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Merced Rotary Clubs visit the Venture Lab
Merced Rotary Club members network at a UC Merced Venture Lab open house.
Venture Lab Members Receive Funding
Venture Lab members Agustin Roldan and Michael Urner win a competition and receive funding from the San Joaquin Angels.
Meeting the UC President
University of California President Janet Napolitano visits the Venture Lab.





The UC Merced Venture Lab network is the flagship program of the UC Merced Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. The incubator network comprises three sites in Modesto, Atwater and Merced. It also supports the Product Incubation Center, the Proof of Concept Fund and Central Valley Ventures, and was designated a National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps Site. The program and network specialize in connecting and building teams to foster innovation and entrepreneurship to spur economic development in the Central Valley.

Welcome to UC Merced Venture Lab



 The UC Merced Venture Lab partners with researchers that are interested in exploring commercial opportunities applicable to their research. Through this program, we facilitate connections to key industry partners and expand the potential impact of their innovations.

Community Resources


  As a community business incubator, we partner with individuals and entities that are interested in starting or growing a business. Through our vast network of partners, mentors and resources, we help new and established companies connect to the right networks to be successful.

Student Resources


We provide the opportunity for students to explore entrepreneurship as a career option. Through guided mentoring and access to resources, students are provided with an environment to establish connections and build a company.

Mentor Highlight






John Folly, Ph.D.

SCORE Advisor

I have 43 years of financial management experience working for Fortune 500 companies as well as startups and medium-sized businesses. I started my career at Proctor & Gamble, working 10 years in a variety of financial management positions. Next, at Foster Farms Co., I worked as the controller for seven years. I then decided to become self-employed and started a business consultancy firm, Profit Development Corp., which I continued to own until I became visually impaired and retired. At PDC I worked extensively with small, medium and large organizations. I primarily assisted in the preparation of business plans and continued as their Chief Financial Officer for periods of time ranging from one to three years, helping them achieve their stated goals and strategic plans. During the most recent ten years I also worked as a mortgage professional. I hold an undergraduate degree in accounting and master's and doctoral degrees in business administration. I am also a licensed real estate broker in the State of California. The reason for joining SCORE is my desire to assist individuals who have the drive and work ethic to succeed in business. The small business entrepreneur is truly the backbone of America.