Apply by October 3 for Innovation to Market

A photo of Abram Becker gesturing at a screen in front of a classroom of faculty, student, and staff participants in a D2P program.

Are you one of the next generation of Badger inventors? Do you have an innovation or technology that may have a potential commercial application?  Are you wondering who might buy it, what its value might be, or how big of an idea it could become?  If you are inventive and have an idea that you’d like to see succeed in the marketplace, apply to join the fall 2018 Innovation to Market cohort, hosted by Discovery to Product (D2P). The deadline for I2M program applications is Oct. 3 and the program begins on Oct. 16.

The goal of all of D2P’s programs is to mature projects on campus so that they become competitive for the funding needed to form a company, enhance their licensing potential, or fine tune their research objectives. D2P adds market readiness to your idea or invention.

A D2P instructor teaching a class
D2P commercialization and innovation specialist David Ertl explains product-market fit to students.

Building on the past success of Igniter cohorts that helped start 19 companies over the past three years, D2P is currently recruiting participants for a free five week fall cohort of the Innovation-To-Market (I2M) program. I2M focuses on preparing teams to find Product-Market Fit, the fundamental building block of successful startups.  Think of Product-Market Fit as the first step in the commercialization process: knowing who your customers are and what they want, whether your product fits their needs, and whether there is enough demand to generate sufficient profit.

The program begins with an overview of the Business Model Canvas as context for the hands-on customer discovery work that will be performed.  The teaching team will provide training and materials to assist teams as they develop their understanding of potential customers.  During the program, teams will interview customers and other influencers as they test the market need for their innovation.  In a group setting, teams learn to incorporate startup tools and techniques such as the Business Model Canvas, customer discovery, desk research, in-depth customer interviews, and value proposition design.

The five-week series includes three classroom sessions, and two mandatory office hours meetings with the teaching team.

Fall 2018 I2M schedule

  • Week 1 (In-class Cohort): October 16, 2018, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Week 2 (Office Hours*): October 23, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Week 3 (In-class Cohort): October 30, 2018, 9:00 am – Noon
  • Week 4 (Office Hours*): November 6, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Week 5 (In-class Cohort): November 13, 2018, 9:00 am – Noon

*Teams schedule 1-hour meeting with Teaching Team during office hours window.

Participants in the I2M Program will:

  • Develop best practices for conducting customer discovery and identifying key stakeholders.
  • Learn, practice and hone innovation skills.
  • Improve the odds for commercial success.
  • Understand market trends and needs in the relevant technology area.
  • Gain valuable new contacts and an expanded network

Upon completion of the I2M program, teams will have the skills needed to continue exploring Product-Market Fit for their innovations.  Each team will need to determine the most beneficial next steps in their commercialization journey.  For some, the D2P Igniter program could be an option to finalize customer discovery and develop their business model.  For others, a more intensive NSF or NIH I-Corps customer discovery path could be pursued.  The D2P team will assist you with planning your unique commercialization pathway and connect you with resources to help move forward.

UW-Madison students historically have had a passion for problem solving and some of our students have even turned that passion into profit with ideas that were born out of dorm room conversations, studies and lab work. The fall 2018 Innovation to Market program is an opportunity to grow your passion and build upon your entrepreneurial skill set.

Register Today!

The deadline for I2M program applications is Oct. 3 and the program begins on Oct. 16. To apply to the I2M cohort: