The University of Tennessee Research Foundation’s Accelerator Fund provides funding opportunities to help viable startups and bring more UT innovations to the world.
The Venture Launch Program and Accelerator Fund, with its initial $5 million provided by the UT System, aims to start, grow and retain startups by connecting UT’s innovators with startup capital and providing them with the resources needed to transform their ideas into companies through early mentorship and guidance for commercialization. Investments will range from $20,000 to $150,000.
The UTRF Accelerator Fund supports new ventures from the UT’s research portfolio. Managed by UTRF, the fund is uniquely positioned to assess new ventures created from UT’s innovations. The licensing professionals help identify opportunities and the investment advisory committee makes recommendations on ventures to invest. Since the UTRF Accelerator Fund supports UT’s technologies, its portfolio spans several industries, including mobility and human health.
While the innovation must originate from UT, the startup founders do not have to be UT-based. Funding recommendations will be recommended by an investment advisory committee made up of investors and entrepreneurs. The timeline varies on a case-by-case basis and can take up to nine months to reach an investment decision. The committee will meet bi-annually.
Companies eligible to receive funding include:
- Companies founded to commercialize UT’s intellectual property
Apply for Funding
Applicants must submit a presentation slide deck outlining:
- The problem being solved
- The market opportunity and competition
- The technology/product/solution and its uniqueness
- The competition and how this technology/product/solution compares
- Financial model/milestones
- The IP and license status
- The current management and research team
- Level of funding needed and how the funds will be used
Please email your questions to UTRF@tennessee.edu.
Rolling submissions are accepted, so there is no deadline by which an individual must submit. Applicants can begin submitting their applications now, but please note that they will not be reviewed until the fund becomes available on July 1 and the investment advisory committee can formally meet.
UTRF Accelerator Fund
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation’s Accelerator Fund provides funding opportunities to help viable startups and bring more UT innovations to the world. Please submit information for your innovation below.
Thank you for inquiring with UTRF about funding opportunities. Our team will be in touch with you to discuss your technology or startup idea.