October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

The Community of Action: A Consortium of University-affiliated Gap Funding and Accelerator Programs

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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

Innovations come at a high cost and are often derailed momentarily by numerous challenges. Filling the gap between great ideas and the final product or service is a complex endeavor for any innovator. University technology and startups face wider and deeper gaps when seeking capital, talent, and connections to support its development and commercialization. To address this challenge, many universities have established translational research, proof of concept, startup, and venture gap funding programs and accelerators over the past decade.

The Community of Action has been built on over a decade of support through the Mind the Gap initiative. This new community of practice is meant to assist with university-affiliated gap funding and accelerator programs.

The Community of Action, founded by a group of 25 universities,  seeks to bring together current and aspiring program managers interested in gap funding, accelerators, and other university innovation and entrepreneurship programs. These stakeholders include research institutions, government agencies, early-stage investors, high-tech companies, and service providers. These players are brought together through the promise of knowledge exchange and direct partnerships.

Here are the action areas that the Community of Action Group seek to address:

Developing and Sharing Best Practices

By joining the Community of Action Group, you will get unlimited access to best practices, tactics, insights, and benchmarking to enhance stakeholder development and program improvement. Through web-workshops and live discussion  events focused on emerging topics, university-affiliated innovations can get the support they need to thrive.

Members get access to useful resources and reports that focus on innovation funding, technology transfer, open innovation, and university-industry relations, making this a win-win situation for all those involved.

In addition to all future reports and events, members currently have access to a web toolkit with over 700 pages and 20 hours of tactics, benchmarks, analysis and workshop recordings.

Advocating for University Gap Funds/Funding

The Community Action Group aims to increase public/private awareness of the early stage innovation capital and support gap and the ways in which university gap funds and accelerators are addressing this challenge.

Through this outreach, partnerships are targeted with government agencies, corporations, and early-stage investors to finance translational research, pre/seed-stage gap funds, University start-ups and University proof of concepts that are meant to assist in technology transfer and commercialization of the technologies.

Currently the COA website, shares over 4,000 stories of gap funding and accelerator activity from around the world. The group also hosts physical, CoVergence events to bring together university programs, investors and corporations.

Connecting University Gap Funds/Funding with Investors and Companies

Perhaps the most difficult task for universities is sourcing capital, commercialization partnerships, and talents to support their translational research, startups, and proof of concept projects. This is where the Community of Action Group will be critical as it aims to connect University gap funds with willing investors through knowledge exchange and relationship building.

The Community of Action is collecting and reporting projects and startups in need of commercial and investment support, to grow a network of mentors, investors, research partners, and corporate partnership.

About Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap is a decade old trusted resource for university translational research, startup, proof of concept, and venture gap funding required by universities, industries, and investors. It’s the first global community-of-practice/accelerator that supports the current and aspiring startup gap fund programs, proof of concept, and research institution translational research. To-date, the program has assisted over 300 universities and affiliated programs.

About Innovosource

Innovosource is an awareness firm that connects universities, industries, and investors through knowledge exchange and relationship building. The firm develops reports and events around emerging topics of interest, like gap funding and accelerators, and offers technology scouting and asset development services to corporations and investment groups.



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