Ideadvance

Ideadvance

This program funded by UW System and WEDC, administered by the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship Center for Technology Commercialization, aims to empower new and experienced entrepreneurs to focus on key go-to-market activities. No more sitting for hours crafting a business plan that won’t survive first contact with customers. Instead, the program gets you “out of the building” to learn about your customer and business.  Along the way, you receive grant dollars to advance the business based on the real needs of your customers.

Great business ideas exist across the UW System ecosystem. That’s the basis for the Ideadvance Seed Fund — a program combining seed funding with new strategies to help you test innovative ideas and new markets. Alongside experienced business mentors and a network of entrepreneurial resources, the Ideadvance program will help develop innovative ideas and potential businesses from eligible UW alumni and current faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs.

Program Overview & Eligibility

This program funded by UW System and WEDC, administered by the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship Center for Technology Commercialization, aims to empower new and or experienced entrepreneurs to focus on key go-to-market activities. No more sitting for hours crafting a business plan that won’t survive first contact with customers. Instead, the program gets you “out of the building” to learn about your customer and business.  Along the way, you receive grant dollars to advance the business based on the real needs of your customers.

Experienced entrepreneurs looking to innovative with new products in new markets are encouraged to reach out!

Ideadvance Stage 1 Funding

Funds up to $25,000 and focuses on helping you reduce the risk in your idea by determining what features will solve a real customer need.

Ideadvance Stage 1 grants are intended to support specific steps or milestones that will reduce business risk in technologies and ideas. This ultimately speeds commercialization of scalable products and services into the marketplace. Ideadvance grants will not fund basic or pure research. Grants support business model development activities. This program may be a fit for existing small businesses looking to innovative in new markets.

Eligibility

Grants are available for some existing small business and pre-incorporated teams that include part-time or full-time staff, faculty and students affiliated with eligible UW System campuses. Ideadvance also makes awards to alumni from eligible UW System 2- or 4-year campuses. This includes all campuses except UW-Madison. Also eligible are applicants and young companies with licensed technologies from the WiSys Technology Foundation or the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation. Those affiliated with UW-Madison are not eligible to be primary clients but may contribute as team members on eligible projects. Ineligible businesses include real estate, direct consumer retail or hospitality businesses, including restaurants.

Ideadvance Stage 2 Funding

Funds up to $50,000 and focuses on scaling a business model that effectively delivers solutions to customers and works towards funding milestones.

Customer acquisition and investment sourcing are critical missions for Stage 2 Ideadvance funding. Competitive proposals will build upon learning reported throughout Stage 1 (or equivalent) and will clearly articulate specific steps or milestones that reduce business risk and position the company to strategically grow via customer acquisition and follow-on financial support, which could include revenue. Proposed milestones should be obtainable within a 1 year period.

Eligibility

Grants are available for small businesses that include part-time or full-time staff, faculty and students affiliated with eligible UW System campuses. Ideadvance also makes awards to alumni from eligible UW System 2- or 4-year campuses. This includes all campuses except UW-Madison. Also eligible are applicants and young companies with licensed technologies from the WiSys Technology Foundation or the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation. Those affiliated with UW-Madison are not eligible to be primary clients but may contribute as team members on eligible projects. Ineligible businesses include real estate, direct consumer retail or hospitality businesses, including restaurants.

Lean Startup Framework

The Lean Startup provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and get a desired product to customers’ hands faster. The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup-how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere-and grow a business with maximum acceleration. It is a principled approach to new product development that involves early customer interaction to help guide the process.

How Do I Apply?

No program cost except your time

Applications are due once a year in April with awards announced in May.

1

Reach out to New Idea Concierge as soon as possible to start the process.

2

Review the Stage 1 here or Stage 2 application guidelines.

3

Register your business using the CTC grants tool.

4

Submit proposal and supporting documents by the April deadline.

Upcoming Stage 1 and Stage 2 deadline is April, 17, 2020.

Contact the New Idea Concierge 

It is NEVER too early to discuss your idea and fit for Ideadvance. Start the process by speaking with your New Idea Concierge, Idella Yamben, PhD. Idella, also the Program Manager, will be your primary contact to prepare a competitive proposal, navigate the Lean Startup milestones and to identify resources along the way.

Ideadvance has provided Northern Star Fire with both the funding and resources to successfully launch our company. We worked the lean business canvas model through Stage 1 and were able learn the key components to make our company a success.
Jeff Dykes
Northern Star Fire

TAHPI: Investing in firefighter fitness

Read More
(Ideadvance) Very worth it, its amazing the insights one gets from observing versus just doing interviews.
Lindsey Roddy
RoddyMedical LLC

Lean Startup Doesn’t Work

Read More

Resources

Find out what else CTC can do for you during your entrepreneurial journey with programs aside from and in conjunction with Ideadvance.
View All CTC Resources