Two UC Davis-Associated Startups Make It Into the Final-Four Round of the Capitalize Contest
Two UC Davis-associated companies, Japa and Aluminum Oxide, have made it into the final-four round of the Sacramento Kings Capitalize contest.

  • Japa, founded by two UC Davis alumni, is a smart parking company delivering data and advanced analytics to solve parking issues. Japa's pioneering technology makes the parking experience for consumers easier, while making corporate campuses and cities more efficient.
  • Aluminum Oxide, a company that was started by UC Davis engineering students and based on the work of Jerry Woodall, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis, utilizes the properties of Gallium and the elemental power of Aluminum to produce high purity Aluminum Oxide (HPA) in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way, which can be used in semiconductors and batteries.

At Pitch Day on March 18, a panel of entrepreneurs, executives, and investors selected the four companies to move on to the Capitalize Finals. The final four companies will join the Kings at Golden 1 Center for their Tech Night game, where fans in the arena will see the pitch videos and place final votes via Twitter. The judges will tally their final votes along with the fan vote and the Capitalize Grand Prize winner will be announced during the game.... Read More
Three New Partners Join Venture Catalyst STAIR TM Grant Program
Elanco, LEO Pharma and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine have joined existing partners to increase support for successful recipients of UC Davis Venture Catalyst STAIR TM Grants. 

Elanco Animal Health provides those who raise and care for animals with solutions that empower them to advance a vision of food and companionship enriching life. Projects that are successful in the STAIR Grants review process that pertain to Elanco’s focus areas may receive further funding from the company.
See the list of areas of interest here

LEO Pharma, a leading global pharma company specializing in dermatology and critical care, through its innovation lab LeoiLab, has entered into an MOU with UC Davis to be involved with the STAIR Grant program. Projects that are successful in the STAIR Grant review process that pertain to LEO Pharma’s focus areas may receive further funding from LEO Pharma.
See the list of areas of interest here.

Dean Michael Lairmore of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) has agreed to provide additional funding to support successful STAIR grants led by one or more SVM investigators.

Additional funding partners include TechAccel (providing funds to support successful STAIR grants in agriculture, agtech and animal health); the UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health (IIFH–providing funds to support successful STAIR grants enabling safe, sustainable, and secure nutrition for all); and Dean Mark Winey of the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences (CBS - providing additional funding to support successful STAIR grants led by one or more CBS investigators).... Learn More About the STAIR Grant
UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange:
How to Find the Right Office/Lab Space for Your Startup
  • Nahz Anvary, CCIM, Senior Vice President, Kidder Matthews

Finding and securing functional space can be daunting for early-stage startups ready to establish their own laboratory facility. This talk, led by Nahz Anvary, an experienced commercial real estate agent at Kidder Matthews, will provide insights on successful strategies for leasing a lab space in the current market environment. The discussion will touch on the following topics:

  • When should I begin the search?
  • Where are the existing spaces?
  • What are the costs of leasing?
  • What are the different types of leases?
  • What are the costs of building out lab space?
  • How long will it take to build a lab space?

Wednesday, April 3, 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

2019 Innovation + Entrepreneurship Conference
Join Chancellor Gary May and Aggie innovators — students, faculty and alumni — for a day of inspiration and networking. Build the skills student innovators need to address challenges, offer solutions and have a positive impact on the world:

  • Develop an innovation mindset
  • Effectively tell your story and share your vision
  • Connect with campus and regional programs that help launch new ventures
  • Network with other students who share your passion for doing great things

This free one-day conference invites students to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship at UC Davis. The day will culminate with student entrepreneur pitches and a chance to vote for your favorite startup. Lunch and refreshments included throughout the day. Space is limited!

