CITRIS Foundry 2019 Launch Event

CITRIS Foundry would like to invite our alumni, mentors, advisors, and supporters, as well as the broader CITRIS and UC Berkeley community to join us for this special launch event of the CITRIS Foundry Innovation Hub.

Hosted by our new Executive Director, Maher Hakim, we will share our vision for the future of deep tech innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of California, say thank you to the Foundry’s co-founders Alic and Peter as they move on to new exciting ventures, and enjoy a fireside chat with Christine Tsai, CEO of 500 Startups, Ravi Belani. Managing Director ofAlchemist Accelerator, and Brian BartholomeuszExecutive Director of Innovation Transfer at Stanford University’s TomKat Center.

Dinner and refreshments will be provided. Following is the agenda of the event:

  • 6:30PM – 7:30PM – Registration and Welcome Reception
  • 7:30PM – 9:00PM – Main event including a keynote fireside chat with Christine Tsai (500 Startups), Ravi Belani (Alchemist Accelerator) and Brian Bartholomeusz (Stanford’s TomKat Center) on collaboration opportunities between univeristy’s innovation programs and private accelerators/incubators.
  • 9:00PM – 9:30PM – Networking + Refreshments

About CITRIS Foundry: Based on the UC Berkeley campus, CITRIS Foundry is the University of California’s deep tech innovation hub. Since our founding in 2013, we have helped accelerate 48 startups who have moved on to raise over $100M in follow-up funding.

About Alchemist: Alchemist is a venture-backed accelerator dedicated to enterprise startups. The accelerator supports around 75 startups per year by providing seed investment and a structured path to traction, fundraising, mentorship, and community over the course of a six-month program.

About 500 Startups: 500 Startups is a global venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. Since its inception in 2010, 500 has invested in over 2,200 companies across 74 countries and is one of the most active seed stage investors in the world.

About TomKat Center: The TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University harnesses the skills and creativity of Stanford University’s leading science, technology, and policy experts to transform the world’s energy systems for a sustainable future.

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CITRIS Foundry innovation hub expands under new leadership

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The CITRIS Foundry welcomes a new executive director, Maher Hakim, Ph.D., who comes aboard after the Foundry’s five-year-review and a renewed mission to support deep tech innovation in the public interest. He comes to the CITRIS incubator from positions as managing director of Qatar Science and Technology Park and professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to his new Foundry role, Maher is the chief innovation advisor to the state of Qatar and a partner at, a venture capital firm based in Istanbul.

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Originally from Taiwan, Chiu earned a bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University in 2012 and a Master of Engineering degree from Berkeley in 2014. Chiu says he knew nothing about running a company when he started his entrepreneurial journey. BioInspira has been grown with the support of the CITRIS Foundry, the in-house incubator of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute. Now the company has 19 full-time employees and raised $5.5 million in funding so far. It plans to officially launch its products in June.

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Dr. Maher Hakim joins CITRIS Foundry as executive director

We are excited to announce that we have officially brought on Dr. Maher Hakim as the new Executive Director for the CITRIS Foundry. Maher was previously the Managing Director of the Qatar Science and Technology Park as well as professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University where he built successful innovation and entrepreneurship programs. Maher is an accomplished serial entrepreneur who founded several tech startup companies over the past two decades. We look forward to the next chapter of the CITRIS Foundry under his leadership.

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As biotech booms, so do bacteria

by Saemmool Lee

Applying new tech solutions for stubborn health care challenges is big business. At the CITRIS Foundry, in-house startup accelerator of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, about 40 percent of their current portfolio of companies are either in the health field or life sciences. The startups vary from therapeutics and medical devices to consumer health care, and one cluster is tackling antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, often called “superbugs.”

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