October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Unlock Innovation Through Industry-University Gap Fund and Accelerator Program (GAP) Partnerships

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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

Innovation is a continuous journey, and forward-thinking companies understand the importance of seeking fresh perspectives and alternative approaches to stay ahead of the competition. By partnering with research universities and startups, they can tap into a wealth of knowledge and capabilities that can help them achieve their goals while advancing commercial interests. Specialized programs like university-managed gap funds and accelerator programs (GAP) are a powerful avenue to enable successful university-industry collaborations.

The Role of Gap Fund and Accelerator Programs

GAP initiatives are a vital resource in supporting university technologies and startups. These proof-of-concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture fund programs offer a unique combination of capital, mentorship, programming, space, and talent. By providing support and de-risking promising technologies and startups, GAP programs pave the way for potential collaborations with industry partners.

Lowering Barriers, Amplifying Opportunities

A key objective of GAP initiatives is to mitigate the real or perceived risk associated with university technologies and startups, thus encouraging commercial partnerships and external investments. From its Mind the Gap Report, innovosource found the commercialization rate of graduated GAP projects to be 35% and, on average, programs attract nearly $22 for every $1 GAP funding. This proves that these programs not only nurture commercially-interesting opportunities, but progress them to a point where industry and other partners will engage and invest.

The Evolution of Industry-University Collaboration

Over the past two decades, GAP programs have transitioned from being optional to essential components of university commercialization and industrial partnerships strategies.

“These GAP initiatives propel nascent opportunities forward, while catalyzing innovation ecosystem development and fostering industrial partnerships,” Jacob Johnson, innovosource’s founder says. “They also attract and surround emerging technologies and startups with capital, talent, and other innovation support for needed success.”

Forging Long-Term Collaborations

In recent years, corporations have increasingly embraced formal partnerships with universities through technology and startup GAP initiatives. These collaborations, whether organic or directed, foster enduring relationships that yield sustained innovation, talent development, and mutual benefits. By nurturing these connections, both academia and industry can adapt to market trends and remain at the forefront of technological advancements.


Join the Conversation on June 20th

Join us at the upcoming virtual conference on June 20 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET US to explore the endless possibilities of industry-university collaboration and take your organization to new heights. Learn more and register here.

This  brings together leaders from two academic pioneers – Columbia University and University of Michigan School of Medicine – to discuss how they’ve achieved remarkable success in industry-university partnering for GAP programming. You’ll discover the strategies and best practices they employed to create mutually beneficial partnerships and to advance academic and commercial interests.

Together, let’s bridge the gap by opening up new avenues to collaboration between universities and their industry partners. Learn more and register here.

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