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Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy

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The Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy is the premiere academic program for commercializing innovations in food and agriculture. It is a springboard for moving research out of the lab and into the world.

The academy combines focused lectures, practical exercises, networking sessions and hands-on experiences in an innovative format to help you explore how your research can make a broader impact in industry, the marketplace and the world. You’ll learn to identify market needs and opportunities, develop a network of experts to support your venture—and create agriculture ‘food chain’ clusters of innovation.

The academy is taught by investors, entrepreneurs, university faculty, and industry experts who serve as mentors and guest speakers. You’ll gain the knowledge and networks needed to develop the commercial potential of your research or idea.

The 2016 Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy is co-sponsored by the World Food Center

The academy includes:

  • An intensive opportunity to explore the market opportunities surrounding your ideas and your research.
  • Daily seminars and interactive sessions taught by leading investors, industry executives and entrepreneurs.
  • The tools to communicate the broader potential of your research.
  • Evening mentoring sessions with industry executives and investors.

Program Flier
Program Schedule
*The 2016 schedule will be updated as speakers are confirmed.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Thursday, April 21, 2016


Whether or not you participate in the full academy, please join us for a networking mixer and keynote presentation ⎯ “Reimagining the Future of Ag, Money and the Planet“ ⎯ featuring Kat Taylor, founding director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation. RSVP here >>

Keynote Speaker

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyKat Taylor – Founding Director, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation

2016 Featured Speakers

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyEric Davidson – Co-founder and CEO, Asilomar Bio, Inc.

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyCristina Davis – Professor, UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyAndrew Hargadon – Faculty Director, UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademySteven Hartmeier – President and CEO, mOasis

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyCleveland Justis – Executive Director, UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyJosette Lewis - Associate Director, World Food Center

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyDan Morash – Founder, California Safe Soil

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyWilliam Rosenzweig  – Dean and Executive Director, The Food Business School

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyJoe Schmidt – Senior VP, Business Development and Strategy, BioConsortia, Inc.

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyHarold Schmitz – Chief Science Officer, Mars

Image of Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship AcademyMike Ward – Partner, Morrison and Foerster

Speakers added as they are confirmed.

How to Apply

The academy is open to upper-division undergrads, graduate students (master’s and doctoral), postdocs and faculty in science and engineering. It is open to applicants from any university as well as interested applicants with no university affiliation. Priority registration is given to UC-affiliated participants.

To obtain maximum benefit from the program curriculum, participants are encouraged to attend all three full days of the academy.

Apply Now >>

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Thursday, April 21, 2016

Registration Fees

$250: California university/college students and faculty.
$500: Out-of-state university/college students and faculty.
$1,500: Participants with no university affiliation.

Registration fee includes course, materials and dining. Payment due upon acceptance to the program. This fee does NOT include lodging, transportation or parking fees, which are the responsibility of the participant.

Fellowship Aid
Keller Pathway Fellowship

Through the generous support of Barry and Lynda Keller, we have recently launched the Keller Pathways Fellowship Program. Selected fellows attend the academy free of charge as the first step in a year-long affiliation with our institute. Read more >>

To be considered for a fellowship, please indicate “Yes” where indicated on the application form.

Location, Dates & Travel Information

The academy is held Monday-Wednesday, April 25-27, 2016 at the Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center on the UC Davis main campus.

Coffee/tea, lunch and dinner are provided daily. Lodging, transportation and parking fees are the responsibility of the participant.

We recommend the following nearby hotels:

Call for Mentors

An integral part of the academy experience is the opportunity for participants to engage with industry professionals over two evenings. If you are interested in serving as a mentor for academy participants during one or both mentoring sessions, please sign up below:

Apply to be a mentor >>

Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy

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