parties with whom you will do deals if your company is successful. This talk, led by Elton Satusky, a Partner with the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, will provide some general practical tips, tricks of the trade, red flag warnings, and other helpful information to keep you disciplined, organized and ready for that first major due diligence event.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

UC Davis Office of Research
1850 Research Park Drive
Davis, CA 95618

EVENT COST: Free (Registration Required)
UC Davis Venture Catalyst SBIR/STTR Knowledge Exchange:
Opportunity to Hear from NCI Program Director
  • Dr. Kory Hallett, Program Director, Small Business Innovation Research Development Center at the National Cancer Institute

Focus on Funding for Innovative Cancer Projects
This talk will offer an opportunity for participants to engage with the National Cancer Institute’s Small Business Innovation Research (NCI SBIR) Development Center, which provides funding, networking, and mentoring assistance to small businesses with innovative cancer technology projects. NCI SBIR Program Director Dr. Kory Hallett will discuss new and existing NCI funding opportunities, SBIR application tips and suggestions, and other commercialization resources for small businesses such as the I-Corps at NIH entrepreneurship program.

Thursday, September 26, 2019, 2:30PM - 3:30PM

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, Goodnight Auditorium
2279 45th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817

EVENT COST: Free (Registration Required)
UC Davis Partners With DEA-Approved Company to Conduct Cannabis Research
Researchers at UC Davis have partnered with a federally compliant pharmaceutical company to analyze the chemical and biological profiles of cannabis for the benefit of law enforcement, health care providers and scientific professionals. The agreement with Biopharmaceutical Research Company, which is registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, is among the first of its kind. UC Davis and BRC researchers will analyze legally acquired cannabis materials in BRC’s labs to understand the chemical composition of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, cannabidiol or CBD, and other cannabinoids. In order to leverage these strengths and promote transdisciplinary collaborations, UC Davis is establishing a Cannabis and Hemp Research Center..... Read More
Faculty Spotlight: Marc Facciotti from the University of California-Davis (VentureWell)
VentureWell, an organization that supports science and technology innovators, featured Marc Facciotti, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, in its faculty spotlight. Facciotti has participated in several VentureWell programs and served as a principal investigator for several student E-Teams as well as for several Faculty Grants, one of which focused on building a more inclusive early-stage pipeline for undergraduates interested in innovation and entrepreneurship in the biomedical engineering field.... Read the Interview
Recognizing Kidney Injury Due to Burns Is Improved by Artificial Intelligence
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is sudden kidney failure or damage causing a build-up of waste in blood and a fluid imbalance in the body. Many burn victims suffer acute kidney injury (AKI), but early recognition of AKI remains challenging. Now an Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Machine Learning (ML) model developed at UC Davis can predict acute kidney injury quicker and more accurately. The average diagnosis time using the ML algorithm was just 18.8 hours, compared to 42.2 hours with traditional methods..... Read More
U.S. News Ranks UC Davis Medical Center #1 in Sacramento
U.S. News & World Report has again ranked UC Davis Medical Center among the nation’s top hospitals for 2019-20. The annual rankings recognize hospitals that excel in treating patients with the most serious and complex injuries and illnesses. U.S. News ranked the Medical Center #1 in Sacramento and #6 in California. It is also ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in 10 adult medical specialties.... Read More
Startup News
Can Insect Enzymes and Brain Implants Offer a Future Without Opioids? (Bloomberg)
Bruce Hammock, a UC Davis entomology professor spent five decades researching an enzyme that helps insects metabolize the hormones they need for metamorphosis. Hammock noticed that the enzyme, helpful to bugs, might prove harmful to mammals. Later, he founded Eicosis, a startup devel​oping a first-in-class therapy of a once daily, oral treatment for neuropathic and inflammatory pain in humans and companion animals.... Read More
Sierra Energy Closes $33 Million Series A Funding Led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures
Sierra Energy Corporation announced that it has closed a $33 million Series A investment round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and joined by Cox Investment Holdings, Inc., BNP Paribas SA, Twynam Investments Pty Ltd, Formica Ventures AB, and The March Fund I LP. The funding will help Sierra Energy further develop and commercialize its revolutionary FastOx® gasification technology, which converts virtually any waste into clean, renewable energy and fuels without burning.... Read More
Novel Probiotic Strain Dramatically Reduces Antibiotic Resistance In Infants
Evolve BioSystems, announced findings from a new study that identified healthy, breastfed U.S. infants have high levels of antibiotic resistance genes early in life -- and how feeding babies a specific strain of Bifidobacterium (B. infantis EVC001) along with breast milk, lowered the total levels of antibiotic resistance genes in the infant gut microbiome by 90 percent, including a near elimination of bacteria such as Escherichia, Clostridium and Staphylococcus.... Read More
