The UCF Upstarts Student Venture Accelerator provides the highest level of support and resources available to UCF student startups. UpStarts supplements our offerings in the LaunchPad and StarterSpace by providing free office space, advanced mentoring, exclusive access to service and resource providers, and a cohort of startup colleagues to UCF’s most advanced student-led ventures. Participation is by application only with applications due late spring for membership the following year. Upstarts ventures will typically meet four criteria.
Once selected as an Upstarts Venture the student-entrepreneurs will work with the Upstarts staff to set value-generating milestones and work towards hitting those milestones during their tenure. Successful Upstarts Ventures may then qualify to join UCF’s award winning Business Incubation Program as they continue to grow and thrive. All of our services are offered to UCF students for 0% equity in the new venture!
Applications are due by April 1 for admittance to the upcoming Upstarts Ventures Fall and Spring semester Cohort. Applicants are selected by the Upstarts staff based on submitted application materials (see below).
Upstarts will provide office space, office equipment, advanced coaching resources, and collaboration space. Upstarts Ventures will also have extensive access to the StarterSpace which includes other amenities such as 3D printing, CAD, and Graphic design programs.
Michael Pape » firstname.lastname@example.org «
Mike is Professor of Practice in the Department of Management within the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida where he teaches and mentors students in entrepreneurship. Mike serves as Director of the UpStarts Student Venture Accelerator within the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership which guides the most ambitious entrepreneurial students at UCF through the startup process. Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded several life science companies including Esperion Therapeutics, Orchard Venture Partners (a life science venture capital firm), Akebia Therapeutics, and Nymirum. Mike is a veteran of both large pharmaceutical and startup life science companies having entered the industry in 1989. At Upjohn and Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert (now Pfizer) he was instrumental in the success of numerous cardiovascular drug discovery and development programs including Lipitor. In 1998 Mike co-founded Esperion Therapeutics and held a variety of executive positions being involved in nearly all aspects of building Esperion from its startup to its acquisition by Pfizer for $1.3 billion in 2004. In 2007, he co-founded Akebia Therapeutics which had a successful IPO in 2014. In 2009, Mike co-founded Nymirum serving as CEO until 2015 and currently as a member of the Board. Mike’s entrepreneurial efforts have led to his inclusion in the book How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America and receiving Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Michigan, Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University, and MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Cameron Ford » email@example.com «
Cameron earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration from Penn State University before joining UCF. Cameron’s scholarly interests focus on creativity and entrepreneurship by describing how novel ideas evolve, gain legitimacy, and attract resources during the new venture emergence process. His research has appeared in over 60 academic papers including publications in journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
Click HERE to download the UpStarts application form.
Any questions? Contact Mike Pape at firstname.lastname@example.org