UConn’s Technology Incubation Program Continues to Expand
By Matt Engelhardt
UConn Office of the Vice President for Research
Since its inception in 2003, UConn’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP) has become the state’s largest incubator for new startups. The entrepreneurs and innovators served by the program contribute to hundreds of jobs for Connecticut’s workforce, as well as increasing the state’s science and technology capital.
UConn TIP runs three incubators in Storrs, Farmington and Stamford, representing 72 companies. Many entrepreneurs have relationships with UConn, such as faculty members, students, and alumni, but inclusion is open to all innovators.
With the goal of turning academic discoveries into products and services that benefit patients, industry, and society, startups have access to a variety of UConn resources, including labs and offices, educational partnerships, and a vast network of industrial connections.
Overall, TIP startups have raised $1.1 billion in funding since 2003, including $170 million in fiscal year 2021. The program supports 408 jobs, many of which are high-paying private sector positions. .
Of the companies that “graduated” from TIP — meaning they left the space to establish their own headquarters — 72% stayed in Connecticut and continue to contribute to the economy.
“UConn TIP offers comprehensive incubator facilities for UConn innovators, as well as a wide range of startups in Connecticut and beyond,” said Mostafa Analoui, executive director of UConn Ventures. “These startups are focused on developing new products and services and have successfully raised increasingly large investments, grants, and revenues. This growth is manifested by a significant level of hiring and retention of scientists and highly paid staff. More recently, TIP graduate companies have established themselves in various parts of Connecticut, with an expanded footprint.
A network of missions
On May 23, UConn hosted National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan in Connecticut for a visit to UConn Health in Farmington and the main Storrs campus. The arrival of the director follows a new NSF leadershipthe first published in over 30 years.
Management is focused on NSF’s own initiative in technology, innovation and partnerships to accelerate discovery and bring new technologies to market to address pressing societal, economic and social challenges. This mission aligns with UConn’s own TIP philosophy, and during the Panchanathan visit, UConn and its incubator startups showcased how they are meeting the challenges that NSF has set out in many different fields and disciplines.
“When I think of UConn, it should be the acronym for University of Connectivity,” Panchanathan said, praising UConn’s ties to industry, award-winning faculty and partnerships with major employers across the board. State. “This is what we want every university in our country to look like.”
LambdaVision is a leading example of startups emerging from UConn’s TIP program. The company manufactures artificial retinas designed to restore functional sight to people suffering from degenerative diseases such as wet macular degeneration.
“While the economic impact of our TIP startups is a source of great pride, these companies are also making an enormous contribution to building Connecticut’s technology and science infrastructure,” said Pamir Alpay, UConn’s interim vice president for research, innovation and entrepreneurship. “These brilliant scientists and engineers are developing instruments, treatments and techniques that are improving the lives of people in our state and country. The success of our incubator illustrates what can happen when research and entrepreneurship go hand in hand.
UConn has opened its first 4,000 square foot incubator on the Storrs campus for ambitious startups looking to make an impact in their respective markets. TIP Storrs started with many UConn professors and graduate entrepreneurs who pledged to hire workers from Connecticut.
TIP Storrs continues to focus on companies in the science and engineering sectors that align with on-campus resources and the expertise of UConn faculty. Startups include those that offer products and services related to chemistry, engineering, materials science, and life sciences.
UConn opened its second incubator, TIP Farmington, in 2010 on the UConn Health campus near the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. The facility expanded in 2016 to 25,000 square feet, with a focus on biomedical technology, diagnostics, and personal health and wellness.
The latest venture is UConn Stamford-based TIP Digital, which opened in 2021. Growing with Connecticut’s fastest growing city, UConn has established the incubator as a technology hub in the world. ‘information. TIP Digital focuses on data science, artificial intelligence, fintech, drones and software development. With over 5,800 square feet of space available for startups, the incubator is already home to 23 companies. TIP Digital is growing rapidly, implementing strategies such as hybrid workspace and mentorship through Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to provide guidance to young entrepreneurs.
“For us, it’s about building community,” says Margaret Feeney, director of TIP Digital. “Not only do we provide our entrepreneurs with access to the world-class resources available through the university, but we give them a sense of belonging – both virtually and in person. We help our entrepreneurs find great talent and build investor networks, which equates to more resilient businesses, better access to capital, and the growth of high-tech jobs in our state.
The economic impact of UConn
The TIP program is just one facet of UConn’s research enterprise. The university is ranked as New England’s top public research university and its overall impact on Connecticut’s economy is significant.
According to UConn 2022 Economic Impact ReportUConn research had an economic impact of $504 million on the state in fiscal year 2021. State and local municipalities collected $26 million in tax revenue from UConn research.
“UConn’s research already brings significant value to our state as an engine of economic growth, and that role will only grow over time.” During the last fiscal year, nearly 2,400 jobs were created through UConn’s research activities,” said UConn Acting President Radenka Maric. “We also know that for every dollar UConn attracts in externally funded research, we generate 80 cents of economic output elsewhere in the state, from contractors to materials suppliers. I’m thrilled that the state’s flagship university is playing such an important role in making Connecticut more competitive, more versatile, and more successful.
Including research, UConn’s economic impact on the state was $5.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, with more than 25,000 university-supported jobs and $276 million in tax revenue national and local. To view more information about UConn’s impact, including an interactive map of every city in Connecticut, visit impact.uconn.edu.