Sage Therapeutics Announces Clinical Updates and Progress Across Neuroscience Pipeline During “Sage FutureCast”
Sage Therapeutics hosted “Sage FutureCast: An R&D Portfolio Review” and reported clinical progress in select depression, neurology, and neuropsychiatry franchise programs.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Enters Global Collaboration with Arista Cereal Technologies and Bay State Milling Company for Commercialization of High Fiber Wheat
Arcadia Biosciences announced a binding term sheet agreement with Arista Cereal Technologies and Bay State Milling Company for commercialization of its high fiber resistant starch wheat in key wheat markets, including North America, Europe and parts of Asia. Under the terms of the binding agreement, Bay State Milling will become the exclusive commercial partner for Arcadia’s high fiber wheat in North America under Bay State Milling’s HealthSense™ brand portfolio, while Arista receives exclusive rights under Arcadia’s intellectual property in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan and South Korea.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Announces Management Succession; Provides Financial Guidance
Arcadia Biosciences announced that Raj Ketkar, president and CEO, will retire effective September 1, 2019. In line with its succession plan, the board has appointed Matthew Plavan to chief executive officer and member of the board of directors. Plavan is succeeded by Pam Haley as Arcadia’s new chief financial officer.... Read More
Verdeca Receives USDA Approval of HB4® Drought Tolerant Soybeans
Verdeca, a joint venture between Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp., announced that it has successfully completed the regulatory review process and received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its HB4® drought tolerant soybeans, which will allow for commercialization in the U.S. market.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Announces Joint Venture with Legacy Ventures Hawaii
Arcadia Biosciences announced a strategic joint venture with Legacy Ventures Hawaii to grow, extract and sell superior sun-grown hemp. The new partnership, Archipelago™ Ventures, joins Arcadia’s extensive genetic expertise and resources with Legacy’s proven experience in extraction and sales, and leverages Arcadia’s existing licensed cultivation facility in Hawaii.... Read More
Lab-Cultured Heart Tissues Derived from Stem Cells Deemed Suitable to Study FA (Friedreich's Ataxia News)
Lab-cultured heart tissues derived from patients’ stem cells are a suitable model to study the progression of Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) and to develop and test new therapies, a study says. In this study, a group of investigators from Novoheart, a biotech company focused on the use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes, and their collaborators set out to develop an in vitro model of FA that fully mimicked the effects the disorder has on a patient’s heart in an attempt to overcome the limitations posed by the use of animal models.... Read More
Startup Career Opportunities
Career Opportunities at Arcadia Biosciences
Arcadia Biosciences is currently hiring a commercial production associate and a bioinformatics scientist.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Evolve Biosystems
Evolve Biosystems is currently hiring for several medical sales management positions and a research associate position.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Chirp Microsystems
Chirp Microsystems is hiring for a test engineer position.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Sage Therapeutics
Sage Therapeutics is hiring for a wide range of positions from quality control internships to senior-director level positions.... 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
Nuseed Building Innovation Center in West Sacramento (City of West Sacramento)
Nuseed has begun construction for its Global R&D Innovation Center in West Sacramento’s Riverside Commerce Centre. Nuseed’s West Sacramento Innovation Center will be a state-of-the-art facility with molecular lab and analytical capabilities, growth rooms, and a greenhouse for canola, sorghum and sunflower hybrid plant trait development. R&D will comprise 60% of the facility’s overall activity.... Read More
Joyn Bio Reaches Deal to Tap Into NewLeaf’s Plant Microbe Library (Xconomy)
Joyn Bio, a biotech company developing microbes engineered for agricultural applications, is adding microbes from NewLeaf Symbiotics to its toolbox in an effort to get to market faster and expand the scope of its research. This partnership gives Joyn access to NewLeaf’s library of plant-colonizing microbes. Joyn, which is based in Boston and also has operations in Woodland, CA, will engineer these microbes to make disease and pest control products intended to help farmers reduce their reliance on crop chemicals.... Read More
Sacramento Companies Are Cracking the $1 Million Sales Mark at a Blistering Pace (Sacramento Bee)
According to the data from U.S. Census Bureau’s American Survey of Entrepreneurs compiled by the online loans marketplace LendingTree, Sacramento experienced an 11% increase in the number of businesses reaching $1 million in revenue between 2014 and 2016, the sixth highest rate of growth in the country. In this time-period, 1,183 businesses crossed the million-dollar revenue threshold..... Read More
Elk Grove Coworking Space Will Use City Funds to Spiff Up (Sacramento Business Journal)
The InnoGrove collaboration and coworking center will use a $47,500 grant from the city of Elk Grove make improvements including adding more private offices and upgrading furniture. The grant comes from city's Startup Elk Grove Incentive Program.... Read More
Marrone Bio Innovations and Valagro Announce Research Collaboration
