University of California Center for Accelerated Innovation

UC Biomedical Pitch Day 
February 10, 2020


The UC Center for Accelerated Innovation (CAI) and UC Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration and Development (BRAID) are partnering with UC Irvine Beall Applied Innovation to host a forum for UC Faculty to pitch advanced translational programs to a group of potential investors. Please note this opportunity is specific to devices, including wireless devices, diagnostics and tools.


It can be difficult for academic innovators to find investors for their translational programs. Similarly, it can be difficult for investors to find the most meritorious program for commercialization in a system as large as the University of California. Furthermore, faculty frequently are insufficiently prepared to present their data and plans in a format that investors can readily assess.

The UC CAI has been soliciting, vetting, ranking, and mentoring faculty innovators for the past six years. During the past three years it has partnered with UCI Beall Applied Innovation to sponsor pitch days in the areas of interest for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This process has successfully identified programs of significant value and also helped prepare faculty to concisely describe their program in terms of an investment thesis including: meeting an unmet medical need, a product profile, milestones, timelines, go-no go points, and an activity-based budget.

The sponsoring partners of this UC Biomedical Pitch Day are confident that there are numerous investment-ready programs across the UC campuses (UC Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz). Furthermore, it is likely that these programs will offer attractive investment opportunities if the presentations are framed in an accessible format. This program extends UC CAI activities beyond the areas of heart, lung, and blood across all therapeutic areas, and across all UC campuses. Successful applicants will receive extensive hands-on mentoring to help the faculty present to a group of selected and interested investors.


Each faculty applicant will submit a 1-page description of their technology (see below for details). UC CAI will invite a select number of applicants to participate via webcast in a pre-screen pitch. This will provide an opportunity for two-way communication with a review committee composed of UC CAI leadership, clinical leaders and investors, for clarification and/or additional information. Following the pre-screen pitch, the highest ranked proposals will undergo a review by UC BRAID leadership. Final selection of technologies to present on the UC Biomedical Pitch Day will be determined by a committee of representatives from UC CAI, UC BRAID, and UCI Beall Applied Innovation, taking into account the feedback from clinical leaders and investors.

Successful applicants will be mentored by NHLBI Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and by UC faculty with business expertise. The goal is to develop a presentation designed to help investors identify opportunities for follow-up. Following Pitch Day, investors interested in projects will work with the faculty and Technology Transfer Office associated with that respective faculty's campus to determine whether terms can be reached for investment and potential company launch.


Eligibility: Faculty in all series and ranks at the UC CAI campuses (UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco) as well as UC Berkeley, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz are eligible. Postdoctoral scholars are eligible to submit applications as Co-PI with a faculty PI.

Requirements: Projects must have existing or imminent target validation in animal systems or human cell lines and a clear clinical indication. Devices and diagnostics must also have proof of principle. Therapeutic areas can cover any health condition where there is an unmet medical need or the potential for significant improvement over current diagnostics, devices, tools or services. If patents or patent applications have not been filed, there should be a strong potential for obtaining defensible intellectual property.

Consultations: The UC CAI offers expert consultations to assist applicants with their proposals. Contact information for campus site leaders can be found below.

Application: Applications must be submitted online* between Nov 4-8, 2019 only. Submission closes at 5 pm on Nov 8.

*NOTE: A UCLA logon ID is required to access the application system, but a UCLA affiliation is not required to create one. View detailed step-by-step instructions on creating a UCLA logon ID here.

Minimum specifications are Arial, 11-points, half-inch margins on all sides, 8.5 x 11 paper. The following information is required:

  1. One-page executive summary (non-confidential)
  2. Title of project
  3. Names, institutions, telephone numbers and emails of PIs and Co-PIs
  4. IRB, IACUC, Stem Cell information, if applicable
  5. Statement of IP Position
  6. NIH biosketch

Executive Summary (one-page limit): The executive summary should, at a minimum, address the following. Please do not include confidential information.

  1. Problem you are addressing
  2. Solution and technology / value proposition
  3. Market Opportunity
  4. Competitive Landscape
  5. Unique Opportunity
  6. Go-to-Market Strategy
  7. Team

Statement of IP Position: Consider the novelty of your technology and patent eligibility. Describe the extent of interactions with the technology transfer office. Please include a list of the various types of IP filed or granted (including patent application number, issued patent number, title, status and date) and the major types of claims (e.g., composition of matter claims, use claims, process of manufacturing claims). Also list the IP events anticipated during development.

Biosketch: Provide biosketches of PI and Co-PIs. Use PHS 398 NIH Biographical Sketch Format Page form found at There is a five-page maximum for each biosketch.

Selection and Scoring: UC CAI will invite a select number of applicants to participate via webcast in a pre-screen pitch. Applications will be peer-reviewed by a committee of UC CAI leadership, clinical leaders, and investors using the criteria below. Following the pre-screen pitch, the highest ranked proposals will then undergo review by UC BRAID leadership. Final selection of technologies to present on the UC Biomedical Pitch Day will be determined by a committee of representatives from UC CAI, UC BRAID, and UCI Beall Applied Innovation, taking into account the feedback from clinical leaders and investors.

