2015 2 Column Inner

Launch Your Business


StartupUC Student Incubator

UC’s population of more than 45,000 students is proactively engaged in innovation and experimentation across 14 award winning colleges and 4 campuses. The purpose of the StartupUC Student Incubator program is to serve as a node that 1) brings together inter-disciplinary teams of graduate and/or undergraduate student innovators from all across UC, and 2) guides and supports them in the launch of their startups.

Apply Here

Program Details
StartupUC employs “Lean Startup” methods developed at Stanford and used by entrepreneurs, as well as Fortune 50 companies striving to be more entrepreneurial.
. StartupUC follows a “flipped classroom” model, meaning that participants engage in reading and viewing short videos 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.

Personalized Approach
To suit your needs, StartupUC includes cohorts of two types; each is custom fit to match the readiness of student participants.

Ideation Cohort(s): Participants in StartupUC Ideation Cohort(s) are beginning their entrepreneurial journey. They are commonly individuals or partial teams, who may or may not yet have an idea for their startup, but they are passionate about innovation. StartupUC 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”.

Launch Cohort(s): Participants in StartupUC Launch cohort(s) have more developed ideas. They expand their teams, test their ideas to ensure product-market fit, hone their business models, and launch their businesses.

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. In addition, teams that have been awarded a Fealy Bearcat Bridge Fund grant (which can include UC students OR recent UC alumni AND their outside startup team partners) are invited to participate.

All StartupUC participants need to be available to attend weekly meetings at UC on Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00pm. They commit an average of 5 hours/week to working independently/with their team on their startup. 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.

Students in the StartupUC Ideation cohort(s) are typically unfunded. They prepare themselves to compete for a chance at $25,000 in prize money and startup grants at the annual IQ E-Pitch Competition held each spring. Students in the StartupUC Launch cohort(s) have typically won prizes, and/or been awarded $1,000-$15,000 grants (e.g., Fealy Bearcat Bridge Fund grants, Keating New Venture Fund grants, and/or state of Ohio Third Frontier Program grants). They prepare to apply for funding from federal and private grant programs, local accelerators, private individuals, and angel investors.

Participants in the StartupUC Student Incubator need to purchase a $50 software license here, to access the software used in the program. This software includes a collection of short videos that introduce the Lean Startup methodology. We also recommend the following books, which contain the Lean Startup methodology:

The Startup Owner’s Manual, Steve Blank and Bob Dorf - Hardcover: 608 pages, Publisher: K & S Ranch; 1st edition (March 1, 2012), ISBN-13: 978-0984999309

Business Model Generation, Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur - Paperback: 288 pages, Publisher: John Wiley and Sons; 1st edition (July 13, 2010), ISBN-13: 978-0470876411

UC Startups
Faculty, staff, alumni, and students from all across UC are launching and growing successful businesses each year. Click here, for a growing list of examples.

For information about recent companies in the StartupUC Student Incubator Program, click here.

Partners & Board Members
The StartupUC Student Incubator Advisory Board is made up of key members of the StartupCincy entrepreneurship ecosystem including managers and directors of local incubators, accelerators, and angel groups, as well as entrepreneurially minded leaders/faculty from all of UC’s 14 colleges.  We are grateful to our Community Partners for providing us with high quality mentors, and a gateway to opportunities for our students in the tristate StartupCincy entrepreneurship ecosystem, and beyond. Special thanks to our partner, Cincytech, for serving as a gateway to Ohio Third Frontier Program grants and to the Mr. & Mrs. Bob & Rose Fealy for their ongoing  support.


StartupUC Ideation Cohort(s):
Enrollment is ongoing each summer semester through Oct 31 annually. If you’ve missed the application window, email us and we will attempt to help you. To register for an Ideation Cohort, click here [will update this soon].
StartupUC Launch Cohort(s):
To register for a Launch cohort you need to first apply to the Fealy Bearcat Bridge Fund grant program (For details, click here.) or receive a faculty recommendation.

For inquiries regarding the StartupUC Student Incubator Program, contact Tom.Dalziel@uc.edu or Ron.Meyers@uc.edu.