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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.  

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

What is it?

  • A series of seven (7) weekly one-hour workshop-like labs delivered in a virtual 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.


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 12 - October 24, 2023 (seven consecutive sessions)
  • Note: Lab 5 will be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 
  • Location: All sessions are virtual
  • It is recommended that participants join the first Startup Lab. The remaining labs can be taken in order or based on topic and participant interest.   


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 encouraged to enroll for the entire seven sessions of Startup Labs. Individual enrollment links for each Startup Lab is listed below. If you have any questions email Teresa McCoy, Project Coordinator, and you can also go to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Enrollment information | Week-at-a-Glance: Fall 2023

Day Workshop
Tuesday, September 12
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Lab Session 1:  Foundations of Academic Spinouts  Identifying your entrepreneurial goals, introduction to hypothesis testing for deeptech startup opportunities.
Tuesday, September 19
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
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, September 26
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Lab Session 3: Teams – Strategic design and formation of deeptech startup teams.
Tuesday, October 3
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
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.
Wednesday, October 11
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Lab Session 5: Pitching, Storytelling & Branding How to best leverage the communications mechanisms of a technology startup and the importance of building a website voice.
Tuesday, October 17
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Lab Session 6: New Product Development The stages of product development and product launch, including common methodologies and key challenges.
Tuesday, October 24
Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Lab Session 7: IP Strategy & Management - Intellectual property strategy and management and how patents, trademarks and copyrights are regarded by investors.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Enrollment Deadline:  Enrollment is open until the day of the Startup Lab and the material will remain available for two weeks after each session completion. 
  • Startup Labs sessions: Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - Tuesday, October 24, 2023
  • Note: Startup Lab 5 | Will be held Wednesday, October 11th.

No. Attending the LAUNCH Startup Lab is free. 

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.

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.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).

All the Startup Labs will be held virtually and will be recorded.  All material will be accessible for two weeks post workshop.

  • Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the first Startup Lab to get an introduction to the instructors and the seven week labs, meet other participants and share interests.
  • Each of the Lab sessions can be accessed online and materials are available for two weeks post workshop.

During the course of the Startup Lab workshops, the instructors will be holding their own office hours either in person or virtually.  For general questions please contact Teresa McCoy, or


Commonwealth Cyber Initiative