CITRIS Foundry Welcomes 5 Teams to Fall 2023 Incubator Cohort

December 5, 2023
By: Karen Vo, CITRIS

The CITRIS Foundry, the University of California’s information technology startup incubator, has accepted five new ventures into its fall 2023 cohort. The 12-month program is open to students and faculty members affiliated with UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz, the four campuses of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS).

The Foundry offers UC entrepreneurs the business, legal, research and technological support and banking and financial guidance they need to develop innovative ideas into startups ready to pursue venture capital funding.

Since its founding in 2013, the CITRIS Foundry has supported more than 130 founder teams that have secured more than $220 million in total funding. These latest teams are working to address significant societal challenges, including diagnosing and treating serious diseases and navigating an increasingly difficult rental housing market.

“CITRIS Foundry welcomes the new cohort of startup teams,” said Marc Theeuwes, CITRIS Foundry managing director. “We look forward to their progress over their year with us.”

The fall 2023 cohort is:

Custom-made Ocular Bio Implants (COBI), UC Merced
Founding Team: Lilian Davila, GianCarlo Montiel, Abhi Tripathi

Current treatments for eye diseases are often costly and invasive, making patients less likely to comply with treatment. COBI offers customized, bio-inspired ocular implants that provide extended drug release to treat eye disorders and help prevent blindness. The cost savings from the precise distribution of medication make these implants especially suitable for aging patients who may be managing multiple conditions.

DelNavA, UC Berkeley
Founding Team: Mohammad Mafrad, Milad Shirani, Ali Tamadon

A person’s potential for surviving a heart attack depends significantly on the actions taken within the first hour after the attack, known as the “golden hour.” DelNavA has developed a wearable heart monitor that remotely delivers comprehensive data and real-time AI analysis to health care providers. The company intends to create a reliable, affordable system that facilitates equitable access to health care, especially to people living in rural areas and socially vulnerable communities.

Pocket ASD, UC Davis
Founding Team: Jojo Melendres

Autism has historically been underdiagnosed and underreported, in part because no single diagnostic test is available. Resources on autism are also scattered across platforms and may vary in accuracy. Pocket ASD aims to streamline the process of finding support for children who may be autistic by providing resources on screening, diagnosis and care in a user-friendly phone application for parents, family members and teachers.

Real Estate Logistics for You (Rely), UC Berkeley
Founding Team: Ashley Keyes, Heather Rankow

According to the 2023 White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights, over 44 million households — roughly 35 percent of the population — in the United States live in rental housing. Rely offers an efficient platform for landlords to list their properties and renters to search and apply for long-term rentals. The integration of landlord and renter reviews, hyperpersonalized user profiles, and key resources creates a transparent and trustworthy space to facilitate the rental process.

WittGen Biotechnologies Inc., UC Berkeley
Founding Team: Minwoo Jung, Minjun Kim, Yun Rhie

Certain cancers are now treated through precision medicine, where laboratory tests help determine a person’s best path to treatment based on their genetic makeup. However, the current rate of matching cancer “targets” with effective drugs is less than 10 percent. WittGen Biotechnologies is building a machine-learning platform that analyzes single-cell RNA sequencing data to identify cancer cells more accurately, which will allow for more effective diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.