Commercialization Engine Funding

Envisioning a revolutionary technology that could have a meaningful impact on society is only one variable in the equation to seeing it realized. Without adequate funding, the idea simply won’t gain traction. To help bridge this gap, the Commercialization Engine program at the University of Notre Dame was created. This program offers milestone-based funding to help develop and de-risk Notre Dame technologies. The funding isn’t tied to minimum or maximum amounts, and the goal is to help advance new technologies and innovations from the Notre Dame community to the market.

The IDEA Center has three significant core funds:

The Student Commercialization Grant Program

Launched in August of 2017, the Student Commercialization Grant Program allows students at the University of Notre Dame to receive early stage funding to help them test ideas and move projects forward.  Students are able to pitch monthly for up to $2,500 in grants from the IDEA Center, with the money being used to cover critical milestones that will de-risk and advance the project.  No equity is taken by the University in these early stage projects, with this funding being made available to support the University mission of providing a best in class education to students.  To date, over 30 student projects have received grant funding.  All of the Student Commercialization Grant funds come from donors. Please direct any questions you may have about this fund to John Henry, Director of Student Startups.

The De-Risking Fund

The De-Risking Fund at the IDEA Center exists to help break down critical milestones and metrics required for a startup to raise its first investment round.  Projects advance through several stages of the process, advancing through the Lean Cohort, Technology Committee, or Market Committee where risk factors and industry standard metrics are identified.  Please direct any questions about the use of this fund to Matt Gardner, Director of New Ventures and Investments.

The Venture Fund

Projects and ventures that have been sufficiently de-risked are eligible to pitch for funding from the IDEA Center's Venture Fund.  If you have any questions about the investment thesis or requirements to enter the Commercialization Process at the University of Notre Dame, please contact Matt Gardner, Director of New Ventures and Investments.