Innovate

Want to make something happen? You’ve come to the right place. If you have an idea for an innovative product, service, or technology, D2P is here to help make your ideas into realities.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is part of a thriving and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wisconsin. The university’s $1.2 billion in research awards help drive $15 billion of economic impact annually to the state, which has included the formation of over 400 startups. Innovators in the greater Madison area have access to a diverse array of programs that work to commercialize groundbreaking ideas.

How D2P Helps

Discovery to Product LogoD2P is the front door to UW–Madison’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our experienced mentors work directly with faculty, staff, and students to provide education and advice to help 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. We also help inventors and entrepreneurs navigate the wide array of resources available in UW–Madison’s innovation network. The best way to get started is to contact us. Our services and programs are free to campus innovators at all stages of the process.

Mentoring

Discovery to Product’s Innovation and Commercialization Specialists provide free consultation, coaching, and mentoring to all UW–Madison innovators.  They are veteran business developers, entrepreneurs, product managers, and startup executives with specific industry experiences in engineering, life sciences, information technology, food science, and consumer goods. You don’t have to be a current or past participant in a D2P programming to connect with us, and it’s never too early or late to check in to get help with your project.

Education

D2P regularly partners with members of UW–Madison’s innovation network to offer educational programming to help entrepreneurs and inventors bring their ideas to the marketplace. Whether you are just getting started, or already on the path to developing your product or service, D2P’s educational programming is an excellent resource.

Funding Programs

D2P administers two grant programs that help advance the commercial development of innovations and aid in the formation of startup companies.  The Draper Technology Innovation Fund (TIF) provides a mechanism to support the additional research often necessary to bring new concepts and inventions to the patent and licensing stage. The program goal is the eventual introduction of new products and processes into the marketplace for the public good. Funds can be used to support efforts to enhance the scope or patentability of inventions and assist with their potential licensing to the commercial sector. Examples of research activities include prototype development, preparation of samples for evaluation, and application testing. The State Economic Engagement & Development (SEED) Research Program grants allow UW–Madison faculty and academic staff with ownership in a Wisconsin company to engage in innovative research that takes place on the UW–Madison campus. SEED research funding is designed to generate additional private and public sector support for innovator research programs and promote technology transfer between the University and industry.

UW–Madison Resource Directory

If you would like to browse available resources on your own, visit the INSITE Entrepreneurship guide.  Maintained by the Initiative for Studies in Transformational Leadership (INSITE) within the Wisconsin School of Business with support from UW–Madison’s Small Business Development Center, INSITE is a comprehensive database of entrepreneurship resources in Madison.