It's never too early to reach out. We often meet before a business has been formed or even has a name. Reach out even if you're not sure your idea is fully polished--we're here to help.
As a University of Iowa service, we are here to support faculty, staff, post-docs, and graduate students on both sides of the river.
UI Ventures is a service provided by University of Iowa. We don't charge for our services.
Many of the companies spinning out of the University of Iowa have first-time entrepreneurs who may not be familiar with building companies. We work very closely with the spinouts and when we don't have an answer, we tap into our robust network of investors, executives, clinicians, academics, and specialists. We use our network to give you access to the right people at the right time.
When you're ready to put together a fundraising round, come talk to us. We will walk through your milestones to be achieved with the funds, your timeline, and the type of investor that may be a good fit. We will review your pitch deck, and executive summary and when you're ready to go, we'll make introductions to investors looking for companies like yours. The introductions may be through email or in person as we regularly bring investors to town and set up one-on-one meetings.
Our companies are constantly looking for key individuals as they grow. The best way to reach them is to give us a call so we can better understand your background and interests. If there is a particular company or genre you're interested in, let us know. We'll relay your resume and make introductions as the opportunities arise.
First, go Hawks! We love hearing from alumni who want to get involved. If you're in town, swing by so we can get to know you and maybe grab a coffee. We've had quite a few developments over the past couple of years that we'd like to share with you and see how we can get you plugged in.
Iowa MADE is a first-of-its-kind manufacturing and e-commerce initiative that provides a platform to bring faculty's low-risk, low-volume devices to market using a student team. The program serves to encourage innovation on campus and to also encourage experiential learning opportunities for students.
The Incubate Program is designed for UI spinout companies and groups still in the discovery phase to solidify a business strategy and begin to align their technology with an appropriate market. This program has a strong education component and targets first-time entrepreneurs and those switching from one field to another. If you would like to be considered for this program, please fill out the form.
The SBIR/STTR support program provides the essential support for select spinout companies seeking federal SBIR/STTR grants. Companies in this program receive one-on-one grant review, strategy support for the application, assistance identifying a PI if needed, letters of support assistance, and a reserved bench space in either the Translational Research Incubator (TRI) or BioVenture Center (BVC) if desired. This program works in conjunction with state-sponsored programs for consultants and matching funds.
Spinouts in the Accelerate Program have demonstrated commitment to driving their company forward quickly but are generally pre-revenue and pre-investment. These are some of our most promising early stage companies and UI Ventures works very closely with these companies to secure an appropriate business team and prepare for funding or revenue. In order to provide the highest level of support, this program is limited to 5 companies per year. We use an internal scoring mechanism to determine which companies qualify for this program and all spots may not be filled every year. Companies accepted in this program are announced in August of each year.
Spinouts in the Advance Program have secured initial outside investment and are self-supporting. Most of these companies are located near (but not on) campus. UI Ventures supports Advance companies through introductions to our network as needed, assisting in interactions with the university (UIRF, clinical trials, sponsored research, access to core facilities, etc.), highlighting their achievements, and helping to hire student interns and recent alums.
As part of the Office of the VP for Research, UIRF is responsible for ensuring intellectual property (IP) coming out of the University and UIHC is handled appropriately and that the interests of the academics are looked after during the commercialization process. UI Ventures is part of the Office of External Relations and works very closely with UIRF to support the UI spinout companies commercializing UI IP.