LEARN. LAUNCH. FLY.
Get the Right Start Out of the Lab and Into the Market
The VentureAccelerator program helps University of Maryland inventors get their research out of the starting blocks and racing down the track toward successful venture creation. Our experienced team of business professionals enables you to maintain your academic responsibilities as faculty, research staff, or student, while also furthering the development of your startup. We speed the process of venture creation by systematically guiding and coaching inventors through new business processes such as:
How We Help
The VentureAccelerator program speeds the process of venture creation by systematically guiding and coaching inventors through new business processes, including, but not limited to:
The VentureAccelerator Network
VentureAccelerator has pre-existing relationships with proven, trusted professionals that help companies with funding, intellectual property, and a wide range of business processes. Those relationships include, but are not limited to: venture capitalists, angel investors, former CEOs, senior executives, IP attorneys, serial entrepreneurs, accountants, marketing professionals, public relation specialists, product developers, and other founders.
“I’m a research scientist, not a business professional, so I knew from the very beginning that I needed help creating a successful company. VentureAccelerator has played a critical role in getting us to where we are today.”
— Steve Hutcheson
President and CEO
The VentureAccelerator Process
The VentureAccelerator guides its client investors from idea to scalable early stage company through a process designed to maximize the prospects for success as quickly as possible.
1. Selection: Rigorous criteria forces inventors into a realistic evaluation of the opportunity. Successful applicants to the program gain prestige from entering the program. Inventors work with the VentureAccelerator to determine whether the proposed company has:
2. Planning: Once admitted, the business plan is defined:
3. Execution: Putting the plan into action:
4. Graduation: Scalable Early Stage Company with:
WHY START A COMPANY?
Benefits of the VentureAccelerator Program
VentureAccelerator seeks to assist developers of new technology at the University of Maryland in the formation of new companies that pursue the full commercial potential of their discoveries. Unlike other technology advancement programs at the university, VA works exclusively with technology founders personally committed to new enterprise formation. To be considered for the VentureAccelerator Program, a new technology team must meet all of the following criteria:
Detailed Criteria for VA (PDF)
VA utilizes the following evaluation process to choose new portfolio companies:
As the creation of new technology enterprises is an intense, time-consuming activity, VA can use its services, network and other resources to assist only a few companies at a time. An application to VA initiates a thorough review of a new company's potential, therefore, it by no means guarantees selection. While exclusive, VA's detailed screening process ultimately adds the credibility admitted companies will need as they embark upon commercial product development, customer solicitation, and ultimately fundraising and recruiting endeavors.
Step I: Apply
The evaluation process starts with submission of an application. Upon receiving and reviewing your application, VA's management will contact you to convey questions and feedback as well as to discuss other appropriate next steps. VA's management also may request meetings with prospective founders and their teams.
Provided below is guidance for completing the application, as well as submission instructions.
Download Application (PDF)
Step II: Technical Plan
If VA, after reviewing an application, believes a company is a good fit for the program, the application process continues with a Technical Plan. VA's management will then conduct thorough technical due diligence. The purpose of this review is to ascertain the feasibility of using the founder’s technology in various methods and markets. A strong focus will be placed on validating the competitive differentiation and protectability of the proposed technology, as well as the technical expertise and capability the founding team brings to the proposed new company.
Step III: Business Review
If the Technical Review and assessment are favorable, a Business Review is initiated. As part of the Business Review, VA's management will schedule a presentation by the founding team of the proposed company to a selected panel of industry and business experts such as venture capitalists, business analysts, CPAs, faculty and seasoned entrepreneurs. The purpose of this review is to ascertain the viability of the company as a profitable business, and the commitment by the founders to its success.
Generally, VA's admission process can range from a few weeks to a few months depending on the following factors: