Incubation Services

The Office of Research is developing start-up incubation and acceleration programs in partnership with campus innovation leaders and other organizations. 

About SVLink

SVLink is a UC Santa Cruz startup company incubator-accelerator located in the heart of Silicon Valley. SVLink supports early stage innovators to develop proof-of-product or service, identify an addressable market, and confirm the interest of potential customers and angel investors to help them find a bridge to funding. The SVLink application form can be found here.

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Program Objectives:

  • Connect the UC research enterprise to the commercialization engine of Silicon Valley, furthering UC’s educational and scientific research purposes through an accelerated commercialization mechanism
  • Establish a vibrant and effective co-working environment for startups at UCSC Silicon Valley Campus, inclusive of the SVC resident programs community

Mobilize a network of diverse industry experts and investors as trainers, mentors, and advisors

  • Graduate between 50 viable companies by the end of three years of operation
  • Stimulate investment in UC startup companies offering technology solutions

Startup Company Benefits

  • Dedicated Collaboration incubator space in the heart of Silicon Valley
  • Access to shared amenities
  • Invitation to research and educational community events
  • Participation in UFirst Capital Accelerator Services

Startup Company Responsibilities

All client responsibilities are described in and through the following agreements:

  • Membership agreement
  • Space lease agreement
  • UFirst Capital Accelerator agreement

Program Description/Elements

The SVLink Incubator Program:

  • A cluster of 14 dedicated, furnished startup company offices
  • An additional 15 seat, dedicated co-worker office area
  • Connectivity
  • 24/7 secure access
  • Access to schedulable, non-dedicated collaboration spaces
  • Required participation in the UFirst Capital accelerator program
  • Opportunities for university educational and research community engagement

The UFirst Capital Accelerator Program

Through partnership with UFirst Capital Management, SVLink provides an annual program of services for startups of the following types:

  • Regular networking opportunities
  • Access to mentors and advisors and investors
  • Summer internship program
  • Matchmaking/team building opportunities
  • Support for thematic workshops
  • Business basics lecture series
  • Access to fee-based service providers

Eligibility

SVLink is a UC Santa Cruz program offered to support UCSC/UC entrepreneurship and technology transfer, and to provide entrepreneurship opportunity for under-represented Californians, as part of the university’s service mission to the state.

As a result, eligible startup companies/founders include groups that fit under the following categories:

UCSC-Affiliated companies: participating startup companies under this category are those where the founders, principals, directors and/or officers (at the time of application) include at least one current UCSC student, staff, faculty, post doc, visiting scholar or alumnus, or a company that holds a standing commercial license for a UCSC technology.

UC-Affiliated companies: participating startup companies under this category are those where the founders, principals, directors and/or officers (at the time of application) include at least one current UC (campus other than UC Santa Cruz) student, staff, faculty, post doc, visiting scholar or alumnus, or a company that holds a standing commercial license for a UC technology (from a campus other than UC Santa Cruz).

Special Group: participating startup companies under this category are unaffiliated with UC, but whose founders, principals, directors and/or officers (at the time of application) include at least one woman or other member of a minority group that is disadvantaged and underrepresented in private incubators and accelerators. The Special Group also includes companies that are working on scientific or technical innovation for economically disadvantaged communities (e.g., women and minorities) irrespective of whether or not the company includes members of these groups. 

Unaffiliated: participating startup companies under this category are those that do not belong to any of the other three groups.  Unaffiliated companies are encouraged to comply with the understanding that participation under this category may not exceed 10% of the total number of SVLink tenant companies at any given time. Participating companies under this category will be required to actively participate in the University community, through educational activities and research collaborations.

In all cases, a startup company refers to a company that will be incorporated within 90 days from the date of engagement, or has been incorporated for less than four years and employs less than 10 people and has average annual revenue of less than $1M.

Program Costs

SVLink is a not for profit project of the UC Santa Cruz Office of Industry Alliances and Technology Commecialization (IATC) and the UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus. Program cost recovery approaches differ depending on the category of the affiliate. See SVLink staff for information on various forms of institutional subsidy and match for UCSC and UC affiliates. For non-UC participants, annual costs are defined in and through the space lease agreement and the UFirst Capital Accelerator agreement.

Application Process

  1. Review Eligibility information and Program Requirements.
  2. Complete the SVLink Application Form.
  3. Intake meeting with SVLink, followed by preliminary written notification.
  4. Complete membership agreement, UCSC office or co-worker lease, and UFirst Accelerator agreement.
  5. Monthly onboarding meeting for program start.