Marrone Bio Innovations, a leading developer of bio-based products for pest management and plant health, announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership to collaborate on research and development efforts with Valagro S.p.A, a leader in the production and commercialization of biostimulants and specialty nutrients. The global, non-exclusive research collaboration will leverage a subset of Marrone Bio’s collection of 18,000 microorganisms in conjunction with Valagro’s biostimulant and plant nutrition products that enhance crop yield and quality.... Read More
Innovation Insight
21 Charts Showing Current Trends in US Venture Capital (PitchBook)
According to the latest PitchBook - NVCA Venture Monitor report, 2019 is on track to exceed $100 billion in VC investment for the second year in a row. The report also outlines that companies pulled in more than $25 billion in investments for the sixth consecutive quarter and, while the average deal sizes have plateauted, the mega-deals are continuing to rise with 123 deals..;.. Read More
Halo Annual Report on Angel Investing (Angel Resource Institute)
The 2018 HALO Report On Angel Investing released by the Angel Resource Institute outlines the trends and opportunities of angel investments. According to the over 2,500 deal data points, about 16% of founders and 14% of CEOs were female. About 59% of the deals in 2018 were classified as new and the remaining 41% as "follow-on". Furthermore, the average seed pre-series A valuation was $6.14 million with the average same stage round size of about $1.43 million.... Read More
Cleantech Venture Capital Is Back? Early Numbers Say Yes (Forbes)
According to data from Cambridge Associates, which include 1,500 cleantech investments by 578 investment firms between 2000 and 2018, the returns in cleantech investments have picked up over the last few years producing gross return rates of 23.9% from 2014 to 2018. This return was driven by energy optimization and resource solutions categories, while the renewable power manufacturing, which includes turbines and solar panels, was flat.... Read More
Funding Opportunities
Jumpstarter Global Pitch Competition
Application Deadline: September 10, 2019 (San Francisco Deadline).... Learn More
National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer Virtual Startup Pitches
Application Deadline: September 15, 2019.... Learn More
QB3 Biotech/Biopharma Pitch Summit
Application Deadline: September 20, 2019.... Learn More
Lemelson-MIT Student Prize
Application Deadline: September 27, 2019.... Learn More
Indigo Ag Terraton Challenge
Application Deadline: October 1, 2019.... Learn More
VentureWell e-Teams Grants
Application Deadline: October 2, 2019.... Learn More
Small Farm Tech Challenge
Application Deadline: October 31, 2019.... Learn More
UC Santa Cruz SVLink Accelerator
Application Deadline: Applications Accepted on the 15th of Each Month Until Full.... Learn More
Cyclotron Road Fellows
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
USAID Development Innovation Ventures
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
AgLaunch 365
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
Extreme Tech Challenge
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
Open SBIR/STTR Grant Topics. ... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
Valley Ventures Accelerator Fall 2019 Cohort
Application Deadline: Currently Accepting.... Learn More
Big Ideas Innovation Ambassador
Application Deadline: Currently Accepting.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship UC Entrepreneurship Academy
Date: September 10-12, 2019.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Small Business, Big Dreams - Networking Mixer and Talk
Date: September 10, 2019.... Learn More
GeoVet Conference: Novel and Spatio-Temporal Approaches in the Era of Big Data
Date: October 8-10, 2019.... Read More
Central Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum
Date: October 23, 2019.... Learn More
Regional Events
California Life Sciences Association Bio in the Capital
 Date: September 4, 2019.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Pam Marrone, Marrone Bio Innovation
Date: September 10, 2019.... Learn More
CleanStart Cleantech Meetup
Date: September 26, 2019.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Dinakar Munagala, Thinci
Date: November 26, 2019.... Learn More
Hacker Lab Hands-On Education
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
AgStart Office Hours
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
Ag Innovation Showcase (Minneapolis, MN)
Date: September 9-11, 2019.... Learn More
USPTO Invention-Con (Alexandria, VA)
Date: September 13-14, 2019.... Learn More
MedCity INVEST Digital Health (Minneapolis, MN)
Date: September 17, 2019.... Learn More
Injectables Summit (San Diego, CA)
Date: September 24-26, 2019.... Learn More
Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum (Oakland, CA)
Date: September 30-October 1, 2019.... Learn More
SynBioBet Global Synthetic Biology Summit (San Francisco, CA)
Date: October 1-3, 2019.... Learn More
TechCrunch Disrupt (San Francisco, CA)
Date: October 2-4, 2019.... Learn More
Net Zero Conference & Expo (Los Angeles, CA)
Date: October 4-5, 2019.... Learn More
WSJ Global Food Forum (New York, NY)
Date: October 7, 2019.... Learn More
TechConnect AI, Defense, Smart Cities, and SBIR/STTR Fall Summit & Expo (PNational Harbor, MD)
Date: October 8-10, 2019.... Learn More
Biocom Life Science Harvest Day
Date: October 17, 2019.... Learn More
X-Con 2019: Digital Health Gets Real
Date: October 22, 2019.... Learn More
BIO Investor Forum (San Francisco, CA)
Date: October 22-23, 2019.... Learn More
The VERGE Clean Economy Conference (Oakland, CA)
Date: October 22-24, 2019.... Learn More
Commercial UAV Expo (Las Vegas, NV)
Date: October 28-30, 2019.... Learn More
Startup Grind Global Conference (Silicon Valley, CA)
Date: February 11-12, 2020.... Learn More
Seed Central (Davis, CA)
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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