Goals of the Virtual Incubator
“I came to the OTL with the goal of transforming it into a world-class, technology commercialization and innovation hub, which will provide the needed support and infrastructure to facilitate technology development, commercialization, and ultimately, the development of products that will grow our revenue stream. I aim to promote an overall culture of innovation and foster intellectual collaborations throughout the Brandeis community, and to educate the next generation of innovators through outreach, mentoring, and hands-on experience. In short, I want Brandeis to capitalize on and invest in our greatest asset; the extremely bright minds of our students and our research faculty.” Menapace says.
-Rebecca Menapace, MBA, CLP, Associate Provost for Innovation and Executive Director, Office of Technology Licensing
Entrepreneurship at Brandeis
Brandeis Virtual Incubator
Education...Community...Mentoring...SPROUT and SPARK
The Brandeis Virtual Incubator's ultimate mission is to foster entrepreneurship in Brandeis students, post-doctoral fellows, staff and faculty. The Virtual Incubator ("housed" in the Office of Technology Licensing) will be a focal point for people at Brandeis interested in technology commercialization-the intersection of business and science.
University-level scientific discoveries do not automatically transition from the laboratory to industry; students and scientists do not automatically become entrepreneurs. An important part of the Brandeis educational mission is to catalyze these activities through nurture and support of the Brandeis entrepreneurial students and scientists.
The Virtual Incubator is a community for science & business, an interdisciplinary center promoting commercial application of science and technology developed at Brandeis. The Virtual Incubator's activities are four-fold, designed to foster entrepreneurial activities within the Brandeis community:
- educational opportunities to help develop entrepreneurship skills
- mentoring by experienced, successful, Brandeis friendly entrepreneurs
- networking events with industry and introductions into the local venture community
- the SPROUT and SPARK Program seed funds to move selected Brandeis inventions to the marketplace
Brandeis SPROUT and SPARK Programs
Not only does the Virtual Incubator offer budding Brandeis entrepreneurs lots of encouragement, introductions and good advice, it is also the platform for the Brandeis SPROUT and SPARK Programs. These programs offer Brandeis scientists, fellows and faculty a little financial help for that "next experiment" to prove the real commercial worth of their technologies and ideas. The SPROUT Program (for bench research) and SPARK Program (for non-bench research) are seed funding opportunities designed to "step-up" selected Brandeis technology and make it more attractive for licensing and commercial development.
There will be at least $50,000 available for each program to be dispersed appropriately to the selected applicants of SPROUT and SPARK. We will announce the next round of SPARK in the fall of 2016 and SPROUT in the spring of 2017.
Students, fellows and also faculty entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.