Grad Student and Faculty Startup Incubator Header_2


Learn to commercialize your research or build a business in a program that's flexible for your busy schedule

2023-24 DATES

Every other Thursday night from
Oct. 19, 2023 to April 11, 2024

Zoom: 5-6 p.m.


The Graduate Student/Faculty Incubator is designed for all disciplines at the University of Iowa. We recognize the busy schedules of our targeted individuals, so we have once again structured the Graduate Student/Faculty Incubator to meet as a group every other Thursday evening from 5-6 p.m. (CST) via Zoom.

The Incubator instructors are all either proven entrepreneurial CEOs, Founders, or experienced professionals in equity investment, pitching, or the marketing of early-stage businesses.

This program offers opportunities to meet between sessions with instructors, mentors, and various entrepreneurs while expanding your business network. Our goal is to stage you so we can personalize mentors, introduce you to key concepts for building a business through commercialization of research or personal startup ideas, and overview some of the business terminology used in entrepreneurial endeavors. For more advanced participants from previous sessions, we will target several critical next steps you need to accomplish in order to elevate your business strategy for starting your business.

Based on recent cohorts, demand is strong across campus, so we suggest you apply as soon as possible as seats are limited. You can find the application form below (Apply Today button). 

If you have any questions, email Kurt Heiar or Gregg Barcus



  • Targeted mentoring and coaching
  • Investor insights
  • Guest speakers on tech transfer, NSF I-Corps and other research commercialization topics
  • Marketing support
  • Prototyping and software support
  • Access to SBDC counseling
  • Networking with alumni, entrepreneurs, and University of Iowa resources


If you’re a registered graduate student, postdoctoral researcher or faculty member at the University of Iowa, you’re eligible to apply to Hawkeye Graduate Student/Faculty Startup Incubator Here’s what you need to know:

  • All academic disciplines are welcome to apply.
  • Teams or individuals are welcome if at least one founder is a current graduate student, postdoc, or faculty member.
  • You need to demonstrate serious intent to be an active participant
  • After submitting your application, you'll be invited to interview with the Program Director who will determine at what stage you will enter Startup Incubator.
  • Teams or a member of a team must have successfully completed the NSF I-Corps program.


  • Two interactive group meetings per month via Zoom. Plan to bring your venture's current challenges for group feedback. 
  • Attendance of any Startup Incubator talks outside regular group meetings. 
  • Development of a working business model
  • Regular interaction with the Program Director, coaches, and mentors.
  • Developing a competition pitch deck
  • Formulation of short and long-term goals
  • Meeting with Iowa JPEC Specialists in Marketing, Accounting, Law and Prototyping as needed
  • Continued adherence to the expectations of the Startup Incubator Charter


Are you ready to build your big idea?  Apply to Graduate Student/Faculty Startup Incubator today.