Our Mission

Great business ideas exist across our UW System ecosystem. That’s the basis for the Ideadvance Seed Fund — a program combining early-stage grant funding with business mentoring to develop the innovative ideas and potential businesses from UW alumni and current faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs.

This program funded by UW System, WEDC and administered by UW-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization, aims to empower entrepreneurs to focus on key go-to-market activities. No more sitting for hours crafting a business plan that won’t survive first contact with customers. Instead, the program gets you ‘out of the building’ to learn about your customer and business.  Along the way, you receive grant dollars to advance the business based on the real needs of your customers.

The Ideadvance Seed fund wants to support great ideas no matter the discipline of origin. From arts to engineering, we want to help you accelerate the learning on your business model. To get started, eligible applicants should speak with the Ideadvance New Idea Concierge to learn about competitive proposal tactics. Awardees generally have a team, a competitive idea that could be scalable, and the ability to invest time on both the business AND the rigor of the Lean Startup program. For faculty, the program is used to finding solutions aligning with your busy schedules. Applicants, let the New Idea Concierge help you find solutions so you can participate with your innovative idea.

Your Idea

You believe you have an innovative, scalable solution customers need, but you need some additional resources to move the idea along. Through the Ideadvance structure, we help you evaluate risks, understand market opportunities and discover strategic paths to commercialization. Whether your idea is new or you’ve been working on this for some time, the Ideadvance program helps entrepreneurs progress.

Your Seed Money

Grants help entrepreneurs add value to their idea during critical early-stages. Ideadvance Grants are non-dilutive funding that help you search for a business model that creates, delivers and captures value for your business. 

Your Team

You’ll present your idea in a confidential and supportive environment where you can explore and refine the value of your idea with experienced business consultants and entrepreneurs. We have a dedicated New Idea Concierge who helps you find resources and navigate the initial funding process. With Ideadvance funding, you’ll also join a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs that meet regularly to share successes, frustrations and best practices.

Contact Us For more Ideadvance application details

Our Partners