Funding Resources

CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund

Program Overview & Eligibility

Click to download the F2019 CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund Information Packet [THIS PDF WAS REVISED 8/19/19]

DECLARATIONS OF INTENT MUST BE RECEIVED BY SEPTEMBER 4th (5pm)

Application steps:
1. Join the CoMotion Advisory Solutions community as a Team (Click here to join).
2. Receive email confirmation, and a link to complete your Team Profile, then complete your team profile!
*Want to apply for a program but you’re already in the system? No problem! Contact us through the website or at cmifund@uw.edu and we’ll send you detailed instructions.

A BRIDGE BETWEEN RESEARCH GRANTS AND SEED STAGE INVESTMENT

The CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund is a partnership between CoMotion and the Washington Research Foundation to provide up to $1 million per year with $50K grants awarded to up to 20 teams. Our mission is to fund and support projects that have a high chance to have impact but are unlikely to get there without gap funding. The Innovation Gap Fund program is intended to help technologies get across the “valley of death” between the conclusion of academic research grants and the level of development at which they can attract seed stage investment. The funds can be used to help create a proof-of-concept for your idea.

Successful projects have used funds to:

  • create prototypes
  • complete software coding or user interface development
  • initiate Beta testing
  • research customer demand
  • research and validate markets

GET FUNDED AND GET FULL-SCALE SUPPORT FROM A TEAM OF EXPERTS

We award grants of up to $40,000 per project, with an additional $10,000 reserved for business development milestones. In addition, we will pair each team with a skilled CoMotion Advisor.

DISBURSEMENT AND USE OF FUNDS

Funds are awarded to researchers for direct project costs for up to 12 months. Applications are accepted each year in the spring and fall. Following approval, funds are awarded on a milestone-based schedule worked out with your Innovation Manager and the Innovation Investments team. We strongly encourage that you use funds for product development and marketing purposes. No basic research will be funded. UW Principal Investigator salaries are not eligible for funding. Please discuss your proposed budget in advance with the Innovation Gap Fund team or your Innovation Manager to identify other non-fundable expenses.

ELIGIBILITY

  • A proposal must be submitted by a UW Principal Investigator (PI)
  • A PI may submit only one application as PI or Co-PI per round

EVALUATION CRITERIA

A final review committee of CoMotion and WRF staff, senior executives, and local investors will rank projects by market opportunity and likelihood that Innovation Gap Fund funding will influence the probability of the project making a social or commercial impact.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FOLLOW-ON FUNDING

If you previously received an Innovation Gap Fund award from CoMotion, you may submit an application for follow-on funding within up to 2 funding cycles (one year) of your initial award. Please contact the Innovation Investments team ( cmifund@uw.edu ) prior to submitting a Declaration of Intent, as you may be eligible to bypass several steps of the standard application process.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR BECU FINTECH INNOVATION GAP FUND AWARDS

The BECU partnership will fund two awards for this funding cycle to teams with a technology idea for the financial sector that may have commercialization potential — whether through a license, startup company, or other. This grant opportunity is open to faculty as well as postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. Students and postdocs MUST identify a faculty fiscal sponsor. The purpose of the funds are to help create a proof-of-concept and go-to-market strategy for your idea.

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