Introducing the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub

by VBSA-admin on November 1, 2018

Don’t miss the I-Trep/SPARK-VT webinar on November 12th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm introducing the northeast’s new biomedical Accelerator Hub, DRIVEN.

Please register at: or you can get in touch with the DRIVEN team at

Four new NIH grants, including one in the northeast region, will support the creation of Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hubs to serve Institutional Development Award (IDeA) states. The goal of the hubs is to connect biomedical researchers and entrepreneurs with resources in their regions to facilitate the creation of new biotech start-ups. The northeast regional hub will serve Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. You can read the NIH press release here:

For more information about DRIVEN please see the newsletter feature article.

iTREP logo

Please join EMBOLDIA in welcoming guest speaker Ken Bellian, Chief of Clinical Innovation and Strategy-Jensen + Partners for an evening of conversation and networking. The topic of discussion will be How Entrepreneurs Can Inject Innovation into the Healthcare System The conversation will be facilitated by Kip Steele IT Program Manager at the University of Vermont Health System.

Also featuring Shameless Plugs, an around the room no-holds-barred 2-minute opportunity for attendees to share current business concepts, garner interest for investment opportunities, seek collaboration or engage with potential employees or employers.

Please register here.

Date and Time

Wed, November 7, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM


IoT Conduit
12 North Street
Burlington, VT 05401


5:30-6:00 Networking
6:00-6:10 Welcome, Recognition of Partners,
 Introduction to Speaker
6:10-6:40 Conversations With Kip and Ken on how Entrepreneurs Can Inject Innovation into the Healthcare System
6:40-7:00 Q&A
7:00-7:15 “Shameless Plugs” ( Attendee Participation)
7:15-7:45 Networking


UVM Innovations, the Vermont Department of Economic Development, and the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) are pleased to host an I-Corps Short Course in Burlington this fall!

In this free two-week course, academic researchers and early startups working on a tech innovation will receive entrepreneurship training and strong mentor support, as they “get out of the lab” and talk with customers to identify the best product-market fit.

Vermont-based researchers may apply with a team of 1-3 people. Up to 10 teams will be selected.

Teams who successfully complete this I-Corps short course can become eligible to apply for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Teams program, which includes a $50,000 grant.

Apply Now!

Burlington Course Dates:

  • October 16 (8am – 4:30pm) – Kickoff workshop (In person)
  • October 23 (2pm-3pm) – Progress update and coaching (Online)
  • October 30 (2pm-3pm) – Progress update and coaching (Online)
  • November 2 (8am – 12pm) – Closing Workshop (In person)

How It Works:

  • The course begins with an in-person Kickoff workshop (one full day), where teams learn how to use the Business Model Canvas, a hypothesis-testing methodology and customer discovery interviews to explore if there’s a viable market fit for their product idea.
  • Over 2 weeks, teams go out and talk to potential customers about their needs, with the goal of completing 30 interviews.
  • Each week, teams attend a 1-hour video check in to share progress updates and get coaching from the instructors.
  • The short course ends with an in-person Closing workshop (half day) where teams present their findings, get more coaching, and learn about next steps with NSF I-Corps and other entrepreneurship programs.

 Who Should Apply?

Vermont-based academic researchers, early startups and student entrepreneurs who:

  • Have a tech innovation in any STEM field & want to explore its commercialization potential
  • Are willing to find & talk to 30 potential customers in 2 weeks
  • May want to apply for the NSF I-Corps Teams national program and $50,000 grant
  • Have 1-3 team members who can participate in the Short Course dates, including
    • Required: one “Entrepreneurial Lead” (typically a Grad student or Postdoc, sometimes an undergrad, with interest in pursuing a startup based on the technology)
    • Optional: one “Technical Lead” (Faculty or senior lab staff) and on “Industry Mentor” (experienced entrepreneur) who will support the EL in their market exploration.

The I-Corps Short Course is being led by the UNY I-Corps Node – one of eight NSF-funded Innovation Corps Nodes designed to support regional needs for innovation education, infrastructure and research. I-Corps Nodes work cooperatively to build, utilize and sustain a national innovation ecosystem that further enhances the development of technologies, products and processes that benefit society.