These days, universities talk a big game about innovation, and some ideologues even say that universities are so outdated that they hinder innovation, but the truth is that research universities continue to play a major role in the development of new technologies. Whether new technologies are developed in universities or at scrappy startups that operate out of someone’s basement, innovators in both situations face the same problem: difficulty finding sources of venture capital to bring their products from the prototype stage to widespread commercial availability. Thus, both research universities and startups can benefit from gap funding. Gap funding refers to grants of venture capital given to already existing technological projects to bring them from the research stage to the commercial production stage. Mind the Gap is an excellent source of gap funding for projects dedicated to technological innovation.
Types of Gap Funding
Mind the Gap offers four kinds of gap funding awards: Translational Research Gap Funds, Proof of Concept Funds, Start-Up Formation Gap Funds, and Start-Up Growth Gap Funds. It is well known in the research community that the result of most experiments is not a workable product, but rather a clearer idea of which experiment to perform next. Most of the grants awarded to research universities are not sufficient to develop a new technology all the way from the idea stage to the commercial availability stage. Translational Research Gap Funds, awarded to research universities, pick up where the original source of funding left off. This type of gap funds is especially important because it helps researchers continue their research while reapplying for funds from large institutions. Proof of Concept Funds are designated for the phase of research that evaluates whether a new technology is ready for its commercial debut. This type of gap funding can be applied to helping researchers decide what improvements the technology needs or, if the technology does not need further improvement, developing a strategy for marketing the product. Start-Up Formation Gap Funds are venture capital for new startups dedicated to a new piece of technology, while Start-Up Growth Gap Funds provide already existing startups with funds to implement the next phase of their plans.
Why Choose Mind the Gap?
Mind the Gap is a leader in connecting technological innovators with sources of gap funding. We understand the importance of both the research side and the business side of technological innovation.