UC Ventures

By University of California | The University of California is an economic powerhouse that produces five new inventions every day. Read about our latest discoveries, innovations and startups.

The Innovator Gap

An innovator I know—let’s call him Tom—had trained for a decade at the world’s top research institution to become an expert in materials science and …

Innovation

Providing clean water for a growing population

<b>Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have developed a new way to recover almost 100 percent of the water from highly concentrated salt solutions. The system will alleviate water shortages in arid regions and reduce concerns surrounding high salinity brine disposal, such as hydraulic</b> …

Water

Pioneering a new dimension in virtual reality: The nanoscale

<b>Like many other tech entrepreneurs, UC San Diego Class of 2017 engineering grad Dennis Chiang got his start in a basement. But he and fellow classmates behind the UC San Diego startup Nanome haven’t exactly been working amid dusty garden tools and old sports equipment as they seek to establish</b> …

College & University

Why yes, those are robot delivery minions at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley has a new on-demand delivery service. Unlike any of its predecessors however, this one relies on robots.<p>Kiwi uses a fleet of 20 …

UC Berkeley

Scientists kill invasive ants with seaweed

Scientists in California have developed an eco-friendly way to battle invasive ants. The new ant bait is made from a seaweed-based hydrogel.

Insects

University researchers key ‘in 40% of top inventions since 1950s’

University researchers were leading actors in 40 per cent of the top inventions since the 1950s, despite receiving relatively low amounts of research …

Students’ Engineering Chops to be Showcased at ‘Innovate to Grow’

Is it still possible to build a better mouse trap? Engineering students at UC Merced think so.<p>“Eraticate” — a fitting name for a group focused on …

Triton Entrepreneur Night: Pitch Perfect

Sensors that tell you if Chinese food from last weekend is still safe to eat. An app to let your professor know you have no idea what he’s talking …

Entrepreneurship

New battery-free implant is powered by your body

<b>Researchers from UCLA and the University of Connecticut have designed a new biofriendly energy storage system called a biological supercapacitor, which operates using charged particles, or ions, from fluids in the human body. The device is harmless to the body’s biological systems, and it could</b> …

Congratulations to our UC Entrepreneur luncheon winners!

<b>Nineteen UC entrepreneurs will get a chance to meet and pitch some of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists next month at a special lunch hosted by UC President Janet Napolitano and Christine Gulbranson, UC’s senior vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship.</b><p>The winners were chosen …

Big Ideas pitch day: seeding the future

<b>In 2015, pneumonia was the leading cause of death in patients under the age of 5, claiming the lives of nearly a million children worldwide, half of whom lived in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with limited medical resources.</b><p>Adam Rao, a bioengineering Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley and medical …

When the Dalai Lama asks you to make an app...

<b>In her house on a hill in San Francisco with sweeping views of the city, Eve Ekman has a meditation altar, which highlights her spiritual interests.</b><p>In a nearby room, Ekman has the lamp by which her father, Paul Ekman, UC San Francisco professor emeritus in psychology, studied facial expressions — …

<b>Imagine a future in which every home has an appliance that pulls all the water the household needs out of the air, even in dry or desert climates, using only the power of the sun.</b><p>That future may be around the corner, with the demonstration this week of a water harvester that uses only ambient …

Turning ideas into enterprise

<b>Grape growers lose an estimated $1.5 billion each year to fungal infections that damage vines after necessary pruning. Philippe Rolshausen, a researcher at the University of California, Riverside, is helping them fight back. He first developed an organic, beeswax-based sealant that growers can</b> …

Driving apps like Waze are creating new traffic problems

After a long day teaching at Ohlone College in Fremont, Rose-Margaret Itua often spends 40 minutes just waiting to get on the highway.<p>It’s only a …

Space start-ups get their 'Shark Tank' moment

After the success of nimble companies such as rocket and capsule maker SpaceX and Earth-imaging firm Planet, investors are starting to see aerospace start-ups as viable ventures. But it’s still unclear whether these young firms can work with big, established players such as Boeing Co. and Lockheed …

Student entrepreneur brings light to South African school children

<b>John Vande Wege/UCLA</b><p>Partnering with other organizations, SOSA Investments, co-founded by UCLA student Luke Mostert, donates lanterns to needy …

Grown in California

Other notable winners and finalists in the New Venture Competition• Inogen (2001), a now public company that produces a portable oxygen concentrator to improve user mobility<br>• TrackR (2009), a Bluetooth-enabled tracking device that links to a phone app<br>• Milo Sensors (2015), developer of a wearable alcohol …

Alums launch video game based on ancient Mesoamerican myth

"Ulama: Arena of the Gods," a collaboration from three Games and Playable Media alums, launched March 28 on the Steam platform.

Collaboration

Startups poised to make strides for local economy

<b>Two startup companies run by UC Merced alumni have taken big steps toward the kind of success many entrepreneurs can only hope for.</b><p>St. Vincent’s Solutions, which makes a humidifying respirator for premature babies, and Sweep Energy, which makes energy-monitoring devices for production facilities …

The future car is driverless, shared and electric

Quick summary• Transportation experts say three technology revolutions are driving rapid change: shared, electric and automated vehicles<br>• Government awareness and involvement are essential to ensure driverless vehicles benefit everyone and do not harm the environment<br>• Google, Tesla, Uber, GM and Lyft …

Restoring Sight with a Nanowire Implant

These are primary cortical neurons cultured on the surface of an array of optoelectronic nanowires. Here a neuron is pulling the nanowires, …

Startups

Feeding right-brain innovation

<b>The bulk of entrepreneurs emerging from leading universities are scientists and engineers. These so-called “left-brainers” are celebrated problem-solvers — logical thinkers with an enviable attention to detail.</b><p>But with all-consuming digital technologies shifting society toward greater visualization …

How Bears Breed Unicorns: Inside Cal's Vast Startup Ecosystem

Bill SnyderHow’s this for a modern take on the venerable office vending machine? You swipe your credit or debit card, open a fridge-like glass door, …

Startups

Diversity, inclusivity key to a growing economy

<b>For the American economy to prosper, it must be diverse and inclusive, UC Santa Cruz Professor Chris Benner tells business leaders in a new report written in collaboration with the University of Southern California and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.</b><p>“America is changing,” opens …

wave signal generator

<b>Irvine, Calif., Feb. 7, 2017 –</b> Your doctor waves a hand-held scanner over your body and gets detailed, high-resolution images of your internal organs …

Engineering

Silicon Valley thought leaders buoy ‘I am a UC Entrepreneur’ campaign

<b>Wondering how to generate interest in your breakthrough startup?</b><p><b>Imagine dining with the world’s leading experts on the topic.</b><p>University of California entrepreneurs who submit a video to the “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign by the end of this month may be able to do just that.<p>Three venture capital …

The next Silicon Valley?

UC and the Merced boom• The Merced metro area has experienced the <b>top personal income growth</b> of any region in the country since 2012, per the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis<br>• UC Merced has <b>directly contributed more than $1.4 billion</b> to the San Joaquin Valley economy since operations began in 2000<br>• UC's …

CRISPR research institute expands into agriculture, microbiology

<b>An initiative launched two years ago by UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco to use CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to develop new disease therapies is expanding into research on the planet’s major crops and poorly understood microbiomes, with plans to invest $125 million in these areas over the next five</b> …