Events & Opportunities


A collection of upcoming events and opportunities, from both VentureWell and the innovation & entrepreneurship community.


From VentureWell


Blueprint MedTech

Blueprint MedTech, with stylized stylized image of human profileThrough the National Institutes of Health’s Blueprint MedTech program, pre-proposals are now open to academic and industry applicants who are developing emerging preventative, therapeutic, or diagnostic medical devices focused on disorders of the nervous system. Awards include up to $500,000 to help support development toward commercialization and mentorship from experienced medtech commercialization experts. Innovators who have been traditionally underrepresented in the neurotech space are especially encouraged to apply. Pre-proposals are due no later than February 29. Learn more and apply.



OPEN 2024

OPEN, March 18-20, 2023, San Diego, Hyatt Regency La Jolla; OPEN logoJoin us March 18-20, 2024 in beautiful and sunny San Diego, California, for OPEN! This can’t-miss event is the premier innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) experience for higher education faculty, staff, administrators, researchers, and leaders in the STEM fields. Our welcoming and inclusive community will share the latest trends in I&E research and best practices, while leaving ample time for you to network with inclusive innovation and sustainability changemakers from across the nation. Register now!




 Aspire Climatetech 2024

ASPIRE Climatetech; logos and photo of person with climate technologyAre you part of a climatetech startup preparing for investment and strategic partnerships? Apply by April 15 to Aspire Climatetech, our in-depth five-week program where your startup could spend one-to-one time with investors, vet your fundraising strategy, stress-test your company with mock boardroom conversations, and network with fellow founders. This program is offered in partnership with Greentown Labs, Cooley LLP, and The Lemelson Foundation. Learn more.




DEBUT Challenge

Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) Challenge; Up to $160,000 in Prizes, Applications Due May 31In the nation’s leading biomedical engineering competition for undergraduate teams, students can win up to $20,000 for their healthcare innovations! Applications are now being accepted for the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) Challenge, from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and VentureWell. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2024. Learn more.




Deshpande Symposium 2024

13th Annual Deshpande Symposium; logos for Deshpande Foundation, UMass Lowell, University of Maryland, VentureWell, and photo of venueJoin us June 12-14, 2024 in College Park, Maryland for the 13th Annual Deshpande Symposium! If you are a higher education innovation and entrepreneurship catalyst, we invite you to the University of Maryland for a time of meaningful conversations, forging new connections, and celebrating the achievements of our vibrant community this summer. Award nominations and Early Bird registration are now open! Learn more.



From the I&E Community

Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market Course

Developed in collaboration with the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard and the University of California San Diego, this self-paced, introductory course is being offered free on the edX platform. Enroll today to learn how entrepreneurs match technology with customer needs and bring cutting-edge innovations to market. The course will run over five weeks, with the option to pursue a verified certificate. Learn more.

ACRE @ Urban Future Lab 

Rapidly scale and transform your startup into a vehicle for solving the world’s greatest challenge, climate change. ACRE provides unmatched access to strategic advisement, introductions to industry stakeholders, marketing and branding support, investor networks, and access to a community of like-minded founders solving real challenges in energy, water, waste, infrastructure, transportation, and resiliency. Learn more and apply.

Dorm Room Fund

Dorm Room Fund (DRF) is a student-run venture fund, backed by First Round Capital, that supports college students and recent graduates looking to grow their startups. Selected teams receive a $20,000 investment, plus access to mentors, resources, and the DRF community. At least one team member must be an undergraduate or graduate student to be eligible for the program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Hosted by the National Science Foundation, the SBIR program aims to support scientific discoveries and technological innovation that is moving from the lab to the market. The program provides non-dilutive funding and entrepreneurial support at the earliest stages of company development. Consider applying if your discovery can be transformed into an innovation with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. Applications are accepted throughout several seasonal cycles. Learn more.

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