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Office of Business Development
Central Valley Innovation Award
UC Merced Venture Lab member Michael Urner was the recent winner of the Central Valley Innovation Award at the 2018 UC Davis Big Bang Business Competition!
2018 Central Valley Entrepreneurship Academy
A look at all our participants that attended our inaugural Central Valley Entrepreneurship Academy hosted alongside UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Merced Rotary Clubs visit the Venture Lab
Merced Rotary Club members network at a UC Merced Venture Lab open house.





The UC Merced Venture Lab provides people who want to explore entrepreneurship with resources to help them develop skills, create opportunities, and design their lives. It is open to people with a sincere interest in starting a company, and whose needs are a good fit for our resources. The program is designed to empower people to make a difference in their lives, their communities, and beyond.

The program operates across the region, with locations in Merced, Atwater, Modesto and Fresno. Resources include free legal advice through our partnership with UC Berkeley Law School, co-working spaces, meeting spaces, workshop spaces, coaching, access to mentor networks, matchmaking to find collaborators and team members, specialized training, and events.

Details on our locations are shown below. Appointments are recommended.The UC Merced Venture Lab also hosts the UC Merced National Science Foundation I-Corps Site, which gives entrepreneurs training in marketing and provides funding for traveling and developing your network.

  • The UC Merced Venture Lab in Merced is located at 1735 M. St, Merced, CA, and co-located with the UC Merced Small Business Development Center which provides workshops, free consultations, and more. This location is supported by a partnership with the City of Merced.

  • The UC Merced Venture Lab in Modesto is located at 1000 L Street, Modesto, CA in the Ash/Magnolia Room of the Modesto Centre Plaza. This location    is supported by a partnership with the City of Modesto. Se habla español.

  • The UC Merced Venture Lab in Atwater is located at 4225 Hospital Ave., Winton, CA in the UC Merced Castle facility. This location is made possible by the university’s partnership with the County of Merced.

  • In Fresno, our partner the Pi Shop is located at 1755 Broadway St. #104, Fresno, CA. This location is made possible by our partnership with Blue Dolphin Engineering.

The program helps people develop companies that are investible – companies that are worthwhile. That means, at a minimum, companies that are worth your personal investment of time and energy as an entrepreneur. But we also provide insights and connections that can lead to financial investment so that your venture can make the greatest impact.

As part of the UC Merced Office of Business Development, members of the UC Merced Venture Lab have an opportunity to learn about innovations emerging from the university and possibly form a company based on them. It provides help to UC Merced students who have created innovations as a part of Innovate to Grow.

The program is part of UC Merced’s economic development strategy, and membership is free. Joining the UC Merced Venture Lab has no impact on your rights in intellectual property. To schedule a meeting to learn more, contact us at

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.