Accelerator Awards Application and Process

Applying for an Accelerator Award 

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


   Fall 2022 Cycle 

   Spring 2023 Cycle 

 Pre-proposal due date 

   October 3, 2022 

   March 3, 2023 

Announcement of finalists 

   November 2022 

   April 2023 

Full proposal due date (by invitation only) 

   January 9, 2023 

   June 2, 2023

 Pitch presentations (by invitation only) 

   TBD (February 2023)   

   TBA  (June/July 2023) 

Award notices 

   March 2023

   August 2023 

Funding start date 

   April 1, 2023 

   September 1, 2023 

To be notified of key cycle dates email

Request for Applications release 

Download the pre-proposal formor see the RFA. Ohio State Licensing Managers are a valuable resource in the Accelerator Award process. 

Pre-proposal deadline 

Pre-proposals are accepted until 5 p.m. on that cycle’s pre-proposal deadline. Please review the RFA thoroughly, download and complete the pre-proposal form and send it as a PDF to the Accelerator Awards program at

At this stage, applicants should be prepared to provide general information about the technology, competition, market opportunity, commercialization path, IP position, project milestones and team members. Pre-proposal forms should be limited to two pages in length, in addition to the cover page. Pre-proposals will be screened for compliance with program requirements and goals. Pre-proposals that meet the screening requirements will advance to an internal review committee. 

Members of the Accelerator Awards selection committee are NOT under any confidentiality agreements. Accordingly, applicants must not include proprietary information that has not been disclosed or protected by the technology licensing team. Publicly disclosing confidential information to external parties without a confidentiality agreement risks destroying the patentability of the invention. Applicants are encouraged to contact their assigned technology licensing manager with any questions or for additional guidance. 

If you have an invention for which you want to submit an Accelerator Award proposal and have not yet filed an invention disclosure, you must do so by the pre-proposal deadline. To support a competitive application, the invention disclosure should be submitted significantly in advance of the pre-proposal deadline to allow your technology licensing manager to evaluate the invention disclosure, conduct patentability review, and analyze the market and competitive technologies to determine the invention’s commercialization potential. File your disclosure in Innovate, our inventor portal. 

Invitations to submit full applications 

Eligible proposals chosen by the external selection committee will be notified by email and invited to submit a full proposal and make a pitch presentation to the selection committee. Full application instructions will be provided to finalists at the time of notification. 

Proposals that do not advance to the full application phase will receive notification via email and may request a debriefing for further feedback on the pre-proposal to guide a resubmission for a future application cycle. 

Full application deadline 

Finalists who are invited to prepare a full application must submit the proposal by 5 p.m. on the full application deadline date. Full application instructions and the pitch presentation template will be provided to finalists at the time of notification. 

At this stage, applicants should be prepared to provide an in depth version of the pre-proposal, including additional detail around the technology, project milestones informed by industry input, project plan, proposed budget form with third party vendors identified, an industry letter of support and certain required documentation. It is also encouraged, but not required, to include budget supporting documents and up to three letters of support from potential licensees or commercialization partners. 

The program requires that finalists who are invited to submit a full application engage with an industry expert to help refine the commercialization objectives of the project. The industry expert will provide input to the PI to assist the applicant in submitting a strong, commercially-focused milestone plan. To learn more about engaging an industry expert, see the RFA

Pitch presentations 

Invited finalists will make a pitch presentation to the Accelerator Awards Selection Committee. Finalists will prepare a 10-minute pitch of how the proposed project will accelerate the commercialization of the technology, with an additional 15-minutes for questions and answers. The Accelerator Awards Selection Committee consists of representatives of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship Office and external partners with commercialization, investment, entrepreneurial and technical expertise. 

Award notices 

Funding decisions are made by the Ohio Third Frontier based upon recommendations of the Accelerator Awards Selection Committee. Award notifications will be communicated to finalists. Finalists not selected for an award will be provided with feedback from the Accelerator Awards Selection Committee via email along with any recommended resources or alternative strategies to support the commercialization of the project. 

Project start date 

Each project lasts a maximum of 12 months beginning on the project start date. The project scope must encompass activities that can be completed within a period of 12 months   

Questions about the Accelerator Awards

Visit our FAQ or contact us by email at