Delaware’s research scientists, graduate students and innovators now have an exceptional opportunity to learn about, and gain first-hand experience with the process of translating their ideas, discoveries and inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace – the Innovation Delaware (InDE) Fellowship program.
The InDE Fellowship brings together leaders from Delaware’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to offer a nine-month, fee-based program that runs from mid-September to mid-May. The program includes a series of fifteen, half-day workshop sessions hosted at a variety of University-based and industry-focused innovation centers in Delaware. Each session emphasizes the development of critical knowledge, skillsets and connections for successfully bringing new science and tech-based products to market through licensing, open innovation and startups. A sampling of session topics includes:
- Developing a personal brand, leadership vision and elevator pitch
- Understanding research commercialization and the business of science
- Innovation & entrepreneurship pathways in University and industry contexts
- Customer discovery & business model development
- Legal issues - intellectual property, founder agreements and more
- Leveraging internal and external networks for support
- User-centered design, proof of concept, prototyping and minimum viable products
- Funding and fundraising, go to market strategy and financial modelling
- Building an investable team, storytelling and pitching
“We’re very excited to launch the InDE Fellowship as the first offering of the new Coalition for Translational Entrepreneurship,” says Dan Freeman, Founding Director of Horn Entrepreneurship and overall lead for the Coalition. “The InDE Fellowship Program will bring together leaders from Delaware’s I&E ecosystem to provide unique, high impact opportunities for industry scientists, startup founders and University innovators who are interested in working to make broader societal, environmental and economic impacts from their research.”
The Coalition is led by the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship in partnership with Delaware State University and Delaware Technical Community College. The Coalition leverages the expertise and capabilities of campus-based partners such as UD’s Office of Economic Innovation & Partnership and DSU’s Garage. Several high impact community organizations, including the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Delaware BioScience Association and Delaware Division of Small Business are also serving as Founding Partners for the Coalition and the InDE Fellowship Program.
“As we collectively work to strengthen Delaware’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems, working to support a pipeline of innovators into commercial endeavors is very important. The InDE Fellowship will put the best of Delaware in front of early stage and aspiring entrepreneurs, and their success will be beneficial to our State in the long run,” said Noah Olson, Director of Innovation, Delaware Prosperity Partnership.
“The continued success of our thriving life science ecosystem will hinge on the growth of exciting, scientist-led startups and the development of innovative technologies at our leading research institutions,” said Michael Fleming, president of Delaware Bio. “We’re pleased to be joining Horn and other key partners in the launch of this important program, which will advance our priority efforts of supporting scientific entrepreneurs and translating research into products that benefit patients and our economy.”
While the InDE Fellowship will serve to deepen Delaware’s pool of innovative human capital, the ultimate goal of the Coalition is to increase the number and velocity of inventions successfully translated from university and industry labs into the marketplace. Doing so promises to yield important economic and societal benefits.
According to Regina Mitchell, Director, Delaware Division of Small Business, “The InDE Fellowship is a great example of Delaware’s tradition of collaboration. This program will connect Delaware’s innovators with the resources, tools and expertise needed to make important contributions to the State’s economy. The Division is excited to lend our support to encourage entrepreneurship and strengthen our innovation ecosystem.
To facilitate the process of translating inventions from the lab to the market, the InDE Fellowship will conclude with an Innovation Showcase in which Fellows pitch their projects – including startups, IP asset development projects and intrapreneurial ventures – to an audience that includes workshop presenters, follow-on mentors, investors and other invited guests.
The InDE Fellowship Program is currently accepting applications for the inaugural 2023-24 cohort, with a deadline of August 31. Prospective participants and partners are invited to visit the InDE Fellowship website for full program details.
About the Coalition for Translational Entrepreneurship
The Coalition for Translational Entrepreneurship (CTE) aims to increase the number and velocity of inventions flowing from university and industry labs to the marketplace by providing high impact training opportunities for STEM innovators and unique launch preparation and team building services to tech-based startups. The Coalition is led by the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship in partnership with Delaware State University and Delaware Technical Community College. It is supported by high impact community partners, including the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Delaware BioScience Association and the Delaware Division of Small Business as well as a congressionally directed funding award granted through the Small Business Administration.
InDE Fellowship @ UD
The InDE Fellowship is the Coalition for Translational Entrepreneurship’s first offering. The University of Delaware’s efforts to contribute to the development and launch of the Fellowship involve and active collaboration between Horn Entrepreneurship and UD’s College of Engineering. Please contact Dan Freeman, Founding Director, Horn Entrepreneurship (email@example.com) or Mark Mirotznik, Associate Dean for Research & Entrepreneurship (firstname.lastname@example.org) to explore opportunities to participate, collaborate, or sponsor a Fellow.