October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

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Five UND students advance in startup funding, support program 

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Last month, in a celebration of entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking, the University of North Dakota hosted a pitch event at the Memorial Union. Five students walked away with the promise of mentorship, resources and up to $10,000 each to help them turn their startup ideas from proposals to reality.

The event was part of Runway, a program jointly offered by the UND Center for Innovation and Nistler College of Business & Public Administration. The five students were among eight who presented their potential business ideas at the Dec. 5 event.

All eight had previously taken part in Phase One of the program, which was focused on discovering the best market fit for each student’s innovative idea.

During Phase One, the students answered some of the many questions that innovators and entrepreneurs face. Each student developed a business model, interviewed potential customers and took other steps to help boost the odds of their startup’s success.

The Memorial Union event used panels of reviewers to listen to pitches and help determine which students would advance to Phase Two.

A flagship initiative by UND, Runway is designed to provide a launching pad for student startups, offering resources, mentorship, and funding. The program is led by Sona Lesmeister and Anthony Maher, both of whom work as entrepreneurial coaches at the Center for Innovation.

Runway receives support from the Start-up Fund of the Center for Innovation and Nistler College of Business & Public Administration. As noted above, it is a comprehensive, two-phase initiative that integrates start-up education, mentorship from staff and faculty and networking opportunities with peers and industry experts, and also provides mini-grant funding of up to $10,000 to assist UND student and alumni ventures.

Available throughout the UND academic year and during the summer, Runway is open to all UND students, faculty, staff and alumni.


Full story: Five UND students advance in startup funding, support program – UND Today

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