Review Criteria

Review Questions

Problem or Need

  • Has the need been clearly stated?
  • What is the associated prevention, mortality or costs?
  • Why is this a significant problem?

Proposed Product/Solution

  • Is the proposed solution linked to an unmet need?
  • How is this proposed product/solution innovative?
  • If successful, will the proposed solution be transformative?
  • How would use of the product/solution fit with current physician practice/standard of care?

Competition and Competitive Advantage

  • Are the adjacent spaces and substitution options identified?
  • How is the product/solution better than others that are currently in use?
  • How is the product/solution better than what is expected to come to the market?

Target Market

  • Has the total market been identified? 3-year trends and projections? Is there adequate justification for the market size?
  • Is the specific addressable target market size defined?
  • What is the expected pricing of the product/solution? How can it be justified (comparable, value/price trade-offs)?
  • What is the peak revenue projection?


  • Do investigators have the necessary strengths and expertise to accomplish the work plan and aims?
  • Can investigators adapt to changing circumstances and advice?
  • Is the quality of the team appropriate for the work that needs to be done? Why is this the correct team for the present stage of the technology?


Presentations will be in person at UC Irvine. Additional details will be provided to invited applicants.


RFA Announcement: October 2, 2019
Application deadline: November 8, 2019 5 PM PT
Pitch Day invitations: December 20, 2019
Pitch Day: February 10, 2020


Is my invention too early for a pitch?

The most effective pitches promote technologies where credible evidence exists to support the future use of the invention by physicians and their patients, and its potential health benefits. Investors expect well-supported data that after further development along a well-defined path the invention will perform effectively in its intended application. Applications that present general concepts or unproven ideas are much less likely to garner support. It would be better to present technologies where a patent/IP has been filed by your tech transfer office, even if it has not yet been issued. In addition, some discussion should pertain to the competitive environment and the regulatory and reimbursement considerations surrounding the technology.

Do I need to have physicians on my team?

The strongest proposals consider both the unmet medical need for the invention and the environment into which the realized invention will fit. In addition to any physicians who advise you on the medical and scientific aspects of the invention, experienced clinicians can be very helpful with considering the setting in which the device, test or medication will be used. Consult with clinicians to explore the potential advantages or problems of the technology in day-to-day use, and how these can be optimized during development. Adding clinicians to the team or testimonials from them adds to the use-case validity and audience/investor credibility of the pitch.

How do I assess the market potential of the invention?

The most convincing method considers what marketed technologies of known value will be replaced/substituted by your invention. With the exception of diseases where no good options are available (e.g. pancreatic cancer or Alzheimer’s disease) or truly transformative technologies (e.g. insulin, polio vaccine, penicillin) physicians and patients are usually conservative and the adoption of most effective technologies is slow and partial. In situations where no comparable technology is marketed, examine analogous marketed technologies with similar effectiveness targeting a disease with a similar incidence and severity. Additional guidance on market sizing can be found here.

Do I need an issued patent to be allowed to pitch?

Although technologies that are well protected by patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secrets are more attractive to investors, in reality establishing such protection takes time, often years. At the minimum, the invention should be disclosed to the university so that the university Office of Intellectual Property can assess whether the invention can be protected. More information related to the IP considerations can be found here.

Can I pitch an invention if I already started a company based on that invention and licensed the invention to this company?

Yes! Unlike our previous program which provided NIH/NHLBI funds to inventors to advance their technology, the current pitch program is designed to offer a forum for investment into all technologies developed at one of the participating UC campuses.

Does the pitch have to be in the areas of heart, lung and blood diseases?

No, we deliberately broadened the area to include all health-related applications.

What makes for a good pitch?

There are many ways to make an effective pitch, but it is important to balance a number of considerations including scientific credibility, market sensitivity, and team capability in order to resonate with prospective investors. We suggest the following resources as references to help make a good pitch:

How much funding will be awarded?

UC Biomedical Pitch Day is an opportunity for exposure, receiving critical feedback, and networking with potential investors. Investors interested in projects will work with the faculty and Technology Transfer Office associated with that respective faculty's campus to determine whether terms can be reached for investment and potential company launch. There is no guaranteed amount of funding that will be awarded.



About application requirements and process:

UC Davis
Laura Marcu
UC CAI Site Leader

Anuurad Erdembileg
UC CAI Site Administrator

UC Irvine
Elliot Botvinick
UC CAI Site Leader

Andria Pontello
UC CAI Project Manager

Tomas Ganz
UC CAI Site Leader

Breanna Davis
UC CAI Project Manager

UC San Diego
Robert Ross
UC CAI Site Leader

Vish Krishnan
UC CAI Skills Development Leader

UC San Francisco 
Roopa Ramamoorthi
UC CAI Site Leader and Project Manager

Nathaniel Prorok
UC CAI Site Administrator

UC Berkeley, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz 
UC CAI Central Administration

About the website and online submission tool:

Rey Encarnacion
Technical Support