The University of California, Davis and Hacker Lab, Inc., a Sacramento nonprofit organization, have entered into a collaborative agreement to include the business incubator as the third member of the university’s Distributed Research Incubation & Venture Engine (DRIVE™) Network.
The alliance pairs the established facilities and resources at Hacker Lab with the services of the university’s Venture Catalyst unit to support the translation of research into commercial ventures. The DRIVE Network is being developed by the university to ensure that campus entrepreneurs have affordable access to business incubation spaces with industry specific resources.
Hacker Lab was founded by Gina Lujan, Charles Blas and Eric Ullrich to nurture business startups in the Sacramento region. They opened their doors to entrepreneurs and creators in 2012 with their first location at 1715 I Street in Sacramento. A second location was opened at 4804 Granite Drive in Rocklin in 2015. The innovative business incubator has a fee-based membership model, with fees varying by service level selected. There are currently over 500 members.
The facility in midtown Sacramento has 10,500 square feet of space and offers 24/7 co-working spaces, 13 offices, kitchen, private conference rooms, private mailboxes and lockers, a gigabit internet connection, laser printers and copier. Each location is equipped with a computer lab as well as a well-equipped maker-space with a wood shop, metal shop, welding equipment, an electronics lab, a textile lab, 3D printers and a laser cutter.
Co-founder Eric Ullrich feels Hacker Lab is a good fit for UC Davis entrepreneurs. “Hacker Lab can be a conduit for the UC Davis community to connect to the greater innovation community in the region. It’s a place for people to access fabrication equipment as well as meet potential employees, mentors and partners who can help launch a business.”
In addition to providing space where people can work and create, Hacker Lab also emphasizes networking and creating a sense of community. “We are heavily focused on being a conduit or hub for the community through our events and classes and also our meeting spaces” explained Ullrich.
Hacker Lab’s network of connections includes its membership base plus connections to local enterprises like Intel, VSP, SMUD and now UC Davis. In 2015 Hacker Lab taught 1,600 students and offered 500 classes and workshops at its two locations, all focused on design, business, coding and fabrication. In 2015, Hacker Lab also launched a startup incubator boot camp, Startup Hustle, an accelerated program designed to help entrepreneurs who have an existing prototype or are launching from an idea phase. Classes are free to members but are also open to the public for a fee, attracting local innovators and entrepreneurs from the community.
“Through our partnership with Hacker Lab, the most recent member of our DRIVE Network, we are working together to foster regional economic development and technology innovation,” said Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor for Research at UC Davis and executive director of Venture Catalyst. “Our collaboration provides an opportunity for Venture Catalyst to facilitate access to quality co-working and maker-space facilities for UC Davis-affiliated startups.”
Each university-based company accepted into the UC Davis DRIVE network has access to support resources offered by Venture Catalyst. This includes a suite of services provided through the Smart Toolkit for Accelerated Research Translation (START™) Program, designed to equip UC Davis entrepreneurs with the tools they need to form and grow successful companies.
About UC Davis
UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $785 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.
About Hacker Lab
Established in 2012 in Sacramento, Hacker Lab is a nonprofit organization that aims to educate people and spark innovation with community-driven resources. Offering co-working space, maker space, classes, meet-ups and events, Hacker Lab believes technology can change the world and the starting point is education. Hacker Lab has over 500 members with locations in Sacramento and Rocklin. Learn more at the Hacker Lab website: http://hackerlab.org/
Director of Marketing and Communications
UC Davis Office of Research
Co-Founder, Hacker Lab