Commercialization Funding Opportunity


The University of Cincinnati Technology Accelerator for Commercialization provides seed funding, entrepreneurial expertise and business connections to launch potentially high-impact entrepreneurial initiatives. The desired outcome is to advance promising technologies toward commercialization through start-up companies or licensing opportunities. Projects must focus on translating basic scientific discovery into commercialization opportunities.



  • Only technologies developed at the University of Cincinnati will be considered.
  • All full-time faculty and staff with primary employment appointments at the University of Cincinnati are eligible to apply
  • The Accelerator seeks applications that reflect the full range of University diversity
  • Existing start-up companies are not eligible to apply
  • Potential support from potential external commercialization partners and validation of the market need are encouraged


Funding Conditions:

  • Projects must focus on novel, enabling and potentially useful technologies
  • Funds must be used to advance commercialization goals, i.e., technology validation studies, prototype development, etc.
  • Basic science projects will not be awarded 
  • Funding cannot use funds for salary, travel or patents
  • Purchasing of external services are permissible (consulting, prototyping, design work, etc.)



  • Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis
  • 8-10 awards are anticipated per year, with typical award range of $25,000 – $40,000
  • Funding must be used within a 12 month period from time of award notice
  • A project manager from the Accelerator serving as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) will assist faculty PI/project in achieving milestones
  • Inventor and university rights adhere to the existing IP policies of the University of Cincinnati



  • New proposers to the Accelerator should attend a short proposers workshop on February 7 (see the RFP email you received for details).
  • Written proposals are submitted (see deadline below), reviewed, and those meeting the selection criteria are invited for in-person presentation.
  • If selected for an in-person presentation, an Entrepreneurs in Residence will assist you in preparing your pitch.
  • Presentations are made to the Commercialization Advisory Committee of industry experts, after which funding decisions are made.
  • High potential projects not ready for the Accelerator will receive advising on how to make the application competitive for reapplication
  • Funding decisions will be based on:
    • Market attractiveness (addressable market size, growth rate, margins, and competitiveness)
    • Competitive Advantage (market need, competitor benchmarking, value proposition, barriers and ability to reach market)
    • Strength of the Implementation Team (competitiveness of team, requisite skills and experience)
    • Implementation Plan (objectives, work plan, timeline, deliverables)
    • Potential Economic Impact of the Technology
    • Overall quality of the written plan and preliminary data
    • Alignment with UC 2019 Academic Master Plan.



Direct questions to: Jason Heikenfeld, PhD, Asst. VP for Commercialization at

The deadline for applications is Tuesday February 20th, 2018, at 5 p.m. 

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