University of California, San Diego


La Jolla, CA

Project Name

UCSD Venture Catalyst Program

Award Amount

Federal Share: $750,000
Local Match: $750,000

This EDA investment will establish the Venture Catalyst Program (VCP), a seed fund initiative aiming to empower early-stage entrepreneurs with an emphasis on diversity and inclusivity, especially for underrepresented communities. A unique public-private partnership has been formed with BioMed Realty, the University of California, San Diego, and LabFellows for the Center for Novel Therapeutics (CNT), and this collaborative effort is designed to provide specialized support to entrepreneurs at this pivotal stage. BioMed Realty, having developed a 137,000-square-feet LEED Gold Certified life sciences building on UCSD-leased land, also supports the CNT Accelerator operated by LabFellows. With comprehensive education, tailored VC training, one-on-one coaching, and seed capital, the VCP aims to foster a thriving ecosystem for visionary founders and startups. The initiative ensures inclusivity by engaging women, veterans, BIPOC, disabled, and LGBTQAI+ entrepreneurs, driving transformative innovation and invigorating the regional workforce.