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Food + Ag Entrepreneurship Academy

The Food + Ag 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 2017 Food + Ag 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.

2016 Program Flier
2016 Program Schedule
*The 2017 schedule will be posted in early 2017.



The 2016 academy keynote ⎯ “Reimagining the Future of Ag, Money and the Planet“ ⎯ featured Kat Taylor, founding director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation. The 2017 keynote speaker will be announced when confirmed.

2016 Keynote Speaker

Kat Taylor - Founding Director, TomKat Ranch Educational FoundationKat Taylor – Founding Director, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation

2016 Featured Speakers

Eric Davidson - Co-founder and CEO, Asilomar Bio, Inc.Eric Davidson – Co-founder and CEO, Asilomar Bio, Inc.

Cristina Davis - ProfessorCristina Davis – Professor, UC Davis Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Andrew Hargadon - ProfessorAndrew Hargadon – Faculty Director, UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Steven Hartmeier - President and CEO, mOasisSteven Hartmeier – President and CEO, mOasis

Cleveland Justis - Executive Director, Child Family Institute for Innovation & EntrepreneurshipCleveland Justis – Executive Director, UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Josette Lewis - Associate Director, World Food CenterJosette Lewis - Associate Director, World Food Center

Dan Morash - Founder, California Safe SoilDan Morash – Founder, California Safe Soil

William Rosenzweig - Dean and Executive Director The Food Business School; Founding CEO, Republic of TeaWilliam Rosenzweig  – Dean and Executive Director, The Food Business School

Joe Schmidt - Senior VP, Business Development and Strategy, BioConsortia, Inc.Joe Schmidt – Senior VP, Business Development and Strategy, BioConsortia, Inc.

Harold Schmitz - Chief Science Officer, MarsHarold Schmitz – Chief Science Officer, Mars

Mike Ward - Partner, Morrison & FoersterMike 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.

The 2017 application will open in late fall.


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, February 6-8, 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 >>

Food and Ag Entrepreneurship Academy

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