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LAUNCH Startup Lab

Virginia Tech LAUNCH Startup Labs

Are you a member of the Virginia Tech research community and curious about how you could propel a startup from your lab?

Our world is continually reshaped by advanced technologies that emerge from complex academic research, often called “deeptech.”  Virginia Tech’s LAUNCH Center for New Ventures is presenting a new workshop series called LAUNCH Startup Labs specifically designed for research focused faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students to enhance their entrepreneurial thinking and de-mystify the deeptech new-venture process. Each “lab” will address a different aspect of new deeptech startup creation and will include applicable entrepreneurial tools and methodologies that you can immediately apply. 

This work was supported in part by the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, an investment in the advancement of cyber R&D, innovation, and workforce development. For more information about CCI, visit www.cyberinitiative.org.

What is it?

  • A series of seven (7) hybrid workshop-like labs spread over one-hour sessions
  • An opportunity for you to explore a possible startup opportunity related to your research
  • An opportunity to earn Virginia Tech professional development network (PDN) credits
  • An opportunity to earn a LAUNCH Startup Labs completion Badge and participate in the community of entrepreneurial minded researchers

Where and When?

  • A schedule of the spring 2022 LAUNCH Startup Labs sessions is provided below
  • Each spring 2022 session is on a Tuesday from noon until 1:00pm
  • Participants are requested to participate in the first Lab session in-person to meet other participants and share interests
  • Lab sessions 2 - 7 will be presented in person but can also be accessed synchronously on-line
  • Location:  The LINK + LICENSE + LAUNCH offices located on the third floor, Holzman Alumni Center
  • It is anticipated that LAUNCH Startup Labs will be offered again in the summer and fall of 2022 

Eligibility

The LAUNCH Startup Labs is a resource to the Virginia Tech research community and is supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI).  To be eligible to participate, you must be current Virginia Tech faculty, staff, postdoc or graduate student engaged in funded research.  Undergraduate students are not eligible unless engaged in funded research (compensated research assistant or other applicable role). 

How to Enroll

Participants are accepted through an application process with limited seats available. Interested participants must enroll by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, February 25, 2022. Participants will receive acceptance confirmations within 5 business days. For more information, go to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Week-at-a-Glance: Spring 2022

Day Workshop
Tuesday, March 15
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
3rd Floor, Holtzman Alumni Center
Lab Session 1:  Foundations – Identifying your entrepreneurial goals, introduction to hypothesis testing for deeptech startup opportunities.
Tuesday, March 22 Lab Session 2:  Modeling the Business – How to build a business model and define, test and iterate critical assumptions in the deeptech commercialization opportunity.
Tuesday, March 29 Lab Session 3: Teams – Strategic design and formation of deeptech startup teams.
Tuesday, April 5 Lab Session 4: Formation & Funding – The steps to legal formation of a startup, the diverse mechanisms of federal and state deeptech commercialization funding and how private capital investment works.
Tuesday, April 12 Lab Session 5: IP Strategy & Management - Intellectual property strategy and management and how patents, trademarks and copyrights are regarded by investors.
Tuesday, April 19
Lab Session 6: Pitching, Storytelling & Branding – How to best leverage the communications mechanisms of a technology startup and the importance of building a website voice.
Tuesday, April 26 Lab Session 7: New Product Development – The stages of product development and product launch, including common methodologies and key challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Enrollment Deadline: 5 p.m. ET on Friday, February 25, 2022
  • Application Acceptance: Invitation to join will be sent out: March 4, 2022. Participants will be asked to complete a survey before the first session. 
  • Startup Labs sessions: Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Interested parties are required to enroll by the stated deadline. Spots are limited. Applications will be reviewed by a committee for eligibility.

No. Attending the LAUNCH Startup Lab is free.  Free refreshments will also be provided at each lab.

Participants only need curiosity about the deeptech startup process. We recognize many academic researchers may feel disassociated from startup entrepreneurship or that they do not have the time or incentives to engage the process. So, we encourage researchers who feel this way to participate and discover that deeptech entrepreneurship has many possible levels of engagement. The LAUNCH Startup Lab is only available to  current members of the Virginia Tech research community (see Eligibility above).

No.  However, if you do have a technology commercialization opportunity in mind, the workshop series offers the opportunity to apply the activities to your idea.

  • Each of the Lab sessions can be accessed synchronously on-line or in-person at the Holtzman Alumni Center.
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the first Lab session in-person to meet other participants and share interests
  • Location:  The LINK + LICENSE + LAUNCH offices located on the third floor, Holzman Alumni Center

We understand participants may be unable to attend all the labs. TLOS credits will be available for each lab attended.  Certificates of completion are only available if all the labs are attended.

Please contact Carla Verbridge at carlabv@vt.edu with Startup Lab questions.

Partners

Commonwealth Cyber Initiative