A new subset of the Chancellor’s Fund will provide financial support for researchers at the University of Arkansas working toward launching startup companies. The Gap Fund will distribute up to $400,000 each year.
Teams made up of faculty, graduate students and post doctoral candidates may apply for the Gap Fund after completing the National Science Foundation’s seven-week National I-Corps training program, which awards $50,000 to accepted teams.
Once the National I-Corps program is complete, teams may apply to the Gap Fund for three pools of funding:
- Up to $30,000 for prototype development, advancement and testing
- Up to $35,000 for a post-doctoral fellowship in commercialization, after which the team must submit at SBIR or STTR proposal
- Up to $35,000 for a second phase of the post-doctoral fellowship while awaiting response on the SBIR or STTR proposal
Applications to the Gap Fund will be accepted from teams on a rolling basis.
“We are cultivating an entrepreneurial environment that empowers faculty-led teams as they launch startup companies,” said Stacy Leeds, vice chancellor for economic development. “The funding is available at critical times in the process as new technologies are being deployed. It’s a win-win for Arkansas.”
Teams that need additional preparation before applying to the National I-Corps program can attend the two-week Regional I-Corps training at the University of Arkansas this summer. Teams that participate in the Regional I-Corps program receive support for market validation activities, satisfying the requirement that National I-Corps applicants must be past recipients of NSF funding. The application period for the regional program opens on Feb. 15.
The Chancellor’s Fund now has three subsets:
- The Innovation and Collaboration Fund
- The Commercialization Fund
- The Gap Fund.
Information for all of the funds can be found at chancellorsfund.uark.edu.
The Commercialization and Gap Funds are funded by the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. The Innovation and Collaboration Fund is substantially supported by an annual transfer of funds from the Athletics Department.