StartupUC Student Incubator

The University of Cincinnati's more than 45,000 students are proactively engaged in innovation and experimentation across 14 award-winning colleges and four campuses. The purpose of the StartupUC Student Incubator program is to bring together interdisciplinary teams of student innovators from all across UC, guiding and supporting them in the launch of their startups.

Program overview

StartupUC employs “Lean Startup” methods developed at Stanford University and used by entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike. The program follows a “flipped classroom” model, where participants engage in study outside of class, which allows them to actively engage in dialogue with experienced faculty entrepreneurs and community mentors during program sessions.StartupUC operates in sync with the semester system, running from the beginning of fall to the end of spring semester each year.

Ideation cohort

Participants in StartupUC ideation cohorts are beginning their entrepreneurial journeys. Ideation students begin with idea generation, or sometimes bring ideas with them. They learn to assess the commercial viability of their ideas, form teams around the most promising concepts, and begin to develop business models. Ideation cohort students are typically unfunded, and prepare to compete for prize money and grants while in the program.

Launch cohort

Participants in StartupUC launch cohorts have more developed ideas. They expand their teams, test their ideas to ensure product-market fit, hone their business models, and launch their businesses. Launch cohort students have typically already been awarded grants or prizes, and may spend time in the program preparing to apply for additional funding opportunities.


The StartupUC Student Incubator is open to all current UC students, as well as individuals outside of UC who are startup team partners of current UC students. All StartupUC participants need to be available to attend weekly meetings at UC, and commit an average of five hours per week to independent and group work on their startups. They provide progress updates to their mentors and the rest of their cohort, receive helpful guidance from faculty and community mentors, and provide constructive suggestions to their peers.

Recommended texts

The Startup Owner's Manual, Steve Blank and Bob Dorf.
Business Model Generation, Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

To learn more about StartupUC contact Tom Dalziel or Ron Meyers.