UC Davis Venture Catalyst Partners with TechAccel to Expand STAIR Grant Program for Campus Entrepreneurs

Collaboration provides additional funding and resources specific to agriculture, animal health and food sectors

The UC Davis Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) Grant program provides funding for proof-of-concept research aimed at demonstrating commercial feasibility of university-generated technologies. Launched in 2014, and managed by UC Davis Venture Catalyst, the program has awarded nearly half a million dollars to support campus innovators.

Venture Catalyst, which operates within the university’s Technology Management and Corporate Relations division of the Office of Research, has entered into an agreement with Technology Acceleration Partners (TechAccel, LLC) to expand the STAIR Grant program. This collaboration will provide opportunities for additional funding from TechAccel for successful STAIR Grant recipients. Through the partnership, TechAccel has agreed to invest up to $400,000 in the UC Davis STAIR-Plus™ program.

TechAccel is a Kansas City based private capital development company focused on commercializing innovations that increase food production and quality and enhance companion animal health. The company helps fund and manage technology and discoveries developed by university researchers, then partners with international companies, startups and venture investors to commercialize that research.

“Collaboration with best-in-class ag, animal health and food science research universities is of critical importance to TechAccel’s model for advancing transformative innovation,” said founder and CEO Michael Helmstetter. “UC Davis is at the top of that list, providing cutting-edge intellectual property, subject matter expertise and the highest research capabilities.”

TechAccel will supplement the existing STAIR Grant by offering two additional awards of up to $100,000 per year for projects that have successfully progressed through the program. In order to qualify, the projects must address commercial opportunities in agriculture, animal, or food science. Recipients will be eligible to compete for the TechAccel Emerging Company investment of up to $1 million.

”We are excited by this collaboration, which offers significant potential to enhance the support we are already providing through our Venture Catalyst STAIR Grant program, to our innovative researchers in ag-tech, food science and animal health,” said Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor for Research and executive director of Venture Catalyst at UC Davis. “TechAccel has taken a unique approach to driving tangible outcomes from university research for greater societal benefit, and we are proud to be a partner in this important translational alliance.”

Venture Catalyst recently announced a call for application for the 2015-16 STAIR grants. Applications are due Friday, April 11th.

For more information visit: http://research.ucdavis.edu/offices/vc/stair/