Mohr Davidow this month named four researchers — two from Stanford and two from UC Berkeley — as recipients of a new Innovators Award that the venture firm designed last year. Each researcher will get $50,000, which Mohr Davidow’s partners are taking out of their own fees, to work for a year on a high-risk project. Researchers are picked by senior faculty at their schools and can’t be tenured.
“This program is designed to identify, award and accelerate the early careers of professors we think have high potential for research and commercialization,” said MDV partner Erik Straser.
All four winners — assistant professors Nick Melosh and Thomas Jaramillo at Stanford, UC Berkeley assistant professor Ali Javey, and Delia Milliron, who works at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — are pursuing projects that may have applications to clean tech, including new ways to capture solar energy and make buildings more energy efficient.
One of last year’s winners, assistant professor Yi Cui of Stanford, who specializes in nanotechnology, said he is talking to Mohr Davidow about forming a company