Skip to main content
Overview Marianne Skoczek

Keller Pathway Fellowship Program

The year-long Keller Pathway Fellowship program provides a multi-faceted opportunity for UC Davis innovators and aspiring/early-stage entrepreneurs to expand their networks and move ideas out of the lab and into the world.

In particular, the program provides women, cross-disciplinary researchers and other underrepresented university-based entrepreneurs a foundation for developing their business ideas. The program explicitly recognizes the power of cohort-based mentorship and support in defining and growing business ideas, strategies and networks.

Applications to the 2019/20 Keller Pathway Fellowship program are now closed. Applications to the 2020/21 program will open in spring 2020.

Watch a short video about our Keller Pathway Fellowship and our Business Development Fellowship Programs.

Watch a short video about our Keller Pathway Fellowship and our Business Development Fellowship Programs.

Program Highlights

  • Grow a foundation and network to commercialize your business idea
  • Designed for postdoctoral, Ph.D, masters and undergraduate students
  • Priority given to women, cross-disciplinary and underrepresented applicants
  • Attend a three-day Entrepreneurship Academy
  • Participate in the Big Bang! Business Competition
  • Monthly mentoring lunches

Required 2019/20 Events

The Pathway

The Keller Pathway Fellowship program supports and encourages aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Our curriculum is designed to guide you on your path.

All program costs are covered by the Keller Pathway Fellowship endowment. To receive the full benefit of the program, there is a participation requirement.

  • Attend—at no charge—a three-day entrepreneurship academy.
  • Participate in monthly mentoring sessions alongside the institute’s Business Development Fellows. Sessions will focus on taking the ideas developed in the entrepreneurship academy to the next level of depth and completion.
  • Receive one-on-one mentoring support from institute staff and industry supporters.
  • Attend Big Bang! workshops and events to learn from industry experts and gain additional resources for mentoring, team building, education, networking and financing your venture.
  • Participate in the Big Bang! Business Competition—a forum for students, researchers and faculty to collaborate, develop and test business visions and plans. You will receive invaluable feedback from industry executives, entrepreneurs, business leaders, venture capitalists and angel investors on how to create and refine your business concept. Keller Pathway Fellows must enter and participate in the Big Bang! through at least the second round.

The Keller Pathway Fellowship program spans one academic year, September through June. Applications for 2019/20 fellows are now open, with a deadline of August 12, 2019. We will select five Keller Pathway Fellows for the following academic year. Apply now >

  • Opening dinner with Business Development Fellows
  • Monthly mentoring meetings and Big Bang! Business Competition workshops begin.
  • Monthly mentoring meetings and Big Bang! workshops continue.
  • Pathway Fellows enter Big Bang! Business Competition (January)
  • Monthly mentoring meetings, Big Bang! workshops and the Big Bang! Business Competition continue.
  • Closing dinner with Business Development Fellows (May or June)

How to Apply

Preference for the Keller Pathway Fellowship is given to UC Davis–affiliated women researchers, postdoctoral research fellows, graduate students, faculty and staff in science and engineering, and/or researchers from interdisciplinary backgrounds who have attended, or plan to attend, one of the institute’s entrepreneurship academies (currently offered in April, July and September).

Interested candidates must complete the Keller Pathway Fellowship application. The application requests educational background information, a brief description of applicant interest, and a professional or educational reference.

Applications for 2019/20 fellows are now open, with a deadline of August 12, 2019Apply now >

Selection Criteria

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

  • 1st priority: Individuals with a stated intent to enter the Big Bang! Business Competition.
  • 2nd Priority: Women researchers actively involved in science or engineering with an interdisciplinary research concept.
  • 3rd priority: Women researchers in science or engineering—any discipline. 
  • 4th priority: Any researcher from an interdisciplinary science and/or engineering background.

Other desirable candidate qualities include, but are not limited to, those interested in:

  • Becoming an entrepreneur
  • Exploring the commercial potential of a concept
  • Advancing an interesting research or business concept
  • Networking in an entrepreneurship ecosystem

Note: Participation by University of California affiliates (faculty, staff, graduate students or postdoctoral fellows from UC schools other than UC Davis) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Meet our 2018/19 Keller Fellows

Keller Pathway Fellows

Log in