UWM Research Foundation receives WEDC grant for UWM startups

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Foundation has developed a Bridge Grant Program that will help commercialize innovations developed at UWM and contribute to the health of the local economy, according to a news release.

The UWMRF is working to raise funds to create a pool of $400,000 that will be used to invest in startup companies involving UWM faculty, students or staff that have licensed intellectual property through the foundation, officials say. 

15 campus startup companies have launched with UWMRF support. One other seed-funding source is its Catalyst Grants Program, which began in 2007.

Many universities have created "gap" funds to compensate fort the shortage of capital of university-based innovations. According to officials, these funds can be focused on translational research, proof of concept, and startup formation and growth. 

“This is a great opportunity to accelerate strong ideas at UWM by using early stage investment. The Bridge Grant will be instrumental in helping our teams accomplish key milestones and attract further funding from agencies and investors,” said Jessica Silvaggi, UWMRF director of technology commercialization. 

According to a news release, "UWM entrepreneurs will be able to apply for Bridge Grant funds in two stages. Successful teams receiving a phase 1 grant are eligible to apply for a phase 2 award. Teams will also be supported by the UWMRF’s ENGAGE mentor program and by course offerings at the UWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center (LEC). Evaluating the applications will be a selection committee that consists of external members (investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders), LEC leadership and the UWMRF fund manager."

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