The University of Akron | Proof of Concept Initiative
Then, selected applicants will be contacted for feedback and for support. The finalists are expected to fill out the Full Proposal form and submit it before the key deadlines for the funding cycle.
Up to $50,000
The POC may fund up to $50,000 for UA researchers whose research has a fairly well validated business need, that has potential to make a large impact but needs to refine and enhance the invention to make it attractive for further funding channels e.g. seed stage or venture capital funding. It will support the launch of a spinout company and help make it “license ready” to an existing company.
- Refine/enhance invention
- Prototyping or Proof of Concept Builds
- Bench Top Validation
- Customer Feedback and Technology Validation
- Deeper Dive into market sponsored studies
Note: For those applicants who do not win the LEAP funding, the POC Advisory Council may grant a smaller monetary fund (max $3,000), named the STEP fund. The STEP fund is for UA researchers who have filed invention disclosures or provisional patents but the market feasibility or value proposition is unproven, and is the first “STEP” towards the commercialization process The STEP fund will allow the team to gather market data, voice of customer to build an initial business model. The STEP fun can also be used to produce lower cost rough and ready prototypes for display and validation.
- Market Feasibility
- Voice of Customer
Overall, funding is not a “grant” meant for continued research or to help university spin-offs that have already licensed an existing technology. The sole intent of funding is to help the “recipient/s” build or prove University IP /technology and bring it to a “seed stage” through market feasibility or technology validation.