If you have a problem or idea that sparks your enthusiasm and you're ready for an intense, immersive experience building something from the ground up, apply to join the TIA Incubator.

The Incubator is open to first-years through seniors, as well as alumni and local community members. It begins as a year-long commitment and offers successful and motivated entrepreneurs the opportunity to continue for subsequent years.

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Application Requirements and Process

Application Requirements:

Applicants to the TIA Incubator are expected to:

  • Have a business/non-profit idea, a sense of the problem you are trying to solve and your target customer/audience
  • Have a founding team of at least 2+ members (refer to FAQ section)
  • Be able to able to actively participate in all aspects of the program curriculum, including in-person attendance at seven monthly workshops (more information below)

Application Process

To apply, fill out the form linked from the button below. After we receive your application, we will reach out to set up a video interview over Zoom to learn more about your venture idea and share what you should expect during the year-long Incubator.

Program Commitment

Being an entrepreneur requires hard work, dedication, perseverance, and overcoming failure. TIA entrepreneurs are expected to:

  • Attend seven monthly workshops from September to March, typically Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (workshops are not optional; in-person attendance is required by each venture)
  • Participate in a mid-month conference call each month
  • Work with your team on three action items between each workshop

 

The schedule for the 100-level 2020-2021 TIA Incubator is below. Please note that this schedule is subject to change; the University continues to monitor state and federal recommendations related to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19.

Friday, September 11–Sunday, September 13: Incubator orientation and design thinking workshop
Saturday, September 26: Workshop #1, “Presenting Your Venture”
Saturday, November 7: Workshop #2, “Building a Team”
Saturday, December 5: Workshop #3, “Knowing Your Customer”
Saturday, January 23: Workshop #4, “Marketing 101”
Saturday, February 20: Workshop #5, “Sales 101”
Saturday, March 27: Workshop #6, “Wrap up and Entrepreneur Weekend Prep”
Saturday, April 10: Entrepreneur Weekend 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

We accept a broad range of ideas in business, non-profit, and campus-focused areas. Whether your idea is a consumer businesses, food startup, non-profit organization, B2B business, technology app, or campus venture, you can find a place in TIA.

When you apply to TIA, you should have a business/non-profit idea, a sense of the problem you are trying to solve, and an idea of who your target customer/audience is.

If you're not certain about your idea, check out our current and past TIA ventures for inspiration. We also encourage you to do some research online about how to develop a startup idea and check out our resources page.

Having a founding team instead of just a single founder has benefits for many reasons: you will have a wider variety of viewpoints, each member brings a unique skill set, you may make faster progress with more hands on deck, collaborating with others will help keep you motivated during tough times, and much more.

If you have an idea but don't have any teammates, we encourage you to think of creative ways to find collaborators. A classmate? Someone who lives on your floor? Fellow club member or teammate? You can also attend a TIA brown bag or information session and see if you meet a teammate there.

If you believe that your venture would be best suited as a single-person team, apply anyway. We do accept single-person teams in to the Incubator. The video interview will be a chance to talk about whether staying as a single-person venture is the right thing and/or discuss approaches to finding teammates if that is the best course of action.

You can still participate in TIA if you will be abroad for a semester, as long as other members of your venture will be on campus during that semester. Participating in TIA as a single-person venture during a year in which you are abroad is challenging, as the program's curriculum spans the full academic year.

In general, entrepreneurs are expected to be at each monthly workshop. However, we understand that conflicts arise. Part of the benefit of having a team is that if one team member cannot make it to the workshop, the venture is still represented.

If your entire venture team is not able to make it to one of the workshops, you should notify the TIA director and alumni executive director prior to that workshop. Teams are allowed one absence over the course of the year, when giving prior notification.

If the entire team misses more than one workshop or does not provide advance notice of an absence, it generally results in the team leaving the program.

Intellectual property protection is typically not a concern for teams at the stage they are in while participating in the TIA Incubator. Given the nature of our program, the frequent communication between various teams and mentors, and the volume of ventures we have worked with over the years, we do not sign non-disclosure agreements. Our mentor base includes subject matter experts who have legal expertise in intellectual property, patents, incorporation, and more who can advise teams on when/how to handle these things during the growth of their venture.

Contact us to learn more about TIA and discuss your idea:

Director, Thought into Action