Davis Roots


What is Davis Roots?

Davis Roots is a non-profit start-up business incubator, founded by Andy Hargadon, Anthony Costello, and Joe DiNunzio with the shared goal of fostering the formation and early development of new high-growth ventures.

Davis Roots is located in the historic Hunt-Boyer Mansion in Downtown Davis.

604 2nd Street

Davis, CA 95616

Why Davis Roots?

Companies started in Davis often move to other communities in search of funding, low-cost space, and an entrepreneurial workforce. Davis Roots was founded to provide early and direct support for entrepreneurs to locate and grow in Davis, Calif. There is an enormous amount of talent that UC Davis is developing and some of these company builders will find their home in Davis because of what Davis Roots has to offer.

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.

Board of Directors

Joe Dinunzio

DR_DiNunzio.jpgServing on the Board of Directors since its founding in 2012, Joe DiNunzio brings three decades of creative, technical and business leadership in creating new ventures and building successful organizations to Davis Roots. DiNunzio serves as President of the management consulting firm Fido Management. His prior start-up experiences includes being a founder of Harebrained Schemes, 42 Entertainment and Z.com, while his prior corporate experience includes roles at Walt Disney Imagineering, Procter & Gamble, and Booz Allen. He currently works as an advisor or board member for a number of early stage companies including Barobo, SonanuTech, and Kvantum. DiNunzio is also an assistant professor (adjunct) at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, and works as a mentor and speaker at the UC Davis Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. An active member of the Davis community, he is president of the Willett Elementary School PTA, Vice President and board member for the Davis Schools Foundation, board member of the Davis Chamber of Commerce, and member of the DJUSD Strategy and Technology Advisory Committees. DiNunzio received his A.B. (Psychology) from Harvard University and his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Andy Hargadon

DR_AndyHargadon.jpgAn expert in technological development and commercialization, Andrew Hargadon co-founded Davis Roots in March of 2012. Hargadon earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Product Design Program in Stanford University’s Mechanical Engineering Department. He later earned his doctoral degree from the Management Science and Engineering Department of Stanford University’s School of Engineering, where he was named both Boeing Fellow and Sloan Foundation Future Professor of Manufacturing. After completing school, Hargadon worked as a product designer at Apple Computer and taught in the Product Design program at Stanford University. Dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, Hargadon also founded both the Child Family Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the Energy Efficiency Center. In 2009, he was awarded the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award for his success with the two centers. Hargadon, in addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Davis Roots and various other start-ups, now holds the Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis where he works as a Professor of Technology Management.

Anthony Costello

DR_Costello.jpgA serial entrepreneur, Anthony Costello co-founded Davis Roots alongside Andrew Hargadon in March of 2012. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Davis Roots, Costello is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Mytrus, Inc., a clinical trials technology company. He received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology for the University of California, Berkeley. After beginning his research career at Genentech as a Clinical Data Manager, Costello went on to co-found several technology start-up companies including Nextrials (a clinical research firm), BazuMedia, Inc. (a personal fitness and racing platform) and Sparq Group, LLC (a consulting group for startups). In addition to serving on the board of multiple businesses, he served as the President of the US Bicycling Hall of Fame from 2009 to 2015.


Kari Rundquist

Executive Director

dr_rundquist.jpgAfter completing her Business Administration degree at Saint Mary’s College in 1997, Kari Rundquist began her career in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area in investor relations where she worked with entrepreneurs and financiers to build more efficient and profitable companies. After relocating to Davis in 2002, she joined her family’s independent insurance agency Family and Business Insurance Agency, Inc. as Vice President. In 2011, she co-founded and served as the managing partner of The Centaur Group, LLC, a boutique consulting firm specialized in government and community relations as well as modern communications strategies. After selling TCG to a former employee in 2014, Kari founded Palladian Consulting, where she assisted startups with business plan preparation, financial modeling and funding strategies. In 2015 she co-founded the Davis Angels Network to help raise funds for local entrepreneurial startups. In early 2016, she was hired as the Executive Director of Davis Roots, a non-profit startup incubator in partnership with the City of Davis. Kari is an engaged community volunteer and advocate for local economic development efforts. She currently serves on the Davis Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee and as member of the Yolo Food Bank’s Board of Directors. Kari lives in Davis with her two daughters Annika and Alena.

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