Builder Program

The virtual Builder Program at the Wond’ry provides a step-by-step guide for aspiring university-affiliated entrepreneurs (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) with a viable early-stage idea to launch a new venture. Builder is the perfect next step for graduates of a Regional NSF I-Corps Program, such as the Sullivan Family Ideator Program, or entrepreneurs with a validated product, technology, or service that have already engaged in customer discovery efforts, found a product-solution fit and would like to learn how to launch a new non-profit or for-profit venture or pursue a licensing deal.

Builder Program Logo

Program Information

  • Application

    To apply for the Fall 2024 Cohort of Builder, you can click here. 

  • Requirements
    To be eligible for the Builder program, you must 1. complete a Regional NSF I-Corps Program, such as the Sullivan Family Ideator Program, 2. perform, document, and submit a log of 30 customer discovery interviews with insights gathered, and 3. have a well defined initial customer segment and value proposition.
    Participants are required to attend all sessions of Builder if they want a chance to pitch for microgrant funding. Further expectations include:
    • Attend all live sessions
    • At least 30 customer discovery interviews during the program
    • Weekly mentor meetings
    • At least 2 office hour
    • All content and discussions
    • Pitch at the end of the program.
  • Pitch Day

    There are seven sessions, including Pitch Day.

    At the end of the program, a pitch day will be held and participants will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a group of high caliber judges composed of business leaders, investors, and accomplished entrepreneurs.

    Microgrants will be provided for a number of teams that excel in the Builder Program.

  • Dates and Times

    Fall 2024 Cohort | Wednesdays 4pm-6pm CT

    Aug. 28 | Kickoff, Customer discovery review and MVP Development
    Sept. 4 | Customer Relationships and Channels, Sales/Marketing
    Sept. 11 | Key Activities, Key Partners, and Key Resources, Organizational Design
    Sept. 18 | Creating a Financial Model, Cost Structures, and Funding a Venture
    Sept. 25 | Intellectual Property and Entity Formation
    Oct. 02 | Pitching, BMC, and Business Plan
    Oct. 09 | Break for pitch practice
    Oct. 16 | Pitch Day

  • Learn More

    To inquire about this program, book an appointment with Dr. Mark Hilton here.

Microgrant Awardees

A limited number of microgrants are awarded to participants displaying a high level of commitment to pursuing their idea and having sufficient, supportive evidence of its merit.

Program Support

Support for the creation of this program was provided via a Faculty Grant from VentureWell.