When: Friday, April 12, 2019, 8:15 a.m. - 6:00 p.m

Where: Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Ballroom
UC Davis Collaborates With IBM in Aggie Square Launch Facility
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May announced a collaboration with IBM through the Aggie Square initiative. A select group of IBM specialists will join staff from Aggie Square and the UC Davis Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement in a newly leased building on Stockton Boulevard. The building will also include a flexible innovation center for UC Davis faculty, IBM and others to host events to demonstrate their latest innovations and collaborative projects. This announcement marks an important early milestone for Aggie Square, identifying UC Davis programs, corporate collaborators and community initiatives that will anchor investments in the initial projects. A realistic time frame for full completion of development is 5 to 10 years.... Read More
Psychedelic Microdosing in Rats Shows Beneficial Effects
A study in rats by researchers at UC Davis led by David Olson, assistant professor of Chemistry, suggests microdosing, taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs to boost mood and mental acuity, can provide relief for symptoms of depression and anxiety. Olson’s group found DMT microdosing helped rats to overcome a “fear response” in a test considered to be a model of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in humans. The researchers also documented reduced immobility in an experiment that measures the effectiveness of antidepressant compounds. Less immobility is associated with antidepressant effects. Some negative effects that the study found include a significant increase in body weight in male rats and neuronal atrophy in female rats.The work is published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.... Read More
Breeding a Better Strawberry
An international team of scientists led by UC Davis has sequenced and analyzed the genome of the cultivated strawberry, which will provide a genetic roadmap to help select traits desired by consumers, growers, and suppliers. The assembled genome will allow scientists to pinpoint specific genes that can protect the plant against diseases, which is important to growers. Additionally, scientists may also be able to find genes in the strawberry that lead to increased flavor or aroma for the consumer, while maintaining the firmness and shelf life for producers. The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics.... Read More
California Hemp Corporation Enters Sponsored Research Agreement with UC Davis Utilizing Benson Hill's CropOS™ to Optimize Breed in Industrial Hemp
California Hemp Corporation and Benson Hill Biosystems announced at the Industrial Hemp Summit that they have entered into a sponsored research agreement with the laboratory of Dr. Edward Charles Brummer at UC Davis. The research is designed to breed improved cultivars of Cannabis sativa, commonly referred to as industrial hemp. Desired strain traits include high cannabidiol (CBD) and low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and suitability for growing in the environmental and soil conditions of Central California and similar climates. This multi-year initiative is expected to result in a broad portfolio of commercial field-grown hemp varietals cultivated for health and wellness products. This is the first significant cannabis research project initiated by the University of California system.... Read More
UC Davis School of Medicine Recognized as Research University Powerhouse
UC Davis School of Medicine continues its leadership in medical research with 10 departments ranked in the top 20, including three in the top 10 (public health, emergency medicine, and dermatology), for research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2018. The rankings, published each year in early February, place UC Davis among the nation’s leading medical schools for NIH funding, a representative recognized measure of research excellence. The rankings are compiled by Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, a nonprofit organization that uses the NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool for its annual reports.... Read More
Osage University Partners Closes Oversubscribed $273 Million Third Venture Fund for University Startups
