Published: June 13, 2019 By

Every day on campus, game-changing technologies are discovered and developed, with the hope of impacting humanity in a positive way. But in order for these technologies to move out of the lab and into the market, researchers need support and funding.

The Lab Venture Challenge (LVC), hosted annually by Venture Partners at CU Boulder (formerly known as the Technology Transfer Office) awards grants to campus researchers whose technologies demonstrate high commercial potential. Applications for the 2019 Lab Venture Challenge, to be held in November 2019, are now open.

Strengthen Your Lab Venture Challenge Application

LVC is a highly competitive program. It is strongly recommended that you follow these preparatory steps:

  1. Read up on LVC eligibility requirements and important dates.
  2. Attend the LVC Info Session session on July 11 at 11:45 a.m. Application strategy, resources to help you along the way and more will be discussed. RSVP here.
  3. Submit your invention disclosure form to Venture Partners at CU Boulder by July 15 at 5 p.m.
  4. Participate in the Starting Blocks customer discovery program on August 2 & 9. Starting Blocks is an introductory program designed to help scientists and engineers find a market for their innovations. Completion of the Starting Blocks program will teach you how to create a value proposition for your innovation, which is essential for a competitive LVC application. RSVP here.
  5. Reach out to your Venture Partners case manager well ahead of the application deadline for proposal feedback.
  6. Submit your LVC application by August 30 at 5 p.m.

In just the last three years, more than 20 commercially-promising projects at CU Boulder have received funding through this program. Those same awards have helped build 16 new startup companies, with many having already raised further capital.

At last year’s Lab Venture Challenge, seven grants – up to $125,000 each – were awarded to the university’s top physical science, engineering and bioscience technologies.

TissueForm, a company spun out of mechanical engineering professor Corey Neu’s Soft Tissue Bioengineering Lab was one of the teams who won in the bioscience category. Its "ClayMatrix™ technology – a simple, low-cost and long-lasting dermal filler – hopes to improve outcomes for patients suffering from tissue disease, damage and aging by reducing the number of repeat injections needed to restore a youthful appearance and confidence.

“Working through this competition helped us to better define our customer and market,” said Neu, also TissueForm’s co-founder and principal investigator.

With the mission of helping university inventors move technologies toward commercialization, Lab Venture Challenge has proven to be a powerful avenue for advancing innovative research and translating it into impactful business ventures.

“Our Venture Partners team provides excellent resources for funding, partnerships, and other milestones toward commercialization,” says Brymor Rees, assistant vice chancellor for Research & Innovation and managing director of Venture Partners.  “I am really looking forward to the high-value ventures that will come from the alchemy between great CU Boulder innovation and our growing suite of resources.”

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