Secure the backing you need to succeed

UC San Diego fosters relationships with funding resources to support the development of new technologies and the growth of our local economy. Our Office of Innovation and Commercialization is dedicated to providing nascent companies with internal funding opportunities and access to external investors.

Triton Technology Fund

Created by a group of UC San Diego faculty, students, and alumni in the areas of software, communications, electronics, materials, medical devices, and instruments, the Triton Technology Fund is externally managed and owned by a UC San Diego alumnus and venture capitalist aiming to bridge the gap for early stage companies.

Rady Venture Fund

The Rady Venture Fund provides investment capital, education opportunities, and hands on learning experiences for Rady MBA students and other UC San Diego graduate students. The Rady Venture Fund is solely funded by individual donations to the business school through the UC San Diego Foundation.

Osage University Partners

Osage Partners is a leading venture capital firm that specializes in university based startup investment. Our office works very closely with Osage and its investment team members to provide instruction and insight to our researchers and potential industry partners interested in commercializing our technology.

Regional Funding Resources

San Diego Venture Group (SDVG)

A nonprofit organization designed to bring together people who are interested in new ventures and furthering individual companies, as well as the overall innovation community, SDVG furthers San Diego's status as a leading entrepreneurial and venture region through regular meetings with startup companies and investors, both here and outside of San Diego. It is the mission of SDVG to elevate the funding environment and growth prospects for local startups.
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Tech Coast Angels

An organization that is actively seeking great startups to fund and very willing to provide more than just money, Tech Coast Angels brings knowledge, mentoring, connectivity and operational assistance to bold, early stage entrepreneurs with game changing ideas.
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SEED San Diego

A small group of investors who are determined to change the investment landscape in San Diego. SEED San Diego invests in early stage companies with disruptive technology that need both capital and additional business insight to achieve their next milestone. They seek out startups with passionate founders who have a bold vision and also understand their true strengths.
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Breakout Labs

A seed stage revolving fund operating out of the Thiel Foundation, Breakout Labs supports early stage companies as they transition discoveries from lab to market. The two year program invests in cutting edge scientific companies to achieve specific milestones by backing bold scientist entrepreneurs at the intersections of technology, biology, materials, and energy. Beyond capital, Breakout Labs provides access to an elite ecosystem of funders, corporate partners and resources to drive commercialization. The Breakout Labs Ambassador at UC San Diego is Teryn Johnson.

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Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)

In the premier global competition for undergraduate and graduate students who own and operate a business while attending college or university, GSEA Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals. GSEA supports student entrepreneurs who require much needed mentorship, recognition and connections to take their businesses to the next level of success. Prizes are generally a combination of cash and business services.

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Campus Funding


Proof of Concept

Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM) Program

Coordinated by the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, the AIM program provides support to advance the commercial impact of UC San Diego technologies by investing in milestone based projects to develop proof-of-concept, reduce early stage risk, and focus on value-driven engagement with industry. Open to UC San Diego graduate students, postdoctoral associates, researchers, and faculty, AIM grants are competitive and awarded for a one year term in two tracks: (i) devices and materials and (ii) software based technologies.

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IGE Tech Accelerator

Established to fast track early stage, high impact technologies and shorten timelines for innovations to enter the market,   IGE Tech Accelerator provides selected teams with mentors, domain experts, and industry partners for advancement of technologies to the near market prototype stage.
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Health Sciences

Health Sciences Grant Funding

Members of the Academic Senate are eligible to apply for individual grants. Financial support may be provided for individuals who are not members of the Academic Senate (i.e. Adjunct and Clinical Professors, Research Scientists, and assistant-level Project Scientists). The Committee does not support individuals such as associate and full project scientists, post-docs, clinical instructors and non-salaried faculty.

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Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Academic Pilot Project Grant

These grants support the development and expansion of community-university partnerships in research by strengthening and funding collaborative research partnerships between UC San Diego, San Diego State University (SDSU), other partner institution faculty, local communities and their leaders.

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Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine

Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) is a competitive grant challenge in which engineering solutions are tasked with building a collaborative ecosystem that leverages UC San Diego’s outstanding strengths in clinical care and engineering to develop and implement innovative healthcare solutions.

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University of California

UC Center for Accelerated Innovation (UC CAI)

The UC CAI invites applications for development of novel technologies that address heart, lung, and blood diseases. This opportunity will support a broad range of drugs, devices (including wireless devices), diagnostics and tools with high potential of becoming commercially viable products that address an unmet need.

Faculty in all series and ranks at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC San Francisco are eligible. Postdoctoral scholars are eligible to submit applications as Co-PI with a faculty PI.

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Science and Technology


Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The mission of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.  SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

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Student Research Funding

Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarships (formerly FISP)

The Office of Research Affairs (ORA) invites applications for CRES awards from academic mentors working with graduate students across the campus on research supporting one or more of the four research themes in UC San Diego's Strategic Plan:

  • Understanding and Protecting the Planet
  • Enriching Human Life and Society
  • Exploring the Basis of Human Knowledge, Learning and Creativity
  • Understanding Cultures and Addressing Disparities in Society

Check details for dates and funding availability.

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Entrepreneur Challenge $300,000 business plan competition

A fully integrated entrepreneurial development program, the goal of the Entrepreneur Challenge is to provide aspiring student entrepreneurs with the tools and resources for logical, practical action to commercialization. The yearlong program consists of talks from engaging entrepreneurs, professionals, and investors.  Connection with necessary professional services such as intellectual law firms, angel and venture investors, and successful business people in the community are also emphasized.

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Triton Innovation Challenge

This annual competition, open to students, faculty and staff across the UC San Diego campus, focuses on fostering creativity and bringing to the spotlight commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by the finest minds at UC San Diego.

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Social Innovation Fund

A partnership between the Offices of Research Affairs, Student Life, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Council of Provosts to promote, guide, and support student driven ideas that address specific challenges in the local or national community and abroad the Social Innovation Fund makes funding available for individual and group commitments that combine theoretical understanding, applied skills, and experiential learning as agents of change. Successful projects will develop scalable, sustainable solutions addressing local, national, and global issues in the areas of education, environment and climate change, poverty alleviation, peace and human rights, and public health.

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Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)

From commitment to action, CGI U entrepreneurs become social change agents and driven innovators, chosen to find solutions for the world’s challenges in five focused areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. More than $750,000 in funding is available to help selected CGI U 2017 students turn their ideas into action.

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