Open to all Cockrell School of Engineering and College of Natural Sciences faculty and researchers, Innovation Grants are intended to assess and develop UT Austin technology with a high chance of being commercialized.

Awardees are provided funding and access to Texas Innovation Center’s Startup-In-A-Box and Friends of TxIC Network to help move forward their startup formation and launch endeavor.

The scope of use for the grant must be completed within six months, with any unused funds returning to the Innovation Grant program. Awardees may apply for a one-time 3-month extension per grant as needed.

*Applicants may apply for an Innovation Grant each semester and only hold one active grant.

The Innovation Grant funds are for direct project costs, including:

  • Make, test, or demo prototypes
  • Register and travel to conference
  • Travel to meet with key potential customers and investors
  • Validate market and pricing models
  • Assess customer demand

*Grants may not be used for basic, fundamental, or exploratory research, fund the general operation of a research lab, for journal publications, the cost to secure or protect IP, or for faculty salary.

Application materials include:

  • Budget
    • Justification detailing the project expenditures
  • Letter of Support
    • From an external subject matter expert willing to advocate for the project
  • Pitch Deck (10 to 12 slides) including-
    • Problem/Unmet Need
    • Solution
    • Solution Delivery/Product – product and how it works
    • Market Size (TAM, SAM, SOM)
    • Competitive Advantage and Matrix
    • Market/Go-To-Market Strategy – proof that users love your product
    • Business Model – how you make money
    • Financials – plan going forward, hires, accomplish, cost of things
    • Team
    • The Ask – what will you accomplish with the Innovation Grant


  • College of Natural Sciences or Cockrell School of Engineering faculty or researcher with principal investigator status
  • Intellectual property invention disclosure related to the project submitted to the Office of Technology Commercialization