Osage University Partners (OUP), a Philadelphia area-based venture capital firm, announced the closing of Osage University Partners III (OUP III), L.P. at $273 million, exceeding its target of $250 million. OUP III marks the firm’s third fund dedicated to investments exclusively in startups that are commercializing university research, bringing OUP’s total assets under management to approximately $600 million. OUP III has signed exclusive long-term contracts with 19 Core Partners including many of the leading research universities in the United States. UC Davis is a core OUP partner.... Read More
Startup News
Sage Therapeutics Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Financial Results and Highlights Pipeline and Business Progress
Sage Therapeutics reported business highlights and financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2018. Highlights include:
  • Planned U.S. commercial launch of ZULRESSO™ (brexanolone) injection, if approved, on track for June 2019, based on PDUFA target date of March 19, 2019 and anticipated DEA scheduling
  • Topline data from Phase 3 trial of SAGE-217 in MDD expected in Q4 2019 or 1Q 2020
  • Neurology and neuropsychiatry franchises continue to progress with positive Phase 1 data
Sage Therapeutics Announces Closing of $575 Million Public Offering of Common Stock, Including Full Exercise of Option to Purchase Additional Shares
Sage Therapeutics announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering of common stock, including the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase an additional 500,000 shares at the public offering price of $150.00 per share, less the underwriting discount. The exercise of the option to purchase additional shares brought the total number of shares of common stock sold by Sage to 3,833,334 shares and increased the amount of gross proceeds raised in the offering, before underwriting discounts and estimated expenses of the offering, to approximately $575 million.... Read More
Pheronym Secures $100K Grant for First Ever Agriculture Bio-control Experiment in Space
Pheronym, a bio-ag-tech pest control company, announced it that has received a $100,000 research grant from the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to conduct agriculture bio-control experiments in space. The science will focus on Pheronym’s nematode bio-remediation technology and determine the impact that space travel has on the ability of beneficial nematodes to effectively manage pest control. This is the third major grant secured by Pheronym within the last year, bringing the total of grants received to $1,000,000.... Read More
Davis-Based Engage3 to Expand with Wells Fargo Equity Investment (Sacramento Business Journal)
Engage3, a Davis-based retail analytics company has secured an investment by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. The company currently has about 70 employees and will use the investment to hire at least 30 more people in software development, data science, and operations roles.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences Receives Its First Industrial Hemp Program License in Hawaii
Arcadia Biosciences announced that it has been granted an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program (“HIHPP”) License by Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture. The license allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawaii for the purposes of agricultural and academic research. Hemp and hemp products produced under the program may be commercially sold.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences, a Leader in Advanced Agricultural Breeding and Gene Optimization, Announces New Business Unit Dedicated to Cannabis
Arcadia Biosciences announced the company will apply its expertise to a new crop: cannabis. With the establishment of Arcadia Specialty Genomics™, the company is dedicating a first-of-its-kind strategic business unit to the optimization and standardization of cannabis plant content, quality, climate resiliency and yield. Arcadia Specialty Genomics intends to conduct its business only in federal and state markets in which its activities are legal.... Read More
N ovoheart Holdings Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results and Announces AGM Results
Novoheart Holdings reported financial results for the three and six months ended December 31, 2018. Q2 2019 highlights include:

