Case Cortese (Alumni)

Director, Innovation, New Venture, Entrepreneurship

California Institute of Technology

Elias Caro (Foundation)

VP, Technology Development

Wallace H. Coulter Foundation

Erika Smith (Foundation) 

Director, Blavatnik Fund for Innovation 

 Yale University

Jacob Johnson 

Founder, innovosource


Donations, endowments, and direct investments from alumni, private foundations, and other stakeholders of the research institution into supporting gap funding programs, is the largest and growing source of proof of concept and startup funding programs. These friends of the university contribute over 50¢ on every dollar into the formation of these funds.

Proof of concept and startup gap funding programs embody the intersection between research institution innovation, societal benefit, and philanthropy. They offer a natural link to engage alumni, foundations, corporations, and friends of the universities.

These funds and programs require coordination between the Tech Commercialization Offices, Corporate & Foundation Relations , Development Offices, and Alumni Offices and are a great example of the emerging trend of campus-wide collaboration in innovation partnership and commercialization priorities. 

Join us as we take a multi-perspective approach to how groups are best structuring their programs for philanthropic partnerships as a major source for innovation funding and support.


Or better yet, sign your entire organization up for the full 10 event summit at a deep discount

The Mind the Gap Web Summit is a practitioner-driven series for those interested in university-affiliated proof of concept and startup gap funding. Through interactive web-based exchanges and associated tools, we are offering this resource for new/tenured fund managers and stakeholders.

All events that have past have been fully recorded and archived for your use.

September 14th, 2016: Create and Manage a Proof of Concept Gap Fund (recording available) 

November 16th, 2016: Create and Manage a Startup Investment Gap Fund (recording available)

January 18th, 2017: Turn “Friends of the University” into Gap Fund Investors (recording available)

February 22nd, 2017: Secure and Sustain Gap Funding Support from Your State and Region

April 19th, 2017: Attract External Investors to Gap Funded POC Projects and Startups

June 7th, 2017: Capture and Report Results that Matter to Stakeholders

+ Included with Full Summit: Fund/Program Manager Meetings for Sharing, Networking, and Discussion

innovosource | 2016