Funding Available

USF Start-Up Funding

Foundation BRAG

The Foundation Bull Ring Accelerator Grant program (“Foundation BRAG” or “BRAG”) is a joint initiative of the University of South Florida Foundation (“FOUNDATION”) and the University of South Florida Research Foundation (“USFRF”). The Foundation BRAG is designed to support early-stage Tampa Bay Technology Incubator (TBTI) affiliated start-up companies that were formed on the basis of licensed University of South Florida (USF) technologies. To be eligible, a company shall:

  • Be formed and registered by the time of application
  • Have an active license or option to a USF technology upon which the company was established
  • Be admitted to the TBTI program as an affiliate or resident member,
  • Be in good standing with USF

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. This gap can be defined as the point between when the availability of academic research funding runs out and when a team is credible enough (with enough customer and market knowledge) to raise private capital or license/partner with existing companies. The goal of this program is not to replace private capital, but to help reduce risk and develop start-ups to a point where they can attract other sources of funding. The number of grants may vary based on funding.

Interested applicants are encouraged to take full advantage of USF’s innovation and start-up support resources both before submitting a proposal and during the funding period, if awarded. These resources include the expertise of USF’s Technology Transfer Office, USF CONNECT TBTI programming, and the NSF I-Corp Program.

Application Submission Deadline: March 29, 2024

Seed Capital Accelerator Program

USF Research Foundation's Seed Capital Accelerator Program (SCAP) for Tampa Bay Technology Incubator (TBTI) affiliated companies was designed to support and provide funds to new and existing TBTI affiliated startups that were formed based on the licensing of USF technologies. The new program will provide up to $50,000 of loan funding to enable startups to quickly improve the odds of overcoming immediate obstacles to commercialization that would provide a measurable outcome and return on investment in the near term.

The objective of the Seed Accelerator program is to help companies reach specific goals in a year or less, allowing startups to reach critical development milestones and get to market quicker. TBTI and Patents & Licensing will provide support and training along the way and supervise funded tasks. The funding provided to companies will be based upon agreed project objectives being met, and may be used to build prototypes, obtain materials, pay salaries, contract for services and assistance outside the university, or cover other expenses as approved.

NOTE: I-Corps is not a pre-requisite for application.

For more information on the SCAP or BRAG program, contact the USF Research Foundation: