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BRIDGING THE TECH/STARTUP VALLEY OF DEATH

PRESENTED BY

HOSTED BY

UNIVERSITY REGISTRANTS

Binghamton University

Boston Children's Hospital

Center for Addiction and Mental Health

Cincinnati Children's Hospital

City of Hope National Cancer Center

Emory University

Houston Methodist Hospital

HubTec Chile

Louisiana BioFund

Louisiana State University-Health

Marquette University

North Carolina State University

Northeastern University

Ohio State University

Oregon Health and Science University

Portland State University

Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust

Rutgers University

Saint Louis University

Stellenbosch University

Tulane University

University Health Network

University of Arizona

University of Connecticut

University of Georgia

University of Manitoba

University of Maryland

University of New Mexico

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina-Greensboro

University of Pittsburgh

University of Southern California

University of Tennessee

University of Texas Health Science Center

University of Utah

University of Virginia

University of Waterloo

University of Wisconsin-Madison/WARF

Virginia Tech University

Wake Forest University

Washington State University

Washington University of St. Louis Wayne State University

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WHAT IS COVERGENCE?

AN ONLINE GATHERING OF THOSE INTERESTED IN DEVELOPING AND COLLABORATING WITH UNIVERSITY TECH AND STARTUP GAP FUND AND ACCELERATOR PROGRAMS 

The lack of true early-stage capital and innovation developmental support is a major challenge in advancing promising university technology from the lab to commercial and investment partners. 

Research institutions are leading through the implementation of university gap funding (proof of concept, startup, venture) and accelerator programs to bridge this "valley of death". Over the past 15 years, these programs have evolved into sophisticated investment, evaluation, development, and commercialization support mechanisms to nuture the most promising opportunities in emerging, high-growth technology areas.

Smart companies and investors are taking notice and making it a strategic, external innovation and investment priority to partner with these university gap fund and accelerator programs through applied research, proof of concept projects, corporate venture investments, and advisory/mentorship in return for insights, competitive positioning, and access to future technology and start-ups.

COvergence is where we meet, learn, and talk about what we can do together to catalyze innovation through university gap fund and accelerator programs.  

COVERGENCE EVENT OVERVIEW

COVERGENCE ONLINE FORMAT

RIGHT PEOPLE

University POC/startup/venture, industry, and investor leadership converge to connect those interested in developing and accessing emerging IP, proof of concept projects, and startups through gap funds/accelerator programs; share and learn about early stage innovation trends and collaboration practices.

RIGHT SIZE

We all know that oversubscribed events lead to many hit-miss, high-level exchanges. Our strategy is to go targeted to allow everyone to meet and forge foundational relationships. We do this by making sure that we are inviting the right people to fill those seats.

RIGHT CONTENT

Connect. Learn. Share common interests. Online platform and balance of content and relationship-building. Increase random interactions and knowledge exchange.

Thursday, October 22, 2020 (ET)

10-10:30AM ET: Welcome/The Gap Fund/Accelerator Landscape Review

10:30AM-3:30 PM : Need-to-Know Gap Fund/Accelerator Program Showcases:
Participating program managers of proof of concept, startup, and venture gap funds will take a formatted approach to relaying detailed overviews of their processes, structures, impact, and lessons-learned (breaks throughout

3:30PM-5PM: Common Challenge Breakouts Breakout virtual rooms by program type and interest areas. A great opportunity to bounce around and build connections with others that are interested in the more nuanced challenges with gap fund and accelerator programs

  • Proof of Concept Programs
  • Startup and Venture Funds
  • Corporate Innovation and Venture
  • ES Investment Approaches 

5:00PM: The Happiest of Hours/Large Group Mixer
Interested in something? Grab your beverage of your choice and put it out to the group! Report out breakout discussion, capture the day's discussions, and to share opportunities and resources moving forward.

Friday, October 23, 2020 (ET)

External Gap Fund/Accelerator Perspective Panels: Experts will provide short presentations specific to their experiences and organization and then convene in a larger panel discussion  

10-11:30AM ET: Corporate Innovation + Venture
Corporate Innovation and Venture teams are beginning to look past traditional partnership models (research projects, marketed licenses, etc.) to more alignment with existing programs in the university commercialization process, like gap fund and accelerator programs. The presenters/panelists will share their historical approaches, areas of interest, and opportunities for syncing with university technologies and startups.  

11:45AM-1:00PM: Venture Capital + Angel
Venture and angel models have evolved in future years in ways that have opened up avenues for earlier stage investment and collaboration. Learn about emerging valuation tactics, fundraising strategies, and how these sources of investment, experience, and relationships can tie into your gap fund/accelerator process and goals. 

1:30-2:45PM: Philanthropy/Alt Investments
Philanthropy is quickly becoming a primary source of gap fund/accelerator program support. Foundations, donors, generational investors, and alternative investment vehicles are all on the rise seeking to connect their passions/interests/causes to promising university technologies and startups.

3-4PM: Wrap-up, Learned Lessons, and Adjourn

WHAT 2019 ATTENDEES SAID

COVERGENCE was a great conference to learn more about the complexities of gap funding at Universities, from grants to venture. Great topics, networking, and even a little bit of fun thrown in.”  

COVERGENCE was a fantastic opportunity to engage with others involved in startup formation and success! Thank you, innovosource!”  

COVERGENCE was worth the intercontinental travel. With a high concentration of experts, entrepreneurs and investors, it really was an eye-opening experience.”  

COVERGENCE was a great opportunity for a small program like ours to compare notes with more established, larger programs to compare best practices.”  

“Excellent meeting to tap into current best practices in university gap/seed funds. Well worth the time.”  

“Great opportunity and format to go deep on topics and best practices of interest and importance to universities supporting startups!”  

COVERGENCEoffers insight into a niche industry that the corporate and investment worlds are neglecting. There is a huge opportunity for collaboration and partnership to help university-founded startups scale their businesses.”  

“Great organization and assistance.”  

“Thanks for having us! we are definitely coming again next year.”  

(Photo credit: Lauren Stonestreet Photography)