Social Innovation Boot Camp in the news

The Social Innovation Boot Camp, held at the University of Texas in January, received a write up from McCombs Today. NCIIA guided a number of teams in developing their social venture ideas.

TechCrunch features Intel Innovators

Intel Innovators is a new platform and a nationwide competition on Facebook to discover, empower and award the next generation of young entrepreneurs with the best game-changing technology ideas up to $100,000 every month.

In partnership with Intel, NCIIA will provide the winners of the competition with specialized training through a series of one-on-one business strategy development sessions.

Take a look at TechCrunch's 1/12 article that goes into further depth on the program.


NCIIA Provides Venture Mentorship and Training to Winners of Intel Innovators $100K Competition

In partnership with Intel, NCIIA will provide the winners of Intel Innovators with specialized training through a series of one-on-one business strategy development sessions. Through NCIIA’s immersive five-day program, VentureLab, the winning entrepreneurs will learn to identify potential markets for their innovations, and create valuable connections to industry professionals in order to help position them for further investment.

Intel Innovators is a new platform and a nationwide competition on Facebook to discover, empower and award the next generation of young entrepreneurs with the best game-changing technology ideas up to $100,000 every month.

At the beginning of each month, a panel will pick 20 top ideas (see submission guidelines below), which are then put up for a public vote. By month's end, the five entrepreneurs whose ideas earn the most support from voters will be given three minutes to present their idea to an expert panel of judges that includes startup and technology experts from Ron Conway’s SV Angel firm, seed investor Betaworks and Intel Capital. The panel will choose one innovator to be awarded $50,000 and become an Intel Innovator. A top fan will then decide how to award an additional $50,000 — either to the winning innovator or to one of the other four finalists. The process restarts every month.

NCIIA grantee receives NSF I-Corp funding

An NCIIA E-Team that is developing a green tech solution for vaccine manufacturing has been selected as one of 21 teams to receive an inaugural NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) award. Each awardee receives a $50,000 grant from NSF.

The Green Technology for Sustainable Poultry Manufacturing E-Team, led by Karen McDonald from UC-Davis, is developing SwiftVax, a plant production platform that produces animal and human vaccines efficiently and affordably. The technology can rapidly produce large amounts of therapeutics with minimal investment compared to traditional vaccine production infrastructure.
 The team received a $20,000 E-Team grant from NCIIA in 2010, and attended an NCIIA VentureLab to improve its business strategy.

'Green Living' VentureLab to be launched at University of Illinois - register now!

Are you looking to commercialize a product or innovation in the areas of alternative energy, green building, community sustainability, water quality or another that addresses a "green" or "sustainability" issue?  Join us for VentureLab Green Living, a new, five day, highly experiential and immersive program developed and designed to enhance the success of your "green" business idea.

VentureLab Green Living will be hosted by the Univeristy of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign on April 13-17. To learn more and register (by March 6), click here.


Sustainable Vision VentureLab


Date:  August 26-30, 2011

Location: Microsoft NERD Conference Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Meet the teams and their technologies!

The Sustainable Vision VentureLab is an intensive, five-day, highly experiential and immersive workshop designed to enhance the success of your venture. Participants develop strong, sustainable business models that create products or services for the benefit of people living in poverty. 

At Sustainable Vision VentureLab you'll have the space to think and explore within a dynamic environment that will help you evolve your business strategy, sales channels, marketing, and financial mechanics of your venture, with support from people who have been there and done it themselves.

You'll come out of the workshop not only with a more competitive action plan, but also with a set of tools that will help you grow your venture for years to come. 

Topics discussed may include:

  • Blocks and barriers to performance
  • The Human operating system
  • Strategy mapping
  • Operating in another country/culture
  • Understanding your customer
  • How do you create and articulate value
  • Innovating at every level
  • Business model case studies from the developing world
  • Understanding the supply chain
  • Designing for affordability
  • Features vs. benefits
  • Telling a story
  • Presentation techniques & tips


About the Instructor

James Barlow, NCIIA's Program Manager for Outreach, has worked in the University entrepreneurship space for 7 years and has been Commercial Advisor or Commercial Director for 16 start-ups.  He has served as a consultant internationally on start-up strategy, enterprise education and training. Prior to working in Higher Education, James was a Performance Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Strategy Consultant for FTSE listed companies and also worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry in Sales and Sales Management. He earned his BSc Honours Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Kent. 

