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LAUNCH Startup Lab

Virginia Tech LAUNCH Startup Labs

Virginia Tech researchers: Are you curious about how to propel a startup from your lab?

Our world is continually reshaped by new technologies emerging from academic research. Expanding the impact of your research on society and into our economy requires translation of early-stage technologies into market serving products and services.  One path to do so is a startup.  

Following the popular initial offering in spring 2022, the LAUNCH: Center for New Ventures is again presenting LAUNCH Startup Labs this fall. This professional workshop series is specifically designed for Virginia Tech research-focused faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students to enhance their entrepreneurial thinking and de-mystify the deeptech new-venture creation process. Over the course of seven weekly modules, each “lab” will address a different aspect of lab-to-market venture creation and provide experience in applying entrepreneurial tools and methodologies that reduce the uncertainty in advancing new technologies to market. 

This work was supported in part by the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, an investment in the advancement of cyber R&D, innovation, and workforce development. For more information about CCI, visit www.cyberinitiative.org.

What is it?

  • A series of seven (7) weekly one-hour workshop-like labs delivered in a hybrid format
    • An optional Regional I-Corps Track is available to participants interested in gaining eligibility for NSF I-Corps funding in the national cohort program.
  • Interactive and informative with experiential learning activities related to new venture creation 
  • An opportunity to:
    • Explore possible startup opportunities related to your research;
    • Engage with other like-minded researchers curious about new venture creation; 
    • Earn Virginia Tech professional development network (PDN) credits and earn a PDN badge representing your accomplishment.
    • Optional I-Corps Track: Simultaneously complete the NSF I-Corps Regional Course to gain eligibility for NSF I-Corps funding in the national cohort program.

PARTICIPANT TESTIMONIAL

A fun, painless and interesting set of courses to learn the A,B,C's of developing your technology and discovering whether it could fly in the marketplace. I really enjoyed the courses!

- Dr. Mark Williams, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Where and When?

  • Noon - 1:00 pm, weekly every Tuesday from September 20- November 1, 2022 (seven consecutive sessions)
  • Location: Torgersen Hall: Room 3310 (sessions, 1 and 3-7), and Assembly Hall, Holtzman Alumni Center first floor (session 2).  All sessions available synchronously on zoom. 
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to attend in-person to meet other participants and share experiences

Eligibility

The LAUNCH Startup Labs is a resource to the Virginia Tech research community and is supported by the Office of Research and Innovation.  To be eligible to participate, you must be current Virginia Tech faculty, staff, postdoc or graduate student engaged in funded research.  Undergraduate students are not eligible unless currently engaged in funded research (compensated research assistant or other applicable role).

How to Enroll

Participants are accepted through an application process with limited seats available. Interested participants must enroll by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, September 16, 2022. Participants will receive acceptance confirmations within 5 business days. For more information, go to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Week-at-a-Glance: Fall 2022

Day Workshop
Tuesday, September 20
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Torgersen Hall: RM 3310
Lab Session 1:  Foundations – Identifying your entrepreneurial goals, introduction to hypothesis testing for deeptech startup opportunities.
Tuesday, September 27
Holtzman Alumni Center,
Assembly Hall (1st floor)
Lab Session 2:  Modeling the Business – How to build a business model and define, test and iterate critical assumptions in the deeptech commercialization opportunity.
Tuesday, October 4
Torg: RM 3310
Lab Session 3: Teams – Strategic design and formation of deeptech startup teams.
Tuesday, October 11
Torg: RM 3310
Lab Session 4: Formation & Funding – The steps to legal formation of a startup, the diverse mechanisms of federal and state deeptech commercialization funding and how private capital investment works.
Tuesday, October 18
Torg: RM 3310
Lab Session 5: IP Strategy & Management - Intellectual property strategy and management and how patents, trademarks and copyrights are regarded by investors.
Tuesday, October 25
Torg: RM 3310
Lab Session 6: Pitching, Storytelling & Branding – How to best leverage the communications mechanisms of a technology startup and the importance of building a website voice.
Tuesday, November 1
Torg: RM 3310
Lab Session 7: New Product Development – The stages of product development and product launch, including common methodologies and key challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Enrollment Deadline: 5 p.m. ET on Friday, September 16, 2022
  • Application Acceptance: Invitation to join will be sent out: September 19, 2022. Participants will be asked to complete a survey before the first session. 
  • Startup Labs sessions: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Interested parties are required to enroll by the stated deadline. Spots are limited. Applications will be reviewed by a committee for eligibility.

No. Attending the LAUNCH Startup Lab is free.  Free refreshments will also be provided at each lab.

Participants only need curiosity about the deeptech startup process. We recognize many academic researchers may feel disassociated from startup entrepreneurship or that they do not have the time or incentives to engage the process. So, we encourage researchers who feel this way to participate and discover that deeptech entrepreneurship has many possible levels of engagement. The LAUNCH Startup Lab is only available to  current members of the Virginia Tech research community (see Eligibility above).

No.  However, if you do have a technology commercialization opportunity in mind, the workshop series offers the opportunity to apply the activities to your idea.

  • Each of the Lab sessions can be accessed synchronously on-line or in-person at the designated workshop locations.
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the first Lab session in-person to meet other participants and share interests
  • Location: Torgersen Hall: Room 3310 and Holtzman Alumni Center, Assembly Hall (first floor). Please see above course schedule for workshop locations.

We understand participants may be unable to attend all the labs. TLOS credits will be available for each lab attended.  Certificates of completion are only available if all the labs are attended.

Please contact Ted Alt at thealt13@vt.edu with Startup Lab questions.

Partners

Commonwealth Cyber Initiative