On August 28th, the Hard Tech Fund at UC Davis hosted a demo day at Blockchain Center SF--a hub for blockchain innovation in San Francisco. The event marked the end of 10 weeks of hardware development from the three companies who participated in the program. The participants spent the summer in the Engineering Student Design Center (ESDC) at UC Davis and received weekly mentorship from top minds in areas ranging from product management to quantum computing to biotechnology.
Hard Tech Fund is the newest incubator out of UC Davis. Sponsored by Surcle and through support from Mousebelt University, UC Davis Venture Catalyst, and UC Davis Startup Center, its focus is to bring to market sustainable hardware with an immediacy that matches our current ecological crisis. Multiple student organizations at Davis were already developing technologies to help prevent global warming and teamed up to create a space and challenge to take these projects and make them market ready. Samarth Sandeep, Delahny Deveindran, and Zach Chua, three business team members of Oneloop, UC Davis’ Hyperloop team, worked with their classmates in Bioinnovation Group at UC Davis, Space and Satellite Systems, Quantum Computing Club, and Blockchain at Davis to launch the Hard Tech Fund.
The technologies developed within this incubator are diverse:
- Neutron built a battery management system that worked with multiple battery chemistries to achieve higher power, lower charge times, and better longevity
- PlastiCoin built a smart trash can that would be connected over a decentralized network and provide recyclers credits towards other eco friendly products for their work
- Space and Satellite Systems developed a Normal Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) sensor for their satellites and for other drones with an easy-to-secure mount
- 111 built a platform for incubator management that employs impartiality to ensure that tasks are completed towards Minimum Viable Product (MVP), that the market value of the pre-order is determined by the actual consumers/investors, and that pre-orders are completed in a fair and effective manner.
Attendees to the event included various accelerator groups from the area such as Skydeck from UC Berkeley who brings investors and companies from around the world to Berkeley, corporate partners. Davis alums were also in attendance including Jackie Zhang, founder of ZS Ventures, a group that just recently launched their blockchain supply chain protocol. For a brand new program that some have touted as possibly being “the west coast edition of MIT’s Engine,” the event was a great way to build new partnerships, not only between founders and investors at various life stages, but across interdisciplinary topics as well.
MouseBelt connected with the Hard Tech Fund through their involvement with Blockchain at Davis, a participant in our University Program. Hosting this event at our offices at Blockchain Center SF is one of many collaborations coming from our recently launched UC Blockchain Initiative. The new partnership aims to drive cross-collaboration and encourage innovation in blockchain development and entrepreneurship at UCLA, UCSB and UC Davis.
Learn more about Hard Tech Fund.
Learn more about Blockchain Center SF.
Learn more about MouseBelt University Program.