Accelerator Awards

Funding that supports external validation and de-risking activities to demonstrate the commercial viability of a technology

The Accelerator Awards at Ohio State is a program that provides funding for technology development designed to accelerate the advancement of cutting-edge Ohio State innovations from the university into the marketplace. The program is funded by Ohio State, Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund. The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship administers the program at Ohio State.

Since the program launch in 2015, the Accelerator Awards has distributed over 7.4 million dollars to 90 unique projects. These projects have led over 20 startup companies. 


The program bridges the gap between academic research projects and market ready technologies that can secure private funding and capital investments. Funding supports de-risking activities and external validation for up to 12 months to demonstrate the commercial viability of a technology. At the conclusion of an Accelerator Award, the next step is to launch a startup company based in Ohio that licenses the technology.

the accelerator awards on a single line continuum from early stage development to accelerator award to startup creation to market launch

Funding available

One million dollars is available each year to fund multiple projects. Applicants should request funds necessary and critical to perform the work required to complete external validation and de-risking activities.

All technologies are eligible to apply for up to $100,000 in funds. The average award amount is expected to be approximately $75,000. Some biomedical projects may require greater resources because of the nature of the proposed work. Proposals focused on creating a healthcare product regulated by the FDA may be eligible to request a budget up to a maximum of $150,000.

Eligible sectors

The program selects technologies at the appropriate stage with valid market opportunity, reasonable success to create a startup company, and are within the Ohio Third Frontier technology focus areas.

  • Software/Information Technology   
  • Biomedical/Life Sciences   
  • Advanced Materials or Manufacturing
  • Sensors  
  • Energy

Cycle dates

The Accelerator Award application process consists of three rounds: a pre-proposal, a full application by invitation and a pitch presentation by invitation.


   Fall 2023 Cycle 

   Spring 2024 Cycle

 Pre-proposal due date 

   October 2, 2023 

   March 4, 2024 

Finalist invited to submit full application

   November 2023 

   April 2024 

Full application due (invitation only) 

   January 12, 2024

   June 3, 2024

 Pitch presentations  (invitation only) 

   TBD (February 2024)    

   TBD (late June/early July 2024) 

Funding Recommendation Notices

   March 2024

   August 2024 

Funding Projects start

   April-May 2024

   September-October 2024

Pre-proposal information sessions (virtual) for the Spring 2024 application cycle now available for registration. Sessions start January 18, 2024.  Click here for more information and register for zoom sessions .  

For questions or to be notified of key cycle dates email