CITRIS Foundry | Incubator
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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The CITRIS Foundry Innovation Incubator empowers top entrepreneurs from the University of California to build transformative companies that will have a significant impact on the world. This on-campus program is headquartered at UC Berkeley and leverages the resources and expertise inherent in both our local innovation ecosystem and our global collaborations to support new ventures, social enterprises, and tech transfer pathways that can influence and impact entire industries.


Community + Coworking Space

  • Diverse network of peers
  • 3,500 sqft of co-working space and conference rooms
  • Access to speakers, campus events, and private receptions
  • Introductions to funders, VC, angel, grants, banks, faculty, and researchers

Team + Individual Coaching

  • Guided roadmapping targeting funding, product, and industry
  • Six months of 1-1 coaching
  • Hand-matched mentors from top University of California & Silicon Valley experts in their fields
  • Monthly facilitated small group open circles

Toolbox + business resources

  • Research & prototyping facilities (Nano Lab, Wet Lab, Maker Space)
  • Legal, banking, and research support
  • Up to 100k in AWS Credits
  • GOEngineer SolidWorks licenses and software support
  • Content specific workshops

*** Due to the impact of COVID-19 on in-person activities and facility use, all program content has been moved to fully remote until stated otherwise, including events, coaching, and workshops. Access to research and prototyping labs is currently limited to essential COVID related work only (through summer 2020). Updates to access for the fall will depend on UC Berkeley guidelines. See Berkeley COVID Update Page for more information on campus response. ***


Technology + Product

  • Is your core idea feasible?
  • Does your technology work? 
  • Are the highest-risk aspects of your product solvable?

Organization + Funding

  • Has your team gathered the necessary skills to get to a team or user operated prototype? 
  • Is there a scalable business with a plan to fund required milestones?

Market + Industry

  • How do you define your market? 
  • Do you understand its value chain and your place within it? 
  • Do you have a path to reach your target market? 


Historically CITRIS Foundry has accepted applicants in cohort batches twice a year in fall and spring. 

***Due to the impact of COVID-19, CITRIS Foundry is extending its current Spring 2020 Cohort through Fall 2020.*** 

Please submit this form to receive updates for our Spring 2020 events.

We are currently accepting applicants on a rolling basis through the summer. Apply here!



Team Size | You are a team of 2 – 5 founders and have technical expertise in proposed venture’s core innovation.  


Type of Innovation | Your project is based on an innovation in the discipline of information technology, biological or physical sciences, or other engineering field. 


Readiness Level | Your venture has raised no more than $500,000 in debt or equity funding from non-governmental sources at the time of application.  


Affiliation | One founding team member must have one of the following affiliations with one of the CITRIS UCs (UCD, UCB, UCSC, UCSF, UCM): current graduate student, undergraduate student, post-doc, faculty, staff, recent (< 3 years) alumni, visiting scholarship.


Passion for Implementation | You have a strong desire to see your innovation actually implemented in the market and will stop at nothing to make real impact. You are excited to grow personally and professionally, to develop new skills and concepts to best support your chosen venture.


Emerging Technology & Expertise | Your proposed project is on the cutting edge of technology innovation or your project’s technology has never been implemented in the complex system you’ve identified. Your team’s background and technical expertise are uniquely suited for deploying your innovation. 


Participation & Engagement | You are eager to utilize the resources available to you through this program and our mentors, coaches, and support are critically necessary to set your venture up for success and meaningful impact.


Online Application | The Summer 2020 application is now open. We will be reviewing on a rolling basis until our deadline –– start of Fall.


Deliberation | Our incubator will be open on a rolling basis to applicants from now until the start of the Fall semester. Your venture will be considered for interview and acceptance within 2 weeks of your application submission.


Interviews | Video interviews will be conducted through Zoom will consist of a 30-minute meeting focused on learning about your team and innovation. 


Orientation | Once you are accepted into the Summer 2020 Cohort, you will be invited to an online orientation for on-boarding and more! 


Equity | No, we do not take any equity in any of the ventures supported within the CITRIS Foundry Incubator. 


Intellectual Property | All projects with IP developed outside of UC own that IP, regardless of affiliation with CITRIS Foundry. Ownership of IP developed during program and conducted utilizing specific UC Berkeley lab facilities will be treated on a case by case basis depending on user facility agreement. 


Incorporation | Legal incorporation of project prior to or during program is not required. We have several resource options for incorporation support available as needed. 


Time Commitment | Full time (40 hr/week) engagement with the program is not required, but we do expect a minimum level of engagement with the community and regular meetings with the coaching team.