UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

2021
UC STARTUP
INNOVATION
CHALLENGE

$100K Prizes

Global Investor Networks

Corporate & VC Judges

Mentorship

Pro-Bono Legal Services

BENEFITS

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - $100K

CASH PRIZES

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - 2000+

XTC CORPORATE & VC AUDIENCE

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - 500+

GCV DIGITAL FORUM CORPORATE & VC AUDIENCE

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - #1

UC SYSTEMWIDE OPPORTUNITY FOR
GLOBAL EXPOSURE

THE OPPORTUNITY

The UC Startup Innovation Challenge is an annual systemwide entrepreneur competition that highlights the impressive innovations of the UC community. Launched in 2016 by the UC Office of the President, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Office, this challenge draws student, faculty and staff participants from all ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national labs, and the broader alumni entrepreneur network. Participants will gain exposure to global funder and investor networks, increase visibility for corporate collaborations, and be reviewed by world-class VC judges.

The top five finalists of each track (Early Stage and Growth Stage) will be selected to pitch at the final showcase during the GCV Digital Forum. One Winner of each track will be selected by venture capitalist judges at the final showcase. The contest is being held in partnership with Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges. All applicants to the UC Startup Innovation Challenge will be automatically entered into XTC. UC Startup Innovation Challenge winners will automatically advance as finalists in XTC’s regional startup competition.

2020 UC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Group Photo
I am a UC Entrepreneur 2016
University of California Entrepreneur Startup Showcase 2020

OUR JUDGES

Amit Aysola

Managing Director, Wanxiang Healthcare Investments

Jun Ho Bae

Investment Manager, RedBeat Ventures,
AirAsia

Noramay Cadena

Co-Founder + Managing Partner, MiLA Capital

Christopher Chu

Vice President +
Managing Director,
Samsung Catalyst Fund

Patrick Chung

Partner,
Xfund

Alex de Winter

Former GE Ventures

Darek DeFreece

General Counsel,
500 Startups

Angelo Del Priore

Partner,
HP Tech Ventures

Linda Elkins

Chief Technology Officer, Gore Innovation Center W.L. Gore & Associates

Lindy Fishburne

Managing Partner, Breakout Ventures

José Galeano

Managing Partner, Reference Capital

Vitaly M. Golomb

Partner,
Drake Star Partners
(former HP Tech Ventures)

Scott Levine

Managing Director,
Samsung Catalyst Fund

Sven Lingjaerde

Managing Partner, Reference Capital

Andrew Maywah

Investment Director + Founding member,
TDK Ventures

Vice President,
Citi Ventures

Jay Onda

Startup Investments, Orange Silicon Valley

Christie Pitts

General Partner,
Backstage Capital

Raj Singh

Managing Director,
JetBlue Technology Ventures

Christine Tsai

Founder and CEO, 500 Startups

Ken Washington

Chief Technology Officer,
Ford Motor Company

James Wu

Principal, M12
(Microsoft's Venture Fund)

ELIGIBILITY

  • Open to all startups founded by at least one UC person (student, faculty, alumni, staff, postdoc, or visiting scholar).
  • Open to startups across all verticals (with particular interest for tech for good startups and diverse funding teams). Please also reference XTC Key Categories.

TRACKS

  • Early Stage track for startups that have not yet raised Series A funding and are in the pre-product-market stage.
  •  Growth Stage track for startups that have proof points in product-market fit or have already raised Series A funding.

TIMELINE

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

OCT 5, 2020
Application Open

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

NOV 10, 2020
Application Deadline

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

DEC 15, 2020
Finalists announced

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

JAN 27, 2021
Finalists pitch at
GCV Digital Forum

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

JUNE 2021
Select finalist pitch at XTC Global Finals

OUR PARTNERS

EXTREME TECH CHALLENGE (XTC)

XTC is the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges.

GLOBAL CORPORATE VENTURING DIGITAL FORUM

GCV Digital Forum is a leading global annual convening of 500+ corporate VCs, corporate strategy executives, C-level innovation officers and corporate development executives for relationship cultivation and knowledge transfer.

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