In just the last three years, more than 26 commercially-promising projects at CU Boulder have received funding through LVC. Through this funding, 23 new startup companies have been launched and collectively, they have raised over $30 million to date. LVC demonstrates a powerful way to advance innovative research and translate it into impactful business ventures.
Watch the video below to hear from past winners about their LVC experience:
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- The subject innovation must fall within one of the seven defined areas: advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering, or technology and information.
- An invention disclosure form for the subject invention must be received by Venture Partners. UCCS investigators are eligible to apply. CU Denver investigators in physical sciences and engineering are eligible to apply. CU Denver investigators in biomedical disciplines and all CU Anschutz investigators should apply with CU Innovations.
- The applicant must be an eligible principal investigator. To check for eligibility, click here.
- If the applicant has received a prior award under AIA or LVC for the same invention that is the subject of a 2020 LVC application, the total amount of funding, including the present application plus the prior award(s), cannot exceed $200,000.
- If the invention is already licensed/optioned, the licensee/optionee company cannot have raised more than $500,000 in investment capital. Where a company has raised over $500,000, the Advanced Industries Accelerator Early Stage Capital Retention Grants is a more appropriate resource.
Up to $125,000 (including 8% F&A) is available per award in total costs, consisting of two subcategories:
- Proof of Concept
Up to $100,000 is available for answering critical experimental questions that will help to validate the technology for commercial applications.
- Business Development
Up to $25,000 is available in support of early commercialization activities. Funds may be used for customer discovery, market assessment, startup formation expenses, website development, intellectual property ($10,000 max), travel ($5,000 max) and accelerator fees. If patent expenses are anticipated during the award term, then applicants must include such expenses in the budget, up to the $10,000 maximum. Other business expenses may be eligible upon specific request. Need guidance? Your Venture Partners case manager can provide you with details on IP expenses and suggestions for how to best allocate your Business Development budget.
Funding under the Lab Venture Challenge comes from Colorado's AIA program, Venture Partners and a share of CU Boulder’s IP licensing revenues. The observed funding rate over the last three years was approximately 28%. Project duration can be up to 24 months for physical science awards and up to 36 months for bioscience awards.
State funding requires a match of 25% of the total project costs. For example, an applicant requesting $125,000 in total funds would request $93,750 from the State and $31,250 in matching funds. Matching funds are available from Venture Partners only for CU Boulder applicants. Matching funds may be provided by a partnering company, or by another campus or another department in the case of eligible UCCS and CU Denver applicants. Venture Partners does not provide matching funds for UCCS and CU Denver applications.
Applicants are encouraged to reach out to their Venture Partners contact with any questions about eligibility, and/or to discuss ways in which their applications may be strengthened, especially with regards to the commercialization section of the application.
The AIA program operates within the State of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. CU receives a pre-allocation from the total available funding.
The Lab Venture Challenge is run internally at CU Boulder and, while it does benefit from OEDIT's AIA funding, is separate from the statewide AIA competition run by Colorado's OEDIT. The Lab Venture Challenge and statewide AIA programs have different timelines, funding amounts and other details. To apply to the Lab Venture Challenge, please only use the details provided on this page and within the application site. Please do not use the application guidelines on the OEDIT AIA website if applying for the Lab Venture Challenge. If you are interested in applying for the statewide AIA program, please visit their website. Please also note that if you apply to and win both the Lab Venture Challenge grant and the AIA Proof of Concept grant, you will have to choose one award.