Gap Funding

Gap Funding

Grant funds may be available for product prototyping or for the formation of new UI spinout companies. These are called gap funds since usually there is a gap between where the technology is versus where it needs to be to attract external interest.

These funds may be provided and managed by the UIRF, the IOWA Centers for Enterprise, the UI Office of the Vice President for Research, the State of Iowa through the Bioscience Alliance or the Grow Iowa Values Fund, or other organizations.

The State of Iowa has generously funded the Regents Universities - ISU, UNI, and UI through the Grow Iowa Values Fund for economic development. These funds flow into the universities, which provide matching funding, disburse, and manage the use of funds. The UIRF matched and executed on gap funding enabled by GIVF monies, totaling $300K to date. Six projects proposing new company concepts have received funding. Funds flow to the PI. At this time we cannot directly fund the company.

Future gap funding through the UIRF will be disbursed on a case by case basis as opportunities come to our attention that meet rigorous new company criteria. For GIVF gap funding, there is a specific focus on companies that can be formed within the state of Iowa.

Who Can Apply?

Candidates for funding sponsored by University of Iowa organizations must be researchers or professors at the University of Iowa. State sponsored and managed programs are generally open to everyone.

The Process

Submitted invention disclosures are being evaluated for new company potential and gap funding priorities, and you will be contacted if such opportunities are identified.

Additionally, if you have a new company concept, the process begins with a written or verbal description of the concept to an internal new ventures person or team. Concepts will undergo rigorous screening processes, as described under IP Review Process and New Venture Evaluation Factors. To discuss a concept that utilizes existing or proposed UI intellectual property, contact your UIRF case manager.

Minimum Criteria:

  • Project lead is UI faculty or staff
  • PI and team are willing and able to allocate resources for project
  • Team has existing results that demonstrate break-through technologies or competitively superior performance, or can show a reasonable path to such results
  • Team has existing intellectual property, or, intellectual property analysis indicates strong potential for IP protection
  • Proposed concept addresses large unmet market needs
  • Concept passes venture model due diligence process
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