The University of Utah Seed Fund fills a funding gap in the commercialization process between provisional patent application and the license of a technology. The Seed Fund objective is to assist the University of Utah inventors in achieving critical commercialization milestones for their technologies that are needed to attract potential licensees, entrepreneurs and investors. The funding process is milestone-based and is managed by the University of Utah Technology and Venture Commercialization center (TVC).
Prerequisites for Seed Fund eligibility:
- Intellectual Property (IP) strategy in place with an expected date of USPTO filing, and disclosed Invention has completed initial IP and Market Analysis at TVC with next steps defined
- Current University of Utah employment for at least one inventor
- The Seed Fund applicant is a University of Utah-eligible PI
- Technology ownership
- Technology/IP is owned by the UURF
- If the technology/IP is owned jointly with another entity, an agreement has been executed designating the University of Utah as the primary responsible party for commercialization
- The technology/IP has not been licensed or optioned
We expect to fund 2 Seed Fund cycles per year. Each cycle will be announced in a Solicitation providing application details. Next funding cycle will be announced in the Spring of 2019.
Seed Fund application will be limited to a two-page narrative that includes:
- A brief description of the technology, including TRL and IP status
- Objective(s) of the proposal and questions that will be answered by this project
- Project/milestone(s), expected outcomes, deliverables, and project timelines, such as Gantt chart or equivalent
- Itemized budget with justification
- Justification why this proposed project is an appropriate next step in the commercialization process, including a brief description of:
- the problem that the proposed solution will address
- target customer
- advantages of the proposed technology over currently available solutions
- commercialization strategy, including critical milestone(s)
- Description of the team required to complete the project
This outline may be updated in the upcoming solicitation. If you are planning to apply, please send a brief Letter of Intent (LOI) to your TVC Technology Manager to obtain information on the current status of your IP, as well as advice on your potential application.
- Seed Fund application review will be a two-step process that will include an initial recommendation by external reviewers, followed by the final award decision by TVC.
- Awardees may apply twice for the same project, provided that previously funded milestones have been completed or no award was made/accepted.
- Expected duration of Seed Fund projects: typically 6 months or less.
- Last funding cycle (Fall '18) resulted in 6 awards with an average award of $30,000.