University Seed Fund

The University of Utah Seed Fund fills a funding gap in the commercialization process between invention disclosure and the license of a technology. The funds are to be used to accomplish critical commercialization milestones for technologies invented at University of Utah which are not yet licensed, in order to attract licensees, entrepreneurs and investors. The funding process is managed by TVC based upon milestone-based commercialization projects. Goals of the Seed Fund include:

  • Validating markets
  • Further development of technologies
  • Attracting additional funding


Prerequisites for Seed Fund eligibility include:

  • An invention disclosure to TVC has been completed
  • TVC has formally reviewed the invention disclosure to determine appropriateness for commercialization
  • The technology is not licensed or optioned
  • At least one inventor is a University of Utah employee
  • If the technology is jointly owned with another entity, an agreement has been executed which designates University of Utah as having primary responsibility for the commercialization process


The next funding cycle is expected to be announced in the Spring of 2019.

To apply for funding, TVC strongly suggests you review the proposal criteria below. We also suggest you contact your TVC Technology Manager to help develop your application. Only complete proposals received prior to the deadline will be evaluated.

Each proposal should include a two-page narrative description with project details as follows:

  1. A brief description of the technology;
  2. The milestone(s) to be completed, timeline for completion and the desired outcome of the completed milestone(s) will yield;
  3. A detailed budget;
  4. The current intellectual property status;
  5. A brief description of the target customer and the problem they have that the proposed solution will solve. Include the names of potential customers of this product;
  6. A brief description of how this solution is different than current solutions;
  7. The future strategy for commercialization including critical milestone(s) required;
  8. What questions (technical or business) will be answered by completing this project;
  9. Why this is the appropriate next milestone in the commercialization process;
  10. The deliverables of each milestone (animal data, report, grant application, prototype, customer validation, etc.); and
  11. The team/responsible parties required to achieve each milestone.

Additional Information

  • Awards are non-competitive. Each proposal is assessed on its own merits.
  • Evaluating projects for awards involves a consultative approach with TVC’s team of professionals and domain experts.
  • Technologies that have been licensed are not eligible for an award.
  • Awardees may apply multiple times for the same project with subsequent milestones provided previous milestones have successfully been met.
  • Funds may only be awarded for development of inventions and intellectual property owned by University of Utah Research Foundation.