October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Coming Soon

Innovation and Venture Philanthropy for Research Institution Leaders

Virtual | August 23, 2023 (2:30-5:30 PM ET)

Unite research institution leaders responsible innovation funding, commercialization, and philanthropy for this exciting discussion. Gain insights, connections, and successful fundraising strategies to engage your donors, alumni, and friends of the university in your innovation and startup funding and support programming.

Unleash Innovation
and Drive
Philanthropy on Campus


Gap Funding and Accelerator Programs (GAPplay a crucial role in supporting the commercialization of university research and startups and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within academic institutions. These translational research, proof of concept, startup, and venture fund programs combine capital with much needed mentorship, space, and corporate and investment partners.

Alumni, foundations, and others back the creation and success of these GAP programs through direct donations, and endowments. It is a means to simultaneously spur innovative technologies and startups that excite donors and to stay engaged with the campuses that they love.

Given this growing interest among alumni and friends of research institutions to channel their donations towards  innovation, startup, and venture GAP funds, programming and services, it is crucial for GAP/commercialization groups to work hand in hand with the development/advancement groups. Our event provides a unique opportunity for campuses to invite key representatives from each group to participate.

Throughout the event, we have curated a diverse range of content including thought-provoking panels and insightful case studies. Learn from industry experts who have achieved remarkable success in raising funds for innovative projects. Discover the strategies and best practices they employed to secure substantial financial support.

By attending this event, you will gain valuable insights into the intersection of innovation, venture philanthropy, and research institutions. Network with like-minded professionals, exchange ideas, and explore potential partnerships that can fuel the growth of your institution’s innovation ecosystem.

Don’t miss out on this exceptional gathering that bridges the gap between technology commercialization and philanthropic endeavors. Join us at the “Innovation and Venture Philanthropy for Research Institutions” event and take your institution’s innovation initiatives to new heights.

What to Expect


Content geared towards mutual understanding of both the GAP program and potential donor development


Hear from campuses successful in raising philanthropic support for GAP and other innovation programming


Conversation with the larger group at the event leads to action and collaboration on campuses

Did You Know...?

According to our recent Mind the Gap 2022 Report, 70% of funding for GAP funds and innovation programming comes from the institution’s own resources, including a large portion from philanthropic sources.


2:30-3:00 PM ET


Level set review of gap fund and accelerator programs from the Mind the Gap 2022 Report. Focus on the importance of philanthropy and opportunity of involving alumni, donors, and foundations in these GAP programs.

3:00-5:30 PM ET


Andrea Morris

Chief Development Officer

John Wilson

CEO, Innovate Calgary


Matt Hutter

AVP, Development

Robin Rasor

AVP, Translation + Commercialization


Katie Acuff

AVP for Advancement

Jacob Johnson

CEO, innovosource (Consultant)

Who is this program for?

This event is tailored for professionals in technology commercialization, gap funding/accelerator programs, and foundation/development/advancement offices within research institutions. It is also relevant for industry experts, donors, and supporters interested in the intersection of innovation and philanthropy. Attendees will gain insights, networking opportunities, and exposure to successful fundraising strategies and case studies. Join us to connect, collaborate, and contribute to the transformative power of innovation in research institutions.

AUGUST 23, 2023


Note: GAP COA member institutions receive a complimentary registration. To learn more about membership,
visit group page here. Members, please email us at connect@innovosource.com for your complimentary registration


11:-11:45 AM ET

Welcome/Review of GAP and Accelerator Programs Process and Structure

11:45 - 12:30 PM

Need-to-Know Gap Fund/Accelerator Program Discussion Panels

Leaders of proof of concept, startup, and venture university gap funds/accelerator programs will take the stage to moderate an all-participant open discussion on models, approaches, and common challenges.

Prior to the event participants can provide a formatted model review of their processes, structures, impact, and lessons-learned. These will be shared through the conference website

Full agenda coming

Friday, October 20

Corporate Innovation

Corporate Innovation and Venture teams are beginning to look past traditional partnership models (research projects, marketed licenses, etc.) to more alignment with existing programs in the university commercialization process, like gap fund and accelerator programs. The presenters/panelists will share their historical approaches, areas of interest, and opportunities for syncing with university technologies and startups.   

Venture Capital + Angel

Venture and angel models have evolved in recent years in ways that have opened up avenues for earlier stage investment and collaboration. Learn about emerging valuation tactics, fundraising strategies, and how these sources of investment, experience, and relationships can tie into your gap fund/accelerator process and goals.

Federal Accelerators

Federal agencies have stepped up their support of research institution technologies and startups through dedicated accelerator programs. Hear from federal program leaders on how to leverage and partner with these programs to advance GAP priorities.

Full agenda coming


Rice-Eccles Stadium Scholarship Club

451 1400 E
Salt Lake City, UT

Tulane University

John Doe

Software Engineer

John Doe

Software Engineer