top of page
UCSC image.jpg


About U First Capital

U First Capital is a structured Platform to bring together top Corporates, Startups, Universities and Venture Capitalists globally for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Via its VC as a Service model, it is the official Acceleration Service provider to SVLink at UC Santa Cruz's  Silicon Valley campus.

SVLink Member Benefits (delivered by U First Capital for an Accelerator Fee of $10,000 per year):

  • Monthly pitching series featuring investors, startup founders, and corporate executives

  • Day-long funding course from a venture capitalist or founder on how to raise funding

  • Monthly community networking event to meet peer startups and share learnings

  • Guidance on recruiting talent, team building, and marketing the company

  • Introduction to 2 industry executives as potential corporate partners or customers

  • Introductions to a minimum of 5 potential angel investors for pre-seed fundraising

  • Introductions to a minimum of 5 seed funds for seed fund-raising

  • Introductions to 5 institutional venture firms for Series A fundraising

  • Annual pitch opportunity featuring investors and executives

SVLink Program Fees

Below are the fees for SVLink office space located at 3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara, California. Startups may be able to pay for office space in the form of a convertible promissory note, instead of a cash payment.

  • Workstation (desk): $6,000 per year

  • Office Suite (3 people): approx $21,600 per year

Plus, the startup gets access to conference rooms and collaboration area at no extra charge.

The startup doesn't have to move its existing office, it can use this space as an additional office for business development and investor meetings.

Program Term:

One year


Q. Is there a way to join the SVLink program with no cash payment?

A. You can use the convertible note mentioned above for paying for the SVLink office space fee. But you still have to pay the Acceleration fee of $10,000 per year.

Q. Do I have to be UC-affiliated to apply?

A. No, the program is open to any startup at this time.

Q. I currently don't have any UC affiliation. Can I become UC affiliated?

A. Yes, your company can have UC affiliation by adding a Board Member or an Officer (VP or higher) who is a current UCSC student (undergraduate or graduate programs only), faculty, full-time staff, post doc, visiting scholar or alumnus. Affiliation can be established through anyone who has control over the startup (e.g. a UC professor serving as the Chief Scientific Officer of your startup). For a limited time, UCSC-affiliated startups don’t have to pay any cash upfront (all SVLink costs are rolled into a convertible note) and other UC-affiliated startups only pay $5K or $7K of their costs in cash upfront (the balance is rolled into a convertible note). Read the SVLink program description for details.

Q. Where is the startup space located?

A. The SVLink space is located inside the new and modern UCSC Silicon Valley Campus building at 3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara, California. It is in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Q. I already have an office. I don’t need additional office space. Is it necessary to move my office to Santa Clara?

A. No. You can keep your current office wherever it is and sign up for a workstation that you could use as a “Silicon Valley" branch office. You are not required to use your SVLink space on a regular basis; it will be available to you as you need it during your membership period. All of the accelerator program events are streamed live over video conferencing so you can join remotely. Keep in mind, however, that your membership gives you access to multiple conference rooms and facilities at the UCSC Silicon Valley Campus, which come handy for meetings with investors and other business partners.

Q. What is the relationship between SVLink and U First Capital?

A. U First Capital is the official Accelerator Service provider for SVLink.

Q. I need funding. How do you help with that?

A. As part of the SVLink Accelerator Program, U First Capital will connect you to targeted investors based on your company stage and focus area. U First Capital is connected to a wide network of angel investors, seed investors, and venture capital firms. They also work with large corporations looking for strategic investment opportunities and a strong industry advisory board consisting of several executives from Fortune 500 corporations. See for more information about U First Capital.

Q. Can foreign startups apply?

A. Yes. But your startup has to be incorporated in one of the 50 US states to take advantage of the no/low cash payment option. In any case, incorporating a startup in the US is a fast process (1 week) and costs less than $1,000.

Q. What is the term of the program?

A. It is a one-year program.

Q. Do you follow a cohort system (three months or so)?

A. No. This program is for 1 year. We believe that three months is too short of a time period to make a meaningful impact on the startup.

Q. After one year, can my term be extended?

A. Extensions will be considered based on space availability and the startup’s needs.

Q. What is the application deadline?

A. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis while space is available. Keep in mind, however, that the no-upfront-cash option for UCSC-affiliated startups is only available for a limited time.

Q. What stage of startups are you focusing on?

A. We are stage-agnostic but most of the startups that have applied so far are pre-Series A.

Q. I am too late for an accelerator. Are you a fit for me?

A. Our accelerator is not typical, as it caters to all stages of a startup. Some of the SVLink members companies have already raised $5M -$10M (i.e. post-Series A).

Q. Do startups get conference room access?

A. Yes, it is one of the included SVLink member benefits. There are multiple conference rooms available for use in the UCSC Silicon Valley Campus.

Q: What are the terms of the convertible promissory note payable to UCSC?

A. The Note has a 3-year term with 10% interest rate.  The principal amount on the Note includes rent, accelerator fee advance (if any), and a pooled-risk fee. At the option of UCSC, it may be converted into equity along with a qualified financing at a 20% price discount.

bottom of page