Interested in entrepreneurship? Not sure how to get started at Berkeley? Jump in headfirst with Foundry Fellows, a program for engineering students to work with startups from the CITRIS Foundry. Join an innovative UC Berkeley startup for a term, help entrepreneurs bring cutting-edge technologies to market, and learn how to leverage your engineering skills in the context of a tech startup. Did we mention you get free access to the CITRIS Invention Lab AND our projects count towards your graduation requirements?

Sign up below! Have questions? Read the FAQ Below

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CITRIS Foundry?

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS; is a University of California research institute created to facilitate the real-world application of technological research. With campuses across the UC system at Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz, CITRIS is home to cutting-edge research in everything from semiconductor design to robotics, clean energy and medical devices.


The CITRIS Foundry is the incubation arm of the institute, founded to help accelerate the process of bringing cutting-edge innovations developed at the University to market.


What kind of startups does the CITRIS Foundry work with?

Since its inception in 2013, the CITRIS Foundry has worked with entrepreneurs in fields as diverse as protein detection, neural interfaces, robotics, semiconductors, gas and particulate detection, medical devices, carbon reduction, and wave energy. To date, CITRIS Foundry has incubated 17 companies that have raised an aggregate of >$22MM. While the technology mix changes at the start of each 6-month Foundry class, our passion is to help teams whose passion it is to change the world through the clever application of cutting-edge technology to difficult problems.


What is the Engineering Foundry Fellows program?

Foundry Fellows is an initiative between College of Engineering and the CITRIS Foundry, designed to provide engineering students with the opportunity to work with early stage tech startups from Berkeley. At the start of each term, we conduct a needs assessment with Foundry companies and scopes a set of projects with well-defined objectives, expectations and deliverables. Additionally, all Fellows will have a free semester membership to the CITRIS Invention Lab (with lots of fun equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and all sorts of materials/sensors).


In the past, our Foundry Fellows have helped our teams design product UI/UX, prototype hardware and design hardware/software features for their product. Some Fellows have even continued working with teams as paid interns.


What is the time commitment? What are the deliverables?

We know the your course load  is demanding, and that demands on your time are many. For this reason, we scope most projects to require between 30-40 hours of work over the course of a semester. We trust you and your team to find a way to work together that works for everyone.


Deliverables include those specific to the project (working prototype, tested designs, etc.), as well as a 10-15mn final presentation at the end of the term to Prof. Costas Spanos, the Director of CITRIS, and the sponsor of the Foundry Fellows program. The current date will be announced later in the term, subject to Prof. Spanos’ schedule.


When will the next wave of project begin?

End of September, when the Foundry welcomes its next intake. Sign-up now to be notified when projects are announced.


Can I count my Fellowship project towards my degree? What do I need to do?

Yes! Through an agreement with the College of Engineering, we are able to enroll our Fellows in EE199 (1 credit per 30-40 hour project) which can count towards your graduation requirements.


If selected as a Fellow, our team will work with the COE to manage the administration related to your credits. No extra work for you 🙂


I have a question not covered here. Who can I talk to?