About TechAccel

TechAccel LLC was founded in 2014 as a first-of-its-kind technology and venture development organization in the agriculture, animal health & nutrition, and food technology sectors.

TechAccel sources, invests in and acquires early-stage innovations. Through collaborations with dozens of universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts science advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization. TechAccel is based in the greater Kansas City area and has offices in St. Louis at the Danforth Center for Plant Science.


  • $70K fellowship: 1 year salary, tuition, travel and research expenses (supported by the IIFH)
  • Full year: Spring 2019 to Winter 2020 (flexible start date)
  • Eligibility: UC Davis postdoctoral fellows, or PhD students in their last 1-2 years of study
  • Engagement with venture host: The first 6 months the fellow will work with the host to evaluate startups in the food system and identify investible ventures. Kickoff with a 1 month onsite residency (up to $7.5K travel and accommodation allowance provided), followed by regular virtual and in-person meetings for the following 5 months upon return to Davis.
  • Development opportunity: Using the knowledge gained in the first portion of the program, fellows will have 6 months to conduct critical studies for de-risking a potential technology or product they want to develop.
  • DUE DECEMBER 15, 2018


Preference is given to UC Davis postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who have a strong interest in food, agriculture or health innovation. Interested candidates must complete the Innovator Fellowship application:

  1. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
  2. Letter of interest detailing current PhD research, why the program is of interest to you, and how your career goals align therewith (max. 2 pages, PDF)
  3. Letter of support from faculty PI of research project (max. 1 page, PDF)


Part One – One Month Residency at TechAccel in Danforth Center (St. Louis, Missouri)

  • Start date flexible: following selection, join TechAccel for 1 month at the Danforth Center, Missouri in Spring 2019 (including $7,500 travel and accommodation allowance).
  • Explore TechAccel’s strategic ecosystem and extensive network of assets in evaluating and vetting various investment opportunities.
  • Learn what kind of companies and technologies are considered investable and engage with expert consortium members to understand opportunities in food/agriculture innovation.
  •  Gain invaluable knowledge about what investors look for in entrepreneurs.

Part Two – Application to UC Davis Activities

  • At UC Davis: for 5 months more, continue to support TechAccel efforts in evaluating startups and selecting investible ventures that address selected challenges in the food system. The fellow will work closely with Better Food Ventures staff through virtual means, but support is provided for regular in-person meetings as needed.
  • Resume doctoral research: for last 6 months, practice applying TechAccel learnings to concluding research activities, exploring the greatest impact and best route to market.
  • Enrich learning through on-campus Entrepreneurship Academy, business plan development, identify potential investors, and research the target landscape.
  • Supported by monthly face-to-face meetings with the Innovation Institute for Food & Health (virtual or in-person as needed).
  • In conclusion: provide a brief report on the results and impact of the fellowship, and present at the annual Innovator Summit.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee considers applications in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Graduate students or post-doctoral fellows with demonstrated interest in solving global food challenges
  • Demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship and advancing an innovative research or business concept
  • Commercial potential of concept for development
  • Relevance to hosting venture group
  • Strength of support from faculty mentor