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—a state-of-the-art rapid prototyping facility located right in the heart of the UC Berkeley campus.
Each startup selected to join the CITRIS Foundry receives $5,000 in cash, plus more than $25,000 worth of in-kind infrastructure and services. An additional $5,000 in funding plus in-kind resources are available to teams selected for our Challenges.
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.
Our companies tackle big problems in industries ranging from cleantech to medical devices to consumer products and software. The Foundry typically accepts early-stage startups before they’ve raised money or chosen a go-to-market strategy—we help with both steps. By leveraging the incredible resources and expertise at UC Berkeley, we help launch companies that are ready to disrupt industries. We’ve helped build 17 companies that have collectively raised over $22 million from sources including angel and venture capital investors, crowdfunding, and federal grants. Additionally, Foundry companies have added more than $40 million to California’s economy. Our companies have received press coverage from Forbes, TechCrunch, Businessweek, CNN, and many others.
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 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 focus on companies formed out of the UC Berkeley ecosystem (CITRIS headquarters) and the other CITRIS campuses at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced. At least one founding team member must be a student, faculty member, staff, or recent alumnus from one of these campuses. Applicants for the QB3 Biotech challenge can be from UCSF as well.
A minimum $5,000 cash prize is provided to each Foundry team to develop a market-ready prototype, combined with an additional $25,000 worth of in-kind infrastructure and startup services. Additional funding and specialized resources are available for teams selected for one of our Challenges.
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.
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.
Your company will provide advanced services and enhanced experiences by augmenting mobile and wearable smart devices with novel sensors and platforms. Examples include non-invasive mobile health devices, biometric technologies, environmental sensing, or integrated sensory systems.
Your company is developing ultra-low power computing designs, platforms and technologies for wearable IoT (Internet of Things) with an emphasis on localized computing. Examples include ultra-low power designs of processor architecture, sub-memory systems, software stacks, or optimized power management methods.
Your company is developing context awareness and/or predictive analytic AI solution based on object recognition, speech/voice recognition and situation/behavior analysis which can be applied to mobile device, robotics, autonomous car, drone, etc.
Your company is developing fast charging solution for mobile device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) that could improve charging speed by orders of magnitude. Areas of innovation can include SW algorithm, power supply architecture, charging IC or even battery materials/structure.
RAISED BY FIRST 10 COMPANIES
ADDED TO CALIFORNIA'S ECONOMY
...taught us how to work with large companies and gave us advice from the customer’s perspective.
...helped us transform from research engineers to capable startup founders very quickly.
...opened up an enormous network for us!
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. Our facilities are set up to assist both hardware and software companies.
Qualifying teams must:
Include at least one member who is a student, faculty, staff, or alumnus (less than 5 years since graduation)
Include at least one member who is affiliated with one of the four CITRIS campuses: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, or UC Santa Cruz. Applicants for the QB3 Biotech challenge can be affiliated with UCSF as well.
We are physically located at UC Berkeley, but our program also supports entrepreneurs at UC Davis, Santa Cruz, Merced and San Francisco.
Click on the “Begin Application” button above to answer a few questions about your team and your idea. Here’s what we ask:
Submit a concept prototype of your project in the form of a weblink. We get it: a short written description isn’t nearly enough to capture the impact of your idea. Show us a concept prototype instead. We’re pretty open minded about what can be considered a prototype, so use whatever form best conveys your team’s vision. Ideas include: videos of any prototypes you’ve created, technical drawings or animations, a website, or maybe a few sample data plots. Feel free to get creative.
Finalists will be asked to join us for an in-person interview at Sutardja Dai Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.