Venture Catalyst Program

Understanding the
Venture Catalyst Program

The Venture Catalyst Program (VCP), managed by Connecticut Innovations (CI), is designed to support the launch of new startup ventures from university systems. The program can also support existing startups that have yet to raise venture financing and could benefit from VCP team support. The program facilitates and accelerates the process of progressing from the conception of an idea to the launching of a university-based venture.

Program Objectives

Catalyze venture creation:
Encourage new and existing faculty/researcher entrepreneurs to focus on commercializing their ideas with the support of VCP teams composed of experienced venture advisors and student fellows.



Accelerate venture process:
Provide strategic guidance to help founders navigate the complexities and nuances of progressing from idea to commercial venture.



Support decision-making:
Allocate resources to assist with assessments, insights and recommendations to support decisions at critical inflection points as ventures progress (i.e., go/no-go decisions and company formation activities).



Position for investment:
Position for the venture’s first capital investment, including crafting elements of an investible business plan, positioning the venture as an investible opportunity (i.e., develop pitch deck) and initiating fundraising activities.

The Venture Catalyst Program

Venture Development Process

The VCP teams will receive hands-on training. Specific outputs from the program may include:

  • Customer Discovery and Market Canvasing
  • Financial and Revenue Model Creation
  • Business and Strategic Plan Development
  • Intellectual Property Canvasing
  • Pitch Deck Creation

For teams that meet certain criteria, there will also be access to Connecticut Innovations’ venture programs:


The Proof-of-Concept Fund looks to invest in technology companies based in Connecticut that are at early stages of development and for which a match of funds may not be required. The fund makes investments of $50–100k per company. Preference will be given to information technology, advanced manufacturing, engineering and bioscience/biotech companies.


Pre-seed funding is also available for those startups that are able to raise a larger round with matching funds. Pre-seed investments can be up to $150k and do require a match.


Still have questions about the Venture Catalyst Program (VCP)? Click here to access some frequently asked questions.

Venture Catalyst Program Contact Form

Access form by clicking here.

Contact Information

Please reach out to Tamyra Davis (, investment specialist at Connecticut Innovations, if you have any questions.