  • Entered into a multi-phase partnership with another top-15 Pharmaceutical Company to develop high-throughput contractility assays
  • Entered into a third project with Pfizer Inc. extending disease modeling work on Friedreich’s Ataxia
  • Published a research paper with Pfizer on the predictive capabilities of the MyHeart™ Platform
  • Appointed Chief Operating Officer as the Interim Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
Davis-Based Company Raises Funds to Research Alternatives to Opioids (Sacramento Business Journal)
According to SEC documents, Davis-based company founded on UC Davis technology, Expanesthetics, has raised $1.39 million in equity during a recent general solicitation and $445,000 through a securities offering to existing shareholders.... 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 a research associate in molecular/microbiology field.... 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 Therapeutics
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
Where Women Startup Founders Are Gaining Ground (Citylab)
About 25% of companies in the Sacramento region receiving first round venture capital had a woman founder, which ranks the region 12th among the leading metropolitan areas. Only 17% of companies with first round VC funding in the Silicon Valley, leading metro area for startups, had a female founder..... Read More
Davis Company Hosts Meeting of Biotech Executives Discussing Capital Challenges (Davis Enterprise)
Davis-based ARIZ Precision Medicine’s CEO, Lonnie Bookbinder, brought together nine biotech companies from the greater Sacramento region to discuss ways to reduce shortage of high-risk investment capital available for life science enterprises in the region. The meeting was held at the headquarters of Expanesthetics, a Davis-based pharmaceutical company. Apart from the increase of high-risk capital for biotech companies, early preparations for IPO, NIH grants and successful fundraising initiatives were also discussed.... Read More
Marrone Adds to Bacterium Patent (Davis Enterprise)
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the MBI-110 bacterium patent to Marrone Bio Innovations, a Davis-based biological crop protection and plant health solutions company. The MBI-110 bacterium controls the growth of white molds and downy mildews. Marrone Bio has incorporated this bacterium in two of their latest products, Amplitude and Stargus, to improve plant strength and overall health by fighting against molds and fungi.... Read More
Innovation Insight
UC Irvine, UC Riverside Scientists Identify a New World for Hackers
Researchers from the UC Irvine and UC Riverside have uncovered the possibility of an acoustic side-channel attack on the DNA synthesis process, a vulnerability that could present a serious risk to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and academic research institutions.... Read More
Funding For Female Founders Stalled at 2.2% of VC Dollars in 2018 (Forbes)
Women-led companies raised $2.88 billion from venture capital funding in 2018, which makes up only 2.2% of the $130 billion invested by venture capitals. Although companies led by all-female teams raised about $1billion more in 2018 than in 2017, the percentage of total VC funding given to female founders declined by 2.53%.... Read More
Indicators Provide Early-Stage Entrepreneurship Data (Kauffman Foundation)
The Kauffman Foundation introduced a platform, Kauffman Indicators of Early-Stage Entrepreneurship, which contains entrepreneurial activity data from 1996-2017, covering a wide range of geographies and demographic groups. Some of the findings of the national report include an increase in new entrepreneur rates from 31% in 2016 to 33% in 2017, the rate of entrepreneurial starts among immigrant entrepreneurs in 2017 is double that of native-born entrepreneurs, and since 2012, the startup early survival rate has remained relatively constant between 79% and 80%..... Read More
Funding Opportunities
Y Combinator Summer Cycle
Application Deadline: March 25, 2019.... Learn More
School of AI Health Hackathon
Date: March 30-31, 2019.... Learn More
Techstars Sustainability Accelerator
Application Deadline: April 7, 2019.... Learn More
UC Pitch Day
Application Deadline: April 8, 2019... Read More
Rosenman Innovators
Application Deadline: April 18, 1019.... Learn More
TERRA Accelerator
Application Deadline: April 26, 2019.... Learn More
J.M.K. Innovation Prize
Application Deadline: April 30, 2019.... Learn More
Little Bang! Poster Competition
Application Deadline: May 16, 2019.... Learn More
VentureWell Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams Challenge
Application Deadline: May 31, 2019.... Learn More
Collegiate Inventors Competition
Application Deadline: June 7, 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 and Events
Date: Through May 2019.... Learn More
Advances in Biologics Development and Delivery (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 28, 2019.... Learn More
VentureWell OPEN Conference (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 28-30, 2019.... Learn More
JLABS What Does Pharma Want and Need from Digital? (South San Francisco, CA)
Date: April 2, 2019.... Learn More
Blockchain: After the Hype
Date: April 4, 2019.... Learn More
McGeorge School of Law Global Center Conference
Date: April 5-6, 2019.... Learn More
UC Davis Plant Science Symposium
Date: April 8, 2019.... Learn More
2019 UC Davis Research Expo
Date: April 10, 2019.... Learn More
Energy Storage Technologies & Applications Conference (Riverside, CA)
Date: April 11-12, 2019.... Learn More
Regional Events
Greater Sacramento Economic Council Competitiveness Forum
Date: April 4, 2019.... Learn More
Startup Weekend Silicon Valley: Social Impact Edition
Date: April 5-7, 2019.... Learn More
Woodland Chamber of Commerce State of the City
Date: April 10, 2019.... Learn More
Startup Weekend Sacramento: Folsom Edition
Date: April 12-14, 2019.... Learn More
Sacramento Metro Chamber METRO Edge Executive Insight
Date: April 16, 2019.... Learn More
CleanStart Future of the Utility Business
Date: April 19, 2019.... Learn More
TechEdge 2019
Discounted Student Tickets Available
Date: April 24, 2019.... 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
Future FoodTech Innovation & Investment (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 21-22, 2019.... Learn More
Bio on the Bay with CLSA (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 28, 2019.... Learn More
FoodBytes (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 28, 2019.... Learn More
IFT Feed Your Future (New Orleans, LA)
Date: June 2-5, 2019.... Learn More
BIO International Convention (Philadelphia, PA)
Date: June 3-6, 2019.... Learn More
TechConnect World Innovation Conference + NanoTech Conference & Expo, SBIR/STTR Spring Innovation Conference, and AI TechConnect
Date: June 17-19, 2019.... Learn More
BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology (Des Moines, IA)
Date: July 8-11, 2019.... Learn More
TechCrunch Disrupt (San Francisco, CA)
Date: October 2-4, 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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