The Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund is a technology commercialization accelerator fund that helps transfer new technologies into the market where they can benefit the public good.
The Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund offers funding to facilitate development and commercialization of technology-driven innovations that will lead to the formation of a start-up business or license to an existing company. Grants from Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund can be used for a variety of activities that advance innovations from laboratory to marketplace. These include prototype development, commercial feasibility testing, software coding, or user interface development, or other projects that mitigate risks for potential licensees or investors.
The average grant is anticipated to be $50,000, although awards of up to $100,000 per project may be approved but will require very clear justification for the amount requested, with well-defined milestones and measures of success. Approximately seven awards will be made per round and two rounds will be offered per year.
Awards will be made to projects that offer a validated solution to a clear and well documented market need or problem. Applicants are encouraged to participate in the I-Corps Site program to learn customer discovery techniques that will help them engage with potential customers and industry partners to learn more about the potential market.
Principal investigators at UB or partner institutions may apply if they have a technology innovation that has received a positive review from their Technology Transfer Office at least three months prior to the submission. Partner institutions include Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Kaleida Health and Jacobs Institute. Only one application per round is allowed per Principal Investigator. Projects from all disciplines are eligible.
The PI must be currently employed by a Partner Institution or an emeritus faculty member who maintains an active research group. Part-time faculty and students are not eligible to apply as PI but may be part of the project team.
The application process includes a pre-proposal application, which is endorsed by the Principal Investigator's partner institution and reviewed by an external committee. Approximately ten principal investigators will be invited to submit a full proposal, which requires customer discovery, letters of support, a presentation with a question/answer session and review by an external committee.