CITRIS Foundry | Frequently Asked Questions
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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Frequently Asked Questions

What is CITRIS? Is it a fruit?


The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute create information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. The institute was created by the California state legislature to shorten the pipeline between world-class laboratory research and the development of applications, platforms, companies, and even new industries. From concept to prototype, the CITRIS invention ecosystem includes competitive seed funding, specialized testbeds, Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory, CITRIS Invention Lab, and the CITRIS Foundry startup accelerator. Learn more about it here.


So no, not a fruit.

What’s the difference between CITRIS and CITRIS Foundry?


CITRIS is the blanket institute that facilitates innovation, world-class research, and the development of new industries from within the University of California through an invention ecosystem that includes the Marvell Nano Lab, the CITRIS Invention Lab, and of course, the CITRIS Foundry. The Foundry is a startup accelerator that helps early-stage startups refine their ideas, raise funding, and choose a market strategy. Learn more here.

How many companies are at CITRIS Foundry?


Since 2013, we’ve supported 42 startups and raised over $40M. Every six months, we take on five to seven new teams.

What are you looking for in a startup?


The CITRIS Foundry is looking for highly-motivated teams who are ready to make a significant impact on the world. We like ideas that are original, scalable, and financially viable.

How can I apply to the CITRIS Foundry?


Our application and all the steps to follow can be found here. Teams must submit an application, a prototype, and a video. Finalists will be asked to join us at UC Berkeley for an in-person interview.

When do you accept applications/teams?


We accept applications every six months. Check here for information about our upcoming application cycle.

How long is the CITRIS Foundry program?


Our program is 12 months long. There is a mid-point milestone review of companies to determine if they are still a fit for the program. Milestones are set at the beginning of the program.

Who can apply to the Foundry?


Teams must include at least one member who is a student, post-doc, faculty, staff, or alumnus (less than 5 years since graduation) affiliated with one of the following UC campuses: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz or UC San Francisco.

Do I need funding to apply?


Absolutely not. The only requirement is that one of your team members is a student, post-doc, faculty, staff, or recent alumnus (less than 5 years since graduation) affiliated with UC campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Merced, Santa Cruz, or San Francisco.

Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?


No, we will not. It is not standard practice for any startup accelerator or venture firm to sign an NDA at this point.