Get the Right Start Out of the Lab and Into the Market

The VentureAccelerator program helps University of Maryland inventors get their research out of the starting blocks and racing down the track toward successful venture creation. Our experienced team of business professionals enables you to maintain your academic responsibilities as faculty, research staff, or student, while also furthering the development of your startup. We speed the process of venture creation by systematically guiding and coaching inventors through new business processes such as:

  • Sound Business Planning
  • Understanding Customers & Markets
  • Setting Goals & Priorities
  • Acquiring Skills & Recruiting Talent
  • Raising Capital


How We Help

The VentureAccelerator program speeds the process of venture creation by systematically guiding and coaching inventors through new business processes, including, but not limited to:

The VentureAccelerator Network

VentureAccelerator has pre-existing relationships with proven, trusted professionals that help companies with funding, intellectual property, and a wide range of business processes. Those relationships include, but are not limited to: venture capitalists, angel investors, former CEOs, senior executives, IP attorneys, serial entrepreneurs, accountants, marketing professionals, public relation specialists, product developers, and other founders.

“I’m a research scientist, not a business professional, so I knew from the very beginning that I needed help creating a successful company. VentureAccelerator has played a critical role in getting us to where we are today.”


— Steve Hutcheson

President and CEO

Zymetis, Inc..

The VentureAccelerator Process

The VentureAccelerator guides its client investors from idea to scalable early stage company through a process designed to maximize the prospects for success as quickly as possible.

1. Selection: Rigorous criteria forces inventors into a realistic evaluation of the opportunity. Successful applicants to the program gain prestige from entering the program. Inventors work with the VentureAccelerator to determine whether the proposed company has:

  • Unique IP
  • Scalable Market Opportunity
  • Accessible Human and Financial Resources

2. Planning: Once admitted, the business plan is defined:

  • Product Development
  • Marketing & Customer Research
  • Competitive Analysis
  • HR Resource Planning
  • Risk Identification & Mitigation
  • Financial Modeling & Fundraising Requirements
  • Business Plan & Investor Presentation

3. Execution: Putting the plan into action:

  • Senior Management Team and Board Recruitment
  • Grants, Angel, and Venture Capital Fundraising
  • Company Operations
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Product Launch
  • Business Development

4. Graduation: Scalable Early Stage Company with:

  • Clear customer, market, and application
  • Well-defined business model
  • Creditable and fundable business plan
  • Initial funds raised
  • First customers & partners
  • Eligibility for the Technology Advancement Program Incubator



  • Get your invention into the world
  • Maintain the vision of your research
  • Help ensure your product is a commercial success
  • contribute to local and national economies
  • Gain prestige for yourself and the university
  • Reap personal and financial rewards

Anik Singal, CEO of VentureAccelerator graduate Lurn, was named one of the top five entrepreneurs under 25 by BusinessWeek.com in 2008.

Benefits of the VentureAccelerator Program

  • Continuous access to business expertise
    • Full-time staff with entrepreneurial, venture capital, and investment banking experience
    • Preferential access to network of entrepreneurs, advisors, angel investors, venture capitalists, and service providers
  • Streamlined intellectual property licensing process with the Office of Technology Commercialization
    • Fast track patent protection and licensing process
    • Gain More favorable licensing terms
  • Sensitivity to academic responsibilities
    • Enables participants to continue pursuit of research, teaching and/or studies while creating a new venture
    • Helps manage conflict of interest policies
  • Full support of university administration and extended network
    • Official endorsement as high potential university startup


VentureAccelerator seeks to assist developers of new technology at the University of Maryland in the formation of new companies that pursue the full commercial potential of their discoveries. Unlike other technology advancement programs at the university, VA works exclusively with technology founders personally committed to new enterprise formation. To be considered for the VentureAccelerator Program, a new technology team must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Technology founders employed by or studying at the University of Maryland
  2. Technology founders willing to commit to the development of a commercial enterprise
  3. Product plans with clear competitive differentiation, preferably through unique, protected technology
  4. Target markets receptive to new entrants
  5. High potential for sustainable, scaling revenues and earnings
  6. Ability to locate substantial operations in Maryland

Detailed Criteria for VA (PDF)


Evaluation Process

VA utilizes the following evaluation process to choose new portfolio companies:

As the creation of new technology enterprises is an intense, time-consuming activity, VA can use its services, network and other resources to assist only a few companies at a time. An application to VA initiates a thorough review of a new company's potential, therefore, it by no means guarantees selection. While exclusive, VA's detailed screening process ultimately adds the credibility admitted companies will need as they embark upon commercial product development, customer solicitation, and ultimately fundraising and recruiting endeavors.

Step I: Apply

The evaluation process starts with submission of an application. Upon receiving and reviewing your application, VA's management will contact you to convey questions and feedback as well as to discuss other appropriate next steps. VA's management also may request meetings with prospective founders and their teams.

Provided below is guidance for completing the application, as well as submission instructions.

Download Application (PDF)

Step II: Technical Plan

If VA, after reviewing an application, believes a company is a good fit for the program, the application process continues with a Technical Plan. VA's management will then conduct thorough technical due diligence. The purpose of this review is to ascertain the feasibility of using the founder’s technology in various methods and markets. A strong focus will be placed on validating the competitive differentiation and protectability of the proposed technology, as well as the technical expertise and capability the founding team brings to the proposed new company.

Step III: Business Review

If the Technical Review and assessment are favorable, a Business Review is initiated. As part of the Business Review, VA's management will schedule a presentation by the founding team of the proposed company to a selected panel of industry and business experts such as venture capitalists, business analysts, CPAs, faculty and seasoned entrepreneurs. The purpose of this review is to ascertain the viability of the company as a profitable business, and the commitment by the founders to its success.

Time Line:

Generally, VA's admission process can range from a few weeks to a few months depending on the following factors:

  • Thoroughness of the Application, Technical Plan and Business Review Process.
  • The responsiveness of the founders in forwarding the above information, as well as following up with answers to any questions that arise during this process.


2120 Potomac Bldg. 092

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742-3415


tel: 301.405.3906

fax: 301.403.4105