Resources for Innovators

thinking like an entrepreneur: what does that mean?

Learn what it means to be an entrepreneur, explore the characteristics of entrepreneurial thinkers, and see examples of how entrepreneurial thinking can help someone with an idea turn their product into a reality.

thinking like an entrepreneur: which path is right for you?

We’ll walk through some different paths to commercialization. These options fall into three categories: new venture creation, partnership, and licensing.

thinking like an entrepreneur: why should customers care?

Explore the importance of considering customer needs during the design process. You’ll learn how to identify the customer need, describe the product benefit customers are looking for, and identify the product features your innovation should have to deliver that benefit.

case study: dayone response

Our case study, From Idea to Impact: DayOne Response, offers a deep dive into one innovator’s journey. It highlights the nuanced experience of an early-stage innovator and her startup, and takes a retrospective look at the milestones that were accomplished along the way. It illustrates how science and technology innovation can organically lead to a startup, ultimately creating measurable impact on solving important problems. We interview the innovator, founder Tricia Compas-Markman, to detail the chapters of her trajectory.

8 points to help startups write a winning grant application

Grant support is critical to help early-stage science and tech innovators achieve early proof of concept for their ideas. However, the number of startups applying for grants continues to grow each year. If you’re planning to apply for a grant, here are eight tips to ensure that your application stands out from the competition.

5 ways student entrepreneurs can maximize support resources

We outline how student entrepreneurs can maximize resources and opportunities both on campus and in the broader innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) ecosystem and share insights to help early-stage innovators make the most of the I&E resources available to them.

leveraging mentorship opportunities: practical ways innovators can build a lasting support network

A critical component of innovator and entrepreneurship programs is mentorship sessions with thought leaders in scaling, technical, and clinical issues; fundraising; and marketing. But both innovators and mentors can agree: The initial mentorship meeting is just a conversation starter—innovators benefit most from expert guidance and advice through a long-term connection with mentors.

navigating the rules and risks of startup crowdfunding

There are three types of crowdfunding: rewards, debt, and equity—read more to understand the crucial distinctions between each.

grant money and contracts: which is right for your venture?

Navigating the often bewildering landscape of grants and contracts isn’t easy—hear more from Beth Kolko, a professor and a medical device innovator, who shares her singular perspective into what each type of funding can offer a venture, and how innovators can best leverage those benefits.

3 tips for finding the right financial partner

It’s wise for founders to explore funding avenues that align with business goals as well as personal and professional values. Regardless of the path you take, it’s important to think strategically when seeking the right long-term financial partner. An ideal partner comes with strong connections, relevant experience, and valuable advice—not just financial support. Here are some important tips to consider before starting fundraising efforts.

9 steps to formulating a successful exit strategy

Most startups are intensely focused on getting their product to market and solving their customer’s problems. The idea of selling the company isn’t always top of the entrepreneur’s mind. Yet startups often can’t raise money from outside investors without an exit strategy. Here we highlight the most common exits and identified some important steps to take when creating an exit strategy.

tools for design and sustainability

For many companies, being environmentally responsible is also good business. By using a mindset of “inventing green,” you can: save material costs with more efficient production methods; reduce liability risks associated with the manufacture or disposal of toxic materials; and meet customer demand for products that are safer for their families or less energy-intensive to use. This site is for you: designers, inventors, and startup founders who are curious about your options and are seeking practical advice for taking action. The following tools allow you to jump into whichever topic you like. Each topic has content for you to read or watch, exercises for you to apply what you have learned, and examples for you to reference.

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