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Mid-South Hub

The Experiment to enterprise program

Are you an undergraduate, professional, masters, or PhD student (or postdoctoral scholar) working on research or a thesis? Have you ever wanted to start a company or venture? Do you want to learn how to transform your research to make a positive impact on the world??

Then the Experiment to Enterprise Program is for you!

Dates

  • Required Virtual Info Session: April 23rd, 10:00 AM, Zoom
  • Experiment to Enterprise Program Pitch: April 30th, 10:00 AM, Zoom

Program Background

One prevailing challenge, when it comes to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship at institutions of higher education, is that students either don’t realize, are not incentivized, or are not empowered to begin to explore the commercialization potential of their thesis work to create tangible positive impact or change in the world — beyond the customary peer-reviewed publication and grant awards. This is critical as every student should be exposed to this way of thinking, broadening their professional perspective in preparation for academic career alternatives like industry or entrepreneurship.

The Experiment to Enterprise Program provides innovative students and researchers the opportunity to learn how to begin to transform their ideas from the research bench into the world.  Teams that attend the required seminar and present (or “pitch”) both the hypothesis and results of their thesis and their ideas on how their research could be transformed into an enterprise will be awarded $500 Thesis Commercialization Enhancement grants from the Mid-South Innovation Hub. These winners will then be eligible to attend regional NSF I-Corps programming. Then, after the successful completion of regionals, strong teams will be able to apply to the NSF National I-Corps Program. The NSF I-Corps Teams program is an intensive seven-week innovation and entrepreneurship training course which includes mentoring and up to $50,000 in NSF funding.

This program is free and virtualfunding opportunities are available through this program. We are intentionally seeking an inclusive cohort composed of a diverse mix of potential founders including those from minority or disadvantaged (racial and/or socioeconomic) backgrounds. We strongly encourage applicants from these and all groups.

Requirements:

Teams: Teams may be composed of 1 person or more

  • Thesis topic must be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math) or DTV

Participation in Required Virtual Info Session:

60-minute virtual seminar to learn:

  • The rules and logistics of the program, more specifically the April 30th Pitch Session and the NSF I-Corps Program
  • Discussion on how to generate a business thesis from experimental thesis/results (NSF National I-Corps Lecture)

Awards

$500 Thesis Commercialization Enhancement microgrants will be awarded to selected participants to begin translating their thesis towards commercialization and the National I-Corps Program $50,000 grant.

Application

All applications are due by Thursday, April 21st. Click here to apply. 

If you have any questions, email Carcia Carson (carcia.s.carson@vanderbilt.edu) and Charleson Bell (c.s.bell@vanderbilt.edu)

Accessibility:

If you would like us to provide any accessibility accommodations to ensure you can fully engage with the program, please reach out to: Carcia Carson (carcia.s.carson@vanderbilt.edu).  Note that we are able to provide automatic transcription captioning for all meetings. Presentations will be made available upon request, but if needed, will be provided in advance.