Embark is CU Boulder's deep tech startup creator for matching entrepreneurs with breakthrough innovations. With over 50 CU Boulder technologies available, Embark seeks motivated entrepreneurs ready to launch new companies. The program provides IP rights, salary support, grant funds and investor introductions to selected entrepreneurs.

How the Embark program works

  1. Submit an application to participate in Embark as a new company founder.
  2. Review our portfolio of available technologies and meet the inventing scientists and engineers.
  3. Identify the innovation you want to build your company around.
  4. Prepare your plan for the new company and pitch it to the Embark leadership and investors.

Select entrepreneurs will be offered:

  • a license or option for the innovation;
  • up to $100,000 for technology development;
  • six-months of part-time salary to launch the company.

Key Dates

The current application cycle is closed. Information about future Embark opportunities will be posted soon. Sign Up for Updates

April 9: Application deadline

April 10: Applicants notified of results

April 13: Embark kickoff

June 8: Final applicant pitches and selection of awardees

Additional Details

Embark is designed to launch new early-stage companies that commercialize innovations created in CU Boulder’s research labs. Entrepreneurs completing Embark and executing an IP option or license agreement will have access to CU Boulder’s array of startup programs and resources, including the Lab Venture Challenge, Ascent deep tech accelerator, Destination Startup and the Buff Venture Fund. 

Select Embark participants will be offered an option or license to their chosen innovation. More details on startup licensing

Technology development funds will be offered to select Embark participants in the form of grants to the inventing lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. Funds are used to further advance the innovation toward commercialization. The grant is not offered or paid to the startup company.

Select Embark participants will be offered a salaried position at the University of Colorado Boulder as an Executive in Residence (EIR). The EIR role provides salary support for the founding CEO as they launch the company. EIRs must complete standard hiring processes at the University of Colorado Boulder, including a background check. EIR positions are 33% time for 6 months and are pro-rated from an annual full-time salary of $148,000. This temporary position is not eligible for benefits.

Embark is a competitive program. Not all applicants will be accepted to participate in Embark. Not all Embark participants will be selected to be offered an option/license, technology development grant and/or EIR position.

No option agreement, license agreement, employment or grant is offered or issued until provided in writing and signed by an authorized individual at the University of Colorado Boulder. The University of Colorado Boulder reserves the right to change the details and conditions of Embark.