Promoting entrepreneurship across campus and growing the western Massachusetts innovation ecosystem have become a focal point for the University. If you’re seeking education, business advice, funding, or lab space, UMass has the resources to support you.
Ventures @ CICS
The Berthiaume Center
The Institute for Applied Life Science
The Maroon Fund
The UMass Fund
UMass Amherst Alumni Association
Other Campus Resources and Contacts
An Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Can Get You Started.
Every new business starts with an idea. Your idea may be well thought out, or it may be a flash of inspiration! And, like most university people, you may have little or no experience in business. The UMass Amherst EIR Program was created to provide you and others with a welcoming starting point for exploring business ideas, and to provide knowledgeable guidance on how to turn those business ideas into new companies.
The UMass Amherst EIRs are volunteers that have deep experience in the business world. They have created and developed new products, and have started and built new companies. Each EIR has experience in one or more specific product fields, but their business expertise is relevant in all fields. They have office hours on campus so that anyone in the UMass Amherst community, including undergraduate students, grad students, postdocs and faculty, can easily get confidential information and advice on the potential value of their business ideas and how to pursue them, no matter how undeveloped those ideas may be.
Please email Maryanne Laukaitis at the UMass Amherst Technology Transfer Office, at email@example.com. Or, you can email this form to Maryanne, EIR Sign-up Form, and she will contact you to set up the first meeting.
The College of Information and Computer Science (CICS) has their own EIR program through Ventures @ CICS. You may request an appointment with one here.
Ventures @ CICS provides information, advice, and support to anyone in the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) community interested in exploring the commercial value of new technologies emerging from our research labs and class projects. The program is aimed at early stage concept development -- helping scientists and engineers move ideas from proof-of-concept towards marketable products with societal benefit.
At the heart of the Ventures @ CICS initiative is our Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Program. EIRs are volunteers from the private sector -- each one brings expertise in multiple areas of computer & information science, a track record of business-development success, a passion for commercialization, and a commitment to UMass Amherst and CICS.
The Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, located at the Isenberg School of Management, teaches undergraduate and graduate school courses on entrepreneurship. It also sponsors the Innovation Challenge, the HackUMass Hackathon, and other events to encourage and support entrepreneurs.
As part of its focus on applied research, the Institute for Applied Life Science (IALS) has created two “co-laboratories” where, for a modest monthly fee, start-up companies can rent 6 feet of bench space in a shared lab, which includes use of a fume hood and conference rooms. The IALS labs are newly constructed in 2016. Although IALS research is focused on life science, rental lab space may also be available for companies in other fields. IALS also provides start-up companies with access to 30 core research centers: microscopy, MRI, calorimetry, DNA sequencing, and many others. To learn more contact Andrew Vinard, 413-577-4582, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collaborate, build, explore, learn, prototype.
UMass Amherst Makerspace
The UMass Amherst Makerspace is an interdisciplinary makerspace open to students, staff, and faculty from all majors and disciplines. We provide access to space, tools, equipment, training, and help connect individuals and facilitate mentorship and sharing of knowledge.
M5: ECE Makerspace
M5 is a 5,000 sq. ft. academic makerspace. It is an open learning environment whose mission is to enable ECE undergraduate and graduate students to advance their technical interests through experimentation, exploration, social interaction and entrepreneurship.
The Maroon Fund May Be Willing to Fund Your Company.
Maroon Venture Partners Fund I, LP is a for-profit venture fund that invests in early stage companies linked to UMass Amherst. It typically invests $50,000 to $200,000, and it often provides a new company’s first outside equity funding. It looks for companies that can use its funds to accomplish significant milestones toward commercial success. The fund’s broader goal is to foster the growing spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the UMass Amherst community. You can learn more and apply here: Maroonventurepartners.com
The Alumni Association Can Connect You to their Networks.
The UMass Amherst Alumni Association’s mission is to provide guidance, promote financial and volunteer support, and amplify the positive effects of the institution amongst the public and the legislature. To this end, the Alumni Association has several networks relevant to entrepreneurs, including Innovators Alumni Network, Life Sciences Alumni Network, and Boston Regional Network. More information may be found here.
Digital Media Lab - Green room, sound rooms, AV equipment loans, 3D printing.
3rd Floor, DuBois Library, 413-545-6258, email@example.com
Patent Deposit Library – patent search strategies, patent search assistance.
Paulina Borrego, 413-545-7891, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Research Compliance – Conflict of interest management, human subjects, animal subjects, export control.
Melinda LeLacheur, 413-545-5283, email@example.com
Office of Research Development – Advice and assistance with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications.
Suzanne Tromara, 413-577-3726, firstname.lastname@example.org
UMass Innovation Institute – Assistance for company to sponsor research at UMass; referrals to landlords of off-campus office and lab space.
Suzanne Tromara, 413-577-8644, email@example.com