Startup Support

The Venture Center team works with University researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors to provide services to help establish new companies.

Startup Workshops

The Venture Center hosts regular, free workshops for UMN faculty, graduate students, and post-docs considering a startup based on inventions emerging from their research. Programs focus on a relevant topic and provide the opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, business advisors, and Venture Center staff—all with real-world experience turning an invention into a successful new company.


Check the events page for a listing of current startup workshops or watch past webinars.

Discovery Launchpad

The Discovery Launchpad is a startup incubator and program of formal coaching for UMN researchers interested in forming a startup company to commercialize new technology. Experienced advisors help researchers move through the startup process using a three phase approach. Participants develop business and marketing plans, learn about legal and regulatory aspects of running a business, and have access to no-cost shared office space.


Discovery Capital

There are many grant funding programs available to UMN innovators and the Venture Center will refer innovators to the programs. In addition, the University has one equity-based investment program called Discovery Capital.

Contact us at to apply.

SBIR/STTR Funding & Determining Intellectual Property (IP)

SBIR and STTR are federally funded programs that offer opportunities for small businesses to partner with research institutions like the U of M. Learn more about SBIR and STTR Funding.

Conflict of Interest

In many cases our inventing faculty will continue to do research that could benefit a company that they are working with to commercialize an invention that came out of their lab. The Venture Center will work with the faculty researcher(s) and help them address any potential conflict of interest. This typically involves engaging the UMN conflict of interest group and helping all those involved understand the situation and what can be done to manage the conflict.

Royalty Income

All income (whether from royalty or equity) is distributed according to Regent’s policy.


Contact to schedule an appointment and learn more.