Join our innovation partners onsite in 2019 to gain first-hand experience on what it takes to have a successful startup

A 2019 fellowship of $70K over 12 MONTHS.

UC Davis POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS and PhD STUDENTS learn directly from venture groups how to move ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace through an expanded network.

This intake, IIFH partners with TECHACCEL and BETTER FOOD VENTURES for a 1 month residency and continued 5 month affiliation, before 6 months of student development back on campus.

Please apply separately to either or both opportunities.

Applications due by 12 midnight PST, December 15, 2018.

Through a unique partnership between academia and entrepreneurs, Innovation Institute for Food & Health (IIFH) joins with host investor groups in 2019 to support UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in developing hands-on entrepreneurial experience in food and agriculture innovation.

Fellows will learn how investors evaluate startups and how to conduct critical experiments, studies or prototyping to get their own innovations to market. Host venture groups are mission-aligned with the IIFH vision of food system transformation to safer, more sustainable, and secure nutrition for all.

This immersive food-tech-entrepreneurship opportunity will be offered twice yearly, with flexible start dates. The 12 month program provides winning fellows up to $70K in funding for salary, tuition, travel and research expenses.


  • $70K fellowship: 1 year salary, tuition, travel and research expenses (up to $70K 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 – Apply separately to either or both opportunities.


Please apply separately to either or both opportunities. 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)


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

  • Graduate students or postdoctoral 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

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. Learn more…


Better Food Ventures invests in information and communications technology to transform the food and agriculture sectors. As experienced international investors, they identify and develop companies to improve the performance of food and agriculture industries. Learn more…