What is Davis Roots?
Davis Roots is a non-profit start-up business accelerator, founded by Andy Hargadon and Anthony Costello, with the shared goal of fostering the formation and early development of new high-growth ventures.
Why Davis Roots?
Companies started in Davis often move to other communities in search of funding, low-cost space, and an entrepreneurial workforce. While both the University and the City share the goal of supporting more new and high-growth ventures, little has been done to directly advance this goal. Davis Roots was founded to provide early and direct support for entrepreneurs to locate and grow in Davis, Calif.
How Does It Work?
Emerging ventures (typically 1-3 founders that may or may not have incorporated yet) apply for and are selected into the Davis Roots mentoring program. In the mentoring program, they gain access to our mentor network and are supported in preparing a more detailed 9-month launch strategy, which includes project and funding milestones.
Once the launch strategy is completed and their plan is accepted, new ventures are given office space within Davis Roots for a designated period of time. At the end of their time designated time, ventures that raise external funding are provided assistance in finding Davis office space to continue their growth in town. Ventures that fail to meet milestones or raise funding on a timely basis exit the office space.
Davis Roots will take a small equity investment in each accepted venture. Ventures that succeed provide value which feeds back into ongoing support for the program.
We are targeting inquiries from approximately 30-40 companies. From this pool, a smaller set are admitted into the mentoring program and helped to develop a formal application.
We expect to offer admission to 10 ventures to Davis Roots, for a steady state of approximately 8-10 Davis Roots companies per year.
From these, we expect four to be funded and grow to 5+ employees. 1 in 20 of these will create significant returns.
Other Activities of Davis Roots
Davis Roots engages in a range of other activities intended to support and connect the city and campus entrepreneurial communities. These activities include:
- Hosting a number of UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship activities downtown, connecting the campus and city entrepreneurial communities.
- Helping connect local ventures with local advisors, mentors, and potential investors.
- Helping raise local investment capital.
- Helping to bring together, and grow, the local entrepreneurial workforce.
- Bringing in companies and visitors who will directly benefit downtown businesses and contribute positively to the Davis community.