Entrepreneurship Support (EPIC)
We have developed a complete platform to validate and accelerate the transformation of ideas and inventions into products or services for the market place. Our Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept and Innovation Center (EPIC) delivers this integrated commercialization approach consisting of experiential entrepreneurial education, individualized mentorship by seasoned entrepreneurs and access to capital.
We provide innovators and technology entrepreneurs with the practical tools needed to understand the process of technology commercialization and how to transition from idea validation through to venture/product launch.
Our proof of concept methodology is an effective method to de-risk new products and ventures. Innovators work side by side with a seasoned technology executive in identifying the key market and technical validation milestones needed to de-risk their technology for the marketplace.
Winter 2021 Cohort
Classes on Tuesdays from 6:00-8:30pm on Zoom:
January 19, 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2
Deadline to apply: January 10, 2021
Proof of Concept Grants
Upcoming Call: Opens Fall 2020
In these times of uncertainty, we know how important it is to have access to resources. OTP is actively engaged in identifying and connecting researchers and entrepreneurs to the growing number of resources that are becoming available. We will keep updating this on a regular basis, so continue to check our website for more resources!
The EPIC Process
EPIC provides a complete path to market platform for the region’s innovators assisting them with market validation, technical feasibility demonstration, resources for company formation, and access to capital. Teams and companies gain access to increasingly intensive support delivered in a phased approach, starting with education and individualized mentorship leading to intensive business acceleration, access to proof of concept funding and raising of capital.
Programs + Services
We provide a suite of services to support entrepreneurs and innovators at any stage; from concept to launching and growing your company.
The education program of EPIC gives UCR and community innovators the training to validate their ideas, identify and reach customers, and build a sustainable company using two core components: seminars and multi-session workshops.
Seminars are offered monthly on the UCR campus or community venues through EPIC SBDC. Topics include intellectual property, how to raise funds, building a startup team, working with industrial partners, company formation, and customer discovery and are selected to support the current needs of UCR and community entrepreneurs.
UCR teams of faculty, graduate and post-doctoral researchers can apply for proof of concept grants ($25K - $50K) to develop functional prototypes and relevant data to attract market interest. Teams are selected by external panels of experts and business executives from the region. Selected teams are assigned an EIR to help them develop mutually agreed milestones. EPIC staff and EIRs also assist with access to experienced management teams, identification of external advisors, company structure and incorporation. Teams that attend UCR's I-Corps program can also apply for the NSF I-Corps National program ($50,000) to further validate their idea through an intensive customer discovery.
Working closely with the Technology Commercialization and Corporate Sponsored Research teams, EPIC helps UCR innovators license their technology, partner through sponsored research, or launch their startup. Community innovators can receive support to launch or scale their tech startup through EPIC SBDC.
ACCESS TO CAPITAL AND INCUBATION
Startups can continue to develop their companies at ExCITE or the Life Science incubators, which provides the company with the infrastructure, structured mentorship, and access to EPIC's entrepreneurial ecosystem through key partnerships in the region. Companies also have access to capital through the Highlander Fund and other partner VCs and SBIR/STTR support through the SBIR/STTR Resource Center.
EPIC recruits Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (“EIRs”) and mentors from regional volunteer subject matter experts and successful business executives to support all phases of the EPIC program. Each EIR is assigned early on to entrepreneurial teams to help qualify the commercialization potential of their invention or idea, set milestones for progress, and guide teams through the EPIC process. Leveraging the expertise of the diverse, capable pool of EIRs, teams receive individualized support to achieve their milestones.
We provide funding opportunities to validate your technology and bring it to commercialization.
CONCEPT VALIDATION THROUGH CUSTOMER DISCOVERY
If you have an innovative idea or techology and want to increase the chances of successful commercialization the NSF I-Corps Workshop is for you.
- Dedicated Mentorship: Receive 1:1 mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs who will guide you through the Lean Launchpad methodology to see if your idea has market potential.
- Transferable Business skills: Sharpen presentation skills, learn basic business concepts and how to effectively present your idea or technology to non-technical audiences.
- Expanded Network: Connect with fellow innovators, industry experts, and potential customers, partners, investors, and stakeholders to validate your idea or technology through interviews.
- Access to Funding: Receive up to $3,000 to interview customers. Upon completion, qualify for $50,000 in additional funding from the NSF and secure special preference for Proof of Concept grant funding of up to $35,000 through the Office of Technology Partnerships.
INTENSIVE CONCEPT VALIDATION THROUGH CUSTOMER DISCOVERY
If you have completed the UCR NSF I-Corps workshops or are a recipient of NSF grants you are eligible for the I-Corps National Program.
Funded by the National Science Foundation I-Corps.
NSF provides $50,000.
7 week intensive workshop offered in National I-Corps sites across the country.
For more information about participating in the NSF National program, visit the NSF I-Corps’ National Program site or contact us.
PROOF OF CONCEPT FUNDING
If you have an invention with commercial or business potential this grant is available to you.
Funded by the UCR Research and Economic Development Office.
We provide faculty with grants of up to $50,000.
Funds can be used for prototyping or to conduct translational experiments to bring a technology closer to commercialization.
Five to eight awards are distributed annually through a competitive process.
For more information on the Proof of Concept funding, contact Brian Suh email@example.com.
Applications that have been validated through the I-Corps program secure special preference for Proof of Concept grant funding.
NON-DILUTIVE FUNDING THROUGH THE FEDERAL SBIR/STTR PROGRAM
Our SBIR/STTR Resource Center is here to help you develop and submit winning proposals.
Programs are structured into 2 funded phases, with awards typically between $150,000 - $1,000,000.
UCR’s SBIR/STTR Resource Center provides one on one mentorship and a robust training program that provides insights on preparing competitive proposals.
For more information about preparing an SBIR or STTR proposal, contact Misty Madero firstname.lastname@example.org.
VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDING
If you have a UCR affiliated company you can apply for venture capital investment through the Highlander Venture Fund.
Investments between $250,000-$500,000.
For more information about the Highlander Venture Fund, contact Scott Brovsky email@example.com
Startup Job Opportunities
LacNation LLC is an early-stage startup looking to do a second round of customer validation with neonatal intensive care units to determine how best to match our concept with their needs. More about this Job
Neoboard is the Education Technology startup founded in 2019 and based in the Inland Empire that develops LMS applications with the primary goal of improving the quality of online classes for students and educators. More about this Job