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Pre-Accelerators: How to Improve the Care and Feeding of On-Campus Entrepreneurs

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: November 09, 2017

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In today’s fast-paced start-up environment, TTOs are exploring new ways to better capture and nurture early-stage ideas and innovations from both student and faculty entrepreneurs. But until recently, there was no formal place for those with very early ideas to fashion them into viable projects.

The idea behind a pre-accelerator is to provide the platform for these potential start-up founders – who are not yet ready for the rigors of an accelerator — to mold their ideas, create a step-by-step plan for commercialization, and develop lasting relationships with peers and mentors.

One such program at the Virginia Commonwealth University is breaking down barriers to engage newly minted innovators and encourage them to explore the potential of their ideas. This university-wide program has been touted as “an important part in building a healthy start-up culture in the region” by local accelerators and has generated well over $1 million in funding while adding jobs in the region. 

Technology Transfer Tactics has invited Nicole M. Monk, Director of the VCU Innovation Economy at Virginia Commonwealth University, to present this case-study style session that will give you a bird’s eye view into the VCU Pre-Accelerator’s inner workings and critical success factors:

Pre-Accelerators: How to Improve the Care and Feeding of On-Campus Entrepreneurs

Here’s a brief look at the agenda:

  • What make a pre-accelerator distinctly different from an accelerator?
  • How VCU’s Pre-Accelerator is structured related to:
    • Leadership
    • University involvement
    • Funding and Budget
    • Use of space
  • Understanding the criteria for participation
    • How applications are triaged
    • Timeframe from approval to exit
  • How to tailor your pre-accelerator to the unique entrepreneurial needs of your community
  • Setting goals for success metrics:
    • Financial
    • Milestone
    • Experience- and Education-based

PLUS! Hear the recording of the original live Q&A

Meet Your Session Leader:

Nicole M Monk
Director, VCU Innovation Economy 
Virginia Commonwealth University

Ms. Monk serves as the Director of the Innovation Economy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to her role at VCU, Ms. Monk served two years as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for a U.S. based private equity firm, Virginia Life Science Investments.  In this role, Ms. Monk evaluated a diverse range of technologies for potential investment and played an active role inside portfolio companies to ensure maximization of shareholder value. Ms. Monk has also served as Vice President of Virginia Biosciences Commercialization Center, a firm focused on developing commercialization strategies for later stage medical device companies.  During her five years with the VBCC, she worked with multiple later-stage medical device companies leading or monitoring the development and implementation of commercialization strategies. Prior to her work with VLSI and VBCC, Ms. Monk spent 6 years with the VirginiaBio Technology Research Park as Director of Marketing in the BioPark’s incubator facility, which houses over 30 early-stage life science companies. 

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