Inaugural Born in California Demo Days a Success at UC Irvine

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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Forty-four UC startups, from Davis to San Diego, descended upon UC Irvine to showcase their inventions at the inaugural Born in California demo days, presented by U.S. Bank.

This invitation-only University of California (UC) systemwide event, held at the Cove @ UCI and hosted by UCI Beall Applied Innovation, featured startups from all 10 UC campuses deemed the most investment-worthy in the life science, digital health, consumer, technology and sustainability sectors.

Before a crowd of 400 attendees, including almost 200 potential investors, UC President, Dr. Michael Drake, virtually opened the event and discussed the innovation that consistently takes place in the UC system.

“Incubators and accelerators on UC campuses provide one-of-a-kind environments for new products and services to develop and support to accelerate them into the market,” said Drake. “Across our 10 campuses, labs and medical centers, we average about five new inventions every day and we’re not slowing down. Here in today’s showcase, you’ll have a chance to hear from dozens of startups that exemplify the kind of forward-looking thinking that flourishes at UC.”

Based on the talent and potential of each startup, the investment community expressed their interest early with $11.1 million in soft commitments (an indication of confidence in the event and in the UC system as a source of high quality deal flow, but not a formal commitment) in the run-up to the event.

“We have brought the best, most investable startups the UC system has to offer face-to-face with the smartest investors ready to make an impact while making a return,” noted Howard Gillman, chancellor at UCI, in recorded remarks.

Presenting sponsor, U.S. Bank, a staunch supporter of innovation and entrepreneurship, helped make the event a reality with their steadfast support during a time of uncertainty due to COVID-19.

“Powering potential is one of our core values at U.S. Bank and we were excited to help entrepreneurs from across California move closer to realizing their goals and dreams,” said Joe Hensley, Orange County market president for corporate and commercial banking for U.S. Bank. “We’re proud to support Born in California and connect startups with potential investors.”

Additional sponsors included Partake Collective, Nixon Peabody, Assure, Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Hamamatsu. Born in California will be presented by U.S. Bank again in 2022.

For more information about Beall Applied Innovation, please go to

About UCI Beall Applied Innovation: As a dynamic platform that supports and provides resources to faculty, innovators and entrepreneurs, UCI Beall Applied Innovation plays a critical role in building the modern and inclusive American Dream where UCI innovation meets industry to accelerate discoveries that matter, provide entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and help build a powerful and potent economy.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit

Category: Business Excellence, Greater Irvine Chamber, Leaders Circle, UCI Beall Applied Innovation