Sustainable Vision VentureLab is held twice a year, the next workshop will be in 2012. For more information, contact us:


What participants have said about VentureLab:


"How would I describe the NCIIA VentureLab? No amount of adjectives could ever do it justice but here are a few I would use: exciting, exhausting, inspiring, humbling, challenging. hilarious, risqué, refreshing, and so much more. The VentureLab is something you have to experience before you can really understand its worth. Not only do you come away with a better understanding of your venture and its place in the market, but also new skills, contacts and even friendships. The instructors are fantastic and it's a chance to mingle with the best and brightest of your peers. I would recommend it to any budding entrepreneur, it's a must." —2010 VentureLab participant


"VentureLab was a great experience. It's definitely a hands-on, extremely inspiring and helpful opportunity that allowed us to think actively about the short and long term goals of our venture. The workshop was fast-paced and applicable in many ways to not only our venture, but also life in general. I left VentureLab humbled and inspired by the people I met and the experiences and opportunities I had." —2010 VentureLab participant

"VentureLab is a good experience for anyone feeling alone in the world of social entrepreneurship. VentureLab helps you find direction and inspiration for your developing-world venture."—2010 VentureLab participant



Opportunities for Students



NCIIA provides the funding, training, support and resources you need to advance your idea or venture, no matter the stage of development you're at.

Where are you?


Invention to Venture workshop

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?  Invention to Venture (I2V) is a one-day workshop on the basics of technology entrepreneurship, with presentations by successful entrepreneurs in your area. Fast-paced and fun. Learn more at

Get involved: Want to attend an I2V? Check the events listing to the left. Host an I2V! Contact us for details.


Research to Innovation (R2I) workshop

Translate your research into innovations. Research to Innovation is a suite of workshops designed to help university innovators translate their research into marketable innovations. Learn more

Get involved: Bring R2I to your institution! Contact us for details.


Advanced Invention to Venture workshop

Accelerate your venture.  If you’re serious about moving your venture forward, Advanced Invention to Venture (AI2V) is for you. You’ll spend four days receiving instruction, doing exercises, practicing pitching and interacting with qualified coaches to develop and articulate a strategic plan for your venture. Learn more here.

Get involved: Want to attend an AI2V? Check the events listing to the left.Host an AI2V!  Contact us for details!


VentureLab workshop

NCIIA's latest venture accelerator!

VentureLab is a highly experiential and immersive program developed and designed to enhance the success of your business idea: evolve your business strategy, sales channels and marketing and better understand the financial mechanics of your venture.

You'll get a plan and a set of tools that will help you grow your business for years to come.

Get involved: Contact us for details about VentureLab.

More about our first VentureLab, held in Boston in April 2010.



E-Team grants

Move your technology idea or venture towards commercialization with this early stage funding. Awards are up to $20,000; deadlines in May and December.

Get involved: Learn more!


BMEidea competition

Teams of US-based biomedical engineering student are judged on a complete commercialization strategy - design, product innovation, market need, regulatory pathway, sales strategy, and economic issues. First prize $10,000. Deadline in April.


BMEStart competition

Teams of US-based undergraduate biomedical and bioengineering students are judged on design and potential for commercialization. First prize $10,000. Deadline in May.



Venture Well

Take it to the next level.  Venture Well provides venture development and seed investment to university start-ups that will change the world. We provide advice and funding to ventures that offer scalable, market-oriented solutions to health and environmental problems. Learn more.


Contact us for information and advice on how to advance your idea or venture.

James Barlow  Humera Fasihuddin

Patricia Boynton  Mary Secor




Recently Funded E-Teams


Move your venture forward with these resources:




Publications for Students


Companies Launched:

NCIIA grantees and award winners have launched more than 75 companies. Check these here



NCIIA has funded 347 student entrepreneurship teams that have resulted in:

These businesses have leveraged more than $102 million in additional funding.







NCIIA Launches VentureLab in Boston


We've just completed (April 23) our first VentureLab: a program that puts early stage student ventures into a dynamic learning environment, with the goal of accelerating their development into successful companies. Twenty teams of varying experience attended VentureLab, participating in activities designed to build their financial model, sales channels, and business strategy.

Read about the event at Bostinnovation and at Mass High Tech!

VentureLab is supported by Microsoft, and was held at the Microsoft NERD facility in Cambridge, MA.

Boston entrepreneurs! Register for VentureConnect


NCIIA and Microsoft New England Research and Development Center invite Boston-area entrepreneurs and investors to VentureConnect 2010, a showcase of northeastern university tech startup companies that are engaged in an intensive two-week program to accelerate their ventures. The event will be held at Microsoft NERD on Friday, April 23. See details on the registration form.

The teams are participating in NCIIA's new VentureLab workshop. The teams will demonstrate their innovations and showcase how they've accelerated in the VentureLab program. The ventures created by both graduate and undergraduate startups include such diverse areas including solar, security, software and emerging markets ventures.

Register for VentureConnect2010! See you there!

Move your Venture Forward with Venture Well East!

Deadline extended to March 19!

Are you an undergrad or grad student researcher, innovator or budding tech entrepreneur? Do you know a student venture team that's ready to take their idea or startup to the next level?

Apply to participate in VentureLab/Lens of the Market!

When: April 9-11 and April 23-25, 2010
Where: Microsoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Lens of Market
When: April 9, April 10, May 7 (choose the best date for you)
Where: Microsoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

More details about these workshops. Apply today!

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