Funding Available

USF Innovation Ecosystem

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The USF Innovation Ecosystem offers several funding and support opportunities for faculty and start-up companies interested in bringing USF innovations to market.

USF Tech Transfer Office 

The USF Technology Transfer Office works closely with USF faculty, entrepreuners and businesses to translate USF’s ground-breaking research and intellectual property into real-world solutions through intellectual property protection, licensing and marketing.

NSF I-Corps at USF

Who Can Apply: USF faculty and graduate student research teams

With the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Site program at USF, you have a unique opportunity to learn and explore the commercial potential of your idea. The program will teach you, through its unique curriculum, how to find the business model behind your idea, with hands-on, real-world experience with faculty and business experts. It is about the customer discovery process — the first step towards your startup or commercialization.

Funding Available: Up to $3,000 at the USF I-Corps Site, which then qualifies you to apply to the National I-Corps program with funding of up to $50,000 available to further refine your business model.

Florida High Tech Corridor Early-Stage Innovation Fund

Who Can Apply: USF Researchers

The Early-Stage Innovation Fund supports early-stage innovations and research with significant potential for commercial or community impact. These funds are meant to seed faculty-developed technologies that could lead to industry investment, community engagement, start-up creation, and/or licensing opportunities. 

Funding Available: Up to $25,000 

Foundation Bull Ring Accelerator Grant (BRAG) 

Who can apply: Tampa Bay Technology Incubator affiliated start-up companies formed on the basis of licensed USF technologies

The Foundation Bull Ring Accelerator Grant program (BRAG) provides up to $25,000 of grant funding to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem at USF and help bridge the “valley” or “ditch” of death experienced by early-stage technology companies.

Funding Available: Up to $25,000


Who Can Apply: Early stage technology-based businesses with an exisiting connection to or interest in connecting with USF

The Tampa Bay Technology Incubator (TBTI) at USF CONNECT supports Tampa Bay's technology and bio/life sciences entrepreneurs through the business life cycle by providing professional amenities and resources like lab space and shared lab equipment. The Evolve Accelerator supplies entrepreneurs with business growth and development through capacity building, access to capital opportunities, and access to networking and support. The Evolve Accelerator is open to everyone with a special focus on enhancing women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs growing startups in Tampa Bay, in addition to startups in the bio/life sciences, biotechnology, and high technology.

In partnership with the Nault Center for Entrepreneurship, USF CONNECT provides USF students who have scalable and commercially viable business ideas access to high-tech, collaborative office space, industry mentors, subject matter experts, and community corporate partners through the Student Innovation Incubator (SII). The Nault Center for Entrepreneurship enables diverse students to develop the critical skills necessary to identify new business opportunities, accelerate the commercialization of new technologies, and create and grow successful new business ventures through entrepreneurship.

Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Grants Research Program

Who Can Apply: USF Researchers in collaboration with an industry partner located in the Corridor’s 23 county region

The Matching Grant Research Program provides matching grant funds for collaborative research projects between local industry partners and USF researchers, including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funded projects. Corridor funding is used to expand the project's scope of work and support student involvement in cutting-edge research endeavors.

Funding Available: Up to $150,000 match to the industry partners investment

Federal America Seed Fund Program (SBIR/STTR)

Who Can Apply: U.S. small businesses 

The America Seed Fund Program, also known as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, provides non-dilutive federal funding to U.S. small business bringing innovative technologies to market. USF start-up companies and collaborating companies are well-suited to tap into this funding program, but some safeguards may be required to ensure eligibility and protect against conflict of interest. Faculty are also welcome to serve as subcontractors on external company's proposals. In both scenarios, matching funds through the Florida High Tech Corridor may be available.  

Funding Available: ~$150K - $1.5M

FL FAST Technical Support: Powered by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program, The Corridor’s “FL FAST” initiative is Florida’s first centralized support system for companies pursuing SBIR/STTR awards.

Faculty interested in internal USF awards to fund conferences or interdisciplinary research, should review the USF Internal Awards program.