Join the CITRIS Foundry

The CITRIS Foundry provides entrepreneurs with time, resources and space to develop into venture-ready startups. As part of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS), Foundry teams will gain access to the institute’s broader innovation hub and community of experts.

Uniquely situated across multiple UC campuses, the CITRIS Foundry is ideally positioned to help new generations of innovators and entrepreneurs bridge the gap from lab to market with advanced technology that solves global challenges.

Entrepreneurs can come from any area within the IT stack including applications, software, hardware and semiconductors. Innovations can be applied through products and services for a wide variety of markets including transportation, industrial, enterprise, health, biotech, genomics, energy, climate, environment, agriculture technology and more.


Legal support

Several leading law firms and university law programs offer support such as:

  • Startup, incorporation, ongoing legal help
  • Intellectual property strategy and guidance 

Funding and Banking

  • Introductions to UC Berkeley shared carry funds
  • Access to leading business banking firm

Business Support

  • Custom engagement framework
  • Dedicated office space at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Medical Center, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz
  • Opportunity to audit Haas School of Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation course: Haas MBA295A: Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  • Semiconductor companies can receive a specialized lecture on lab to fab
  • Access to CITRIS research and advisor network
  • Opportunity to connect with the entrepreneurial ecosystem present on each campus

Technology and Research

  • Research and prototyping facilities specific to each campus
  • Up to 100K in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Credits
  • GO Engineer SolidWorks licenses and software support


This is a self-paced program to meet the unique needs of each team. Each entrepreneurial team will have the opportunity to develop a flexible engagement framework depending on their interests. Primary activities center around entity formation, funding and banking guidance, and opportunities to further product development, market exploration and customer discovery.

  • At a minimum, each team must incorporate and fulfill these requirements:
    • Establish a capitalization table and corporate structure
    • Execute the University SAFE note:
      • Develop an engagement plan that highlights desired milestones
      • Develop a business plan (idea, roadmap, customer, market, business model, etc.)
      • Make progress
      • Prepare to successfully graduate ready to pursue venture funding



Team Size | Team should have a minimum of two founders. Office space is offered to teams of two or more members.

Type of Innovation | Team project is based on an innovation in the discipline of engineering, information technology, biological/health or physical sciences, or semiconductors.

Readiness Level | Team has developed a prototype or proof of concept of your innovation.

Intellectual property | This is addressed case-by-case, depending on the source of innovation and/or university.

Affiliation | Requirements are campus specific due to specific university facility access restrictions. Applications are currently being accepted from all CITRIS campuses: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz. At a minimum, one founder must have one of the following affiliations: current undergraduate student, graduate student, post-doc, faculty, staff and visiting scholar with current local credentials. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) founders can apply and will be accommodated at the UC Berkeley campus. Recent alumni (within the past five years) from UC Berkeley and UC Merced may apply and will be accommodated by the alumni campus.


Prepared | Ready to form a company and understand the startup, company creation and venture funding processes.

Capable | Core innovation is cutting-edge and the team’s background and technical expertise are uniquely suited for deploying it.

Readiness Level | Team is self-directed and able to utilize and access resources available through the program and broader UC ecosystem.


Application cycle and deadline | The program accepts applications twice per year, roughly in December and May. The deadline to apply for the spring 2023 cohort is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Start of program | Teams start in January/February and June/July.

Application form | Please find the application form here.

Interviews | Finalists are interviewed in a 60-minute Zoom meeting.

Admission | The program accepts applications twice per year, roughly in December and May. The deadline to apply for the spring 2023 cohort is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Orientation | Teams that are accepted are invited to the online orientation for onboarding.


Incorporation | Each team incorporates within the first three months of admission. The program’s supporting law firms can facilitate this step.

Equity | In exchange for University support and resources, each team executes the University SAFE note that amounts to approximately 1.25%.

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


It is the goal of CITRIS Foundry to support teams located in each CITRIS campus including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Davis Medical Center, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz.  Each campus will participate as local resources become available. UC Berkeley, UC Merced, and UC Davis Medical Center will participate in Foundry’s spring 2023 cohort. Applications are accepted from UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz with applicants to start as space becomes available by February 2023.


Spring 2023 cohort timeline is below, with approximate dates. Dates are subject to change. 

  • Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2023. 
  • Acceptance offers will be sent by February 27, 2023 or earlier. 
  • Offers must be accepted within two weeks thereafter. 
  • Cohort start date is approximately March 13, 2023.

Ready to apply

Please click the button below to view the application form. If you have any questions, please email