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The Drexel University Innovation Fund

Drexel's campus

Drexel Applied Innovation Logo

The Drexel University Innovation Fund is an exciting new initiative for early-stage Drexel student and postgraduate-led startups, as well as startups founded to commercialize the results of scientific research being developed at Drexel.

The University aspires to play the role of a friends and family investor by being the first money in with an investment of $150,000 per startup and up to four startups per year.

The Innovation Fund is an evergreen fund, where all returns will be re-invested through the fund in future startups, impacting the Drexel University startup ecosystem by supporting new ideas and innovations as they emerge.

Drexel Innovation Fund: How it works.


  1. The Founding Team must have a strong Drexel affiliation and be authorized to work in the United States. This includes:

    1. Undergraduate students within a year of graduation

    2. Graduate Students & PhD Students within a year of graduation

    3. Alumni within three years of graduation OR are members of ic@3401

    4. Current staff and faculty

  2. For current faculty and post-docs to qualify, their venture must be based on their research results at Drexel

  3. The founding team must have at least one member of the management team fully commitment to the startup entity (no other form of FT employment)

  4. Legally incorporated as a C-Corporation in the United States at the time of receiving funds. It is highly recommended that the C-Corporation exists at the time of application.

  5. The startup cannot have raised and closed greater than $1M at time of application

  6. Commitment to participate for the ENTP T380 Due Diligence course

  7. TECH TRANSFER only: Applying commercial entity must be able to secure a license agreement with Drexel to access the necessary Drexel IP

  8. Founders are permitted to submit one venture per application cycle

IconA unique aspect of the Innovation Fund is an experiential opportunity for Drexel students to learn venture capital investing through credit-bearing courses and experiencing the Innovation Fund’s investment process with hands-on activities. Following the mission to provide a valuable, rigorous, experiential education, students will work with a faculty member to perform due diligence, develop recommendations, and present their findings to an investment committee. Students interested in this coursework should contact Professor Robert Morier (

Aleister Saunders headshot “This new program will be a tremendous boost for startups developing innovative products and services based on Drexel research. The Fund will lead to increased commercialization and that is perfectly aligned with a Drexel strategic imperative to expand the impact of research and innovation."

-Aleister Saunders, PhD, executive vice provost for Research and Innovation

The Drexel Innovation Fund was developed by leaders from the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, Office of Research and Innovation, Office of the Provost, Drexel Solutions Institute, the Office of Executive Vice President, Treasurer & COO and an advisory group consisting of university trustees and distinguished alumni in the venture capital industry. An Investment Advisory Committee, comprised of industry experts and early-stage investors selected by Drexel Applied Innovation and the Close School, will consult on program management.