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Gap funding programs have a much broader impact than financial return alone, and are more appropriately assessed on their ability to improve the innovation capability and landscape surrounding research institutions and affiliated stakeholders.

In fact, most of their immediate and near-term returns are better represented in their ability to catalyze the commercialization process, to build support communities that can assist in the development of funded projects, and to convert those projects into commercial entities that create jobs and enrich local and regional economies; but, perhaps the most exciting observation is that gap funding programs are playing a direct role in attracting outside capital and expertise.

In this session, we will suggest a structure for measuring gap funding impact, both financial and programmatic, that gap fund programs and managers can use to better demonstrate the impact of their program. These measures align gap funding practices with the mission of the research university, and other public and private sources of early stage capital, while demonstrating how the practice supports innovation and commercialization on a larger scale, including:

  • Catalyzing the Commercialization Process
  • Growing a Community of Innovation
  • Building Businesses and Creating Jobs
  • Attracting Capital and Expertise
  • Returning Capital to the Gap Funding Program

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