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 $5 million dollars to 69 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.

The average award amount is $75,000. Applicants may request a total award of up to $100,000 and biomedical technology applicants can request up to $150,000 (these technologies typically require greater resources).

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 2021 Cycle 

   Spring 2022 Cycle 

 Pre-proposal due date 

   October 4, 2021 

   March 1, 2022 

Announcement of finalists 

   November 2021 

   April 2022 

Full proposal due date (by invitation only) 

   January 7, 2022 

   June 3, 2022

 Pitch presentations (by invitation only) 

   February 2022 

   June/July 2022 

Award notices 

   March 2022

   August 2022 

Funding start date 

   April 1, 2022 

   September 1, 2022 

For questions or to be notified of key cycle dates email