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February 14, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News | University of Miami alum establishes program to help student entrepreneurs

Harvard University announces initiative to provide gap funding for Harvard innovations focused on climate and sustainability to develop towards start-up formation.

From the University of Cincinnati:

In what was described as “a significant step toward advancing our region’s burgeoning start-up ecosystem,” the University of Cincinnati 1819 Innovation Hub has announced that Main Street Ventures (MSV) has moved into its building.

A nonprofit capital deployment powerhouse for early stage technology, retail and product manufacturing companies, MSV focuses on providing capital support to empower good ideas, create a diverse and inclusive start-up community, attract and retain qualified talent, and build resilient businesses with long-term viability. Since 2018, Main Street Ventures has distributed more than $3.5 million to more than 160 companies across the Greater Cincinnati region. More than 75 percent of these companies are led by underrepresented founders.

The 1819 Innovation Hub is described as “the nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District®” and “a one-stop destination where industry meets University of Cincinnati talent and resources.” It is housed in a repurposed and reinvigorated former Sears, Roebuck & Co. building.

MSV joins a lineup of global powerhouses inside the 1819 Innovation Hub, including Procter & Gamble Co. Kroger Co., Fifth Third Bank, and Western & Southern Financial Group.

From the University of Miami:

The University’s ability to launch student-created concepts in the marketplace has received a significant boost with a $5 million pledge from alumnus Angel Alvarez, Founder and Chairman of ABB OPTICAL, and his family to establish the University Student Start-up Accelerator (USTAAR).

According to the announcement, a portion of the Alvarez family’s gift will provide seed funding to 20 student-led teams each year for the duration of the commitment. These grants, awarded through a competitive process, will enable the teams to advance their ideas from concept to prototype, minimum viable product (MVP), and feasibility testing.

From there, an annual “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition will yield five finalists to receive further funding to move their MVPs into products, build their intellectual property, refine their business plans, and receive guidance on preparing presentations to investors. The goal is for these five teams to progress to start-ups and reach the market within three years of initiation.

From Miami University of Ohio:

A collaboration among Miami University, Butler Tech, the Butler County Board of Commissioners, and the City of Hamilton will result in the creation of a new advanced manufacturing hub in Butler County. It’s a response to the current and predicted future workforce and applied research needs of Butler County and Southwest Ohio manufacturers

Under the agreement, Miami University will acquire the Vora Technology Park to house the new hub, subject to the approval of Ohio’s Controlling Board. Butler Tech, which will sign a 40-year lease on the space, has secured $8 million in federal ARPA funds from the Butler County Board of Commissioners to establish the hub. Additionally, the City of Hamilton has brought forward $2.5 million for this effort. Hub partners continue to seek additional federal, state, and corporate grants to finance this ongoing project.

The hub is expected to launch in the fall of 2025. Butler Tech and Miami University will initially occupy 70,000-square-feet each, with room to grow in the 300,000-square-foot facility. The facility also provides space for joint Butler Tech and Miami University programming, as well as additional space for regional manufacturers to co-locate onsite.

As conceived, the hub will support a variety of industry partners, including those in automation, computer and networking systems, electrical, mechanical, mechatronics, robotics, photonics and sensing, machine learning, welding, and smart manufacturing connecting to the burgeoning technology of artificial intelligence. Complementing their advanced technology and engineering skills, students will develop business savvy, entrepreneurial imagination, and a critical thinking mindset relevant to the smart manufacturing business.

Click here to learn more.

From Harvard University:

Co-sponsored by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development and the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard, a new initiative named the Climate and Sustainability Translational Fund will provide essential gap funding for Harvard innovations focused on climate and sustainability to develop towards start-up formation.

In addition to funding, awardees will benefit from mentoring and guidance towards start-up formation, creating the next generation of solutions to ensure a cleaner and healthier future. The Climate and Sustainability Translational Fund will provide principal investigators employed by Harvard with:

  • Financial support of up to $100,000 per project to fuel translational research and the development of technologies toward start-up formation;
  • Commercial expertise to help faculty investigators successfully navigate the transition of their technologies from the academic lab to commercial impact; and
  • Pathways to partnership, helping generate licensing opportunities, facilitate start-up formation and investment, and realizing other commercialization avenues for novel technologies.

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