When a funding round is announced, there is a three-step application process that begins with an online questionnaire where applicants explain their business concept.
An investment committee comprised of individuals from both inside and outside the University will choose which applicants will move to the second round and submit a more detailed business case for proof-of-concept funding.
A subset of those applicants will be invited to make in-person pitches to the investment committee. Investment funds are distributed after the selected projects are announced and investment contracts have been signed.
What is the InNEVenture Fund?
The InNEVenture Fund is a source of proof-of-concept funding that has been established to help University of Nevada, Reno faculty, students, staff and recent graduates determine if their technologies and business ideas have commercialization potential. The Fund was created to help bridge the funding gap between concept validation and obtaining seed funding for a new venture.
Who Can Apply?
The InNEVenture Fund currently operates on an annual funding cycle, with a call for applications at the beginning of each Fall semester. Applications will not be accepted outside of the funding cycle. The call for applications is open to entrepreneurial efforts across all of the University’s colleges and schools, and can include faculty, staff, students and recent graduates. Teams that represent diversity or a multidisciplinary approach are especially encouraged to apply.
Where Does the Investment Come From?
Supported by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the State of Nevada Knowledge Fund, the InNEVenture Fund totals $100,000 and is poised to make investments of varying sizes up to that amount. These investments are anticipated to contribute to the successful formation of businesses by supporting aspects such as oversight, management, market research, development of first-runs or prototypes and/or market testing.
This is about encouraging commercialization, removing the obstacle of funding and providing support that leads to a successful product, service or business.”
—Mridul Gautam, NVRIC president and University of Nevada, Reno vice president for research and innovation
The criteria for InNEVenture Fund consideration include:
- The company or potential company supports the University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- The applicant(s) represent potential startup companies created by faculty, staff, students and recent graduates. Preference is given to potential companies seeking to utilize University-owned technologies that are or will be licensed from the University.
- The applicant(s) articulate a vision, while also remaining open to the necessary overlay of management involvement and mentorship that will contribute to success.
- The proposed product or service fills a gap in the market and has potential for growth.
- The potential for intellectual property is strong.
- Preference given to applicant(s) representing diversity, inclusion, and a multidisciplinary approach.
The InNEVenture Fund, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nevada Research and Innovation Corporation created to promote research, discovery, innovation and commercialization at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The InNEVenture Fund and NVRIC back the University’s emerging ecosystem by supporting research, faculty competitiveness, commercialization and entrepreneurialism.