CITRIS Foundry | About
CITRIS Foundry is the University of California accelerator for founders building deep technology startups. We bring extensive experience at the leading edge of university-driven innovation and entrepreneurship to guide startups and institutional partners in bridging the gap from lab to market.
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At the CITRIS Foundry, our innovators are inventing the future. Walk into our innovation hub on the UC Berkeley campus and you’ll see them working at the frontiers of gene editing, artificial intelligence, programmable hardware, energy systems, and other deep technologies.


Our view is that the biggest opportunities will appear where disciplines collide — when the lines between engineering, computer science, biology, and other tech sectors begin to blur.


Join us for a first glimpse at what’s coming. The future is here.

CITRIS Foundry is embedded in UC Berkeley, a premier research university with global influence. Our startups come from the surrounding science and engineering programs — many of which rank top in the world. The Foundry program helps these entrepreneurs leverage one of the best research and startup ecosystems on the planet:


  • #1 in NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
  • Over half a billion dollars in research and other support from external sources each year
  • Leader in gene therapy, robotics, AI, sensors, materials
  • 468 VC-backed startups from alumni since 2010


Bridging The Gap.

Our program specializes in helping founders make the leap from science to startup. In this critical period where deep technology ventures often fail, we provide targeted structure and support.

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In exchange for all of these benefits, the University holds a 2% equity stake in each CITRIS Foundry company. More than just a return on investment, this creates an alignment of interests between the University and your business over the long term. This also allows your company to retain all intellectual property created while utilizing the resources provided as part of the CITRIS Foundry program. Our success is tied to your success!

Interested in joining the CITRIS Foundry?

Visit our Application Page for more Information

Program Benefits


Gain access to on-demand coaching and connections from the CITRIS Foundry’s extensive network of entrepreneurs and industry experts. We provide structured workshops, technical office hours, and investor pitch sessions to challenge and guide your team.


Each startup selected to join the CITRIS Foundry receives $5,000 in cash, plus more than $30,000 worth of in-kind infrastructure and services.


We believe in experiential education and community-based learning. Teams work side-by-side, helping each other solve common hardware and design challenges. From shared studios to Hardware Labs to “Dealer Days” feedback sessions, The Foundry is designed with community in mind.



Set up shop in the CITRIS Foundry's collaborative office and studio spaces on the UC Berkeley campus while refining your designs in the CITRIS Invention Lab, Marvell Nanolab or QB3 Garage located right in the heart of the UC Berkeley campus.


We accelerate companies formed out of the University of California ecosystem with a focus the CITRIS and Northern California campuses including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced and UC San Francisco. At least one founding team member must be a student, faculty member, staff, or recent alumnus from one of these campuses.


The CITRIS Foundry program is 6 months long, with an option to extend an additional 6 months if milestones are met. While admission is on a rolling basis, application deadlines are offered twice per year. We currently accept 5-7 teams per cohort for a total of 10-14 teams each year.


We work best with companies developing technology solutions built on fundamental science and engineering that are ready to move into the world . We look for disruptive solutions that are solving society’s pressing needs in existing and emerging industries . Our facilities and resources are designed to help both software and hardware startups through access to the CITRIS Invention Lab's advanced fabrication tools which include 3D printers, laser cutters, and PCB mills.


The CITRIS Foundry offers focused mentor sessions with experts who’ve “been there and done that” including interface design, customer identification, and manufacturing strategy. We host monthly 'board meetings’ and frequent pitch sessions with investors to refine each company’s strategy and milestones.

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