- Will include the creation of university-based teams composed of faculty, staff, students and advisors, which will assess market potential and position ventures for their first capital investment.
- CI will provide Venture Catalyst Program teams with access to financial support for student members, advisors to determine startup viability and, for those ventures that demonstrate readiness, investment dollars from CI’s Proof-of-Concept Initiative or Pre-Seed Funding.
- The program can also support existing startups that have yet to raise venture financing and could benefit from VCP team support.
Venture Catalyst Program
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.
Encourage new and existing faculty/researcher entrepreneurs to focus on commercializing their ideas with the support of venture teams composed of experienced venture advisors and student fellows.
Engage with students and staff to participate as fellows in the venture teams that will work to develop the elements of an investible business plan.
Incorporate subject matter experts and entrepreneurs as venture advisors to provide strategic guidance for VCP teams as they assess the viability of the venture.
Arrive at a go/no-go decision point as to whether the team should move forward with company formation activities.
Position the venture as an investible opportunity (i.e., develop pitch deck), apply for funding and secure the first investment capital.
Integrate with and support existing university entrepreneurship programs to select and accelerate new ventures to their first round of institutional funding.
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.