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


Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. All proposals received will be reviewed following the closure of the currently published review deadline. Only complete proposals received prior to the deadline will be evaluated.

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.

Please provide a 2-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.

APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THE NEXT FUNDING ROUND IS JULY 24, 2018. Applicants may receive follow up questions during the evaluation period. Applicants should also expect to meet with TVC following the project completion date in order to review deliverables and discuss future commercialization as appropriate. Funding decisions will be announced on September 7th.

To apply for seed funding, please submit your proposal via email to


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.
  • Applicants that are eligible for federal research support (i.e. R01) may not be eligible for a Seed Fund award.
  • Technologies that have been licensed are not eligible for an award.
  • Funding levels are based on the next commercialization milestone; not on a certain dollar amount.
  • Awardees may apply multiple times for the same project with subsequent milestones provided previous milestones have successfully been met.
  • Typical funding awards are from $5,000 to $50,000.
  • Milestone completion should typically be achievable in six months or less.
  • Extensions on deadlines are considered on a case-by-case basis and at no cost.
  • Funds may only be awarded for development of inventions and intellectual property owned by University of Utah Research Foundation.