Charlottesville, VA

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Maxwell Nardi[email protected]
Arjun Rohlfing-Das[email protected]

How to Start a Startup at UVA

Student Groups

Alpha Kappa Psi - A co-ed professional business fraternity affiliated to the McIntire School of Commerce

Darden Business Innovation & Design Club - Fosters a community around, promote the ideals of, and encourage career paths that incorporate design methodologies in leading organizations, solving business challenges, and facilitating innovation

Darden Technology Club (DTC) - Industry-oriented club dedicated to connecting members to opportunities at tech companies, providing industry knowledge from thought leaders, offering hands on skills training, and providing mentorship and recruiting support

Enactus - Students apply business skills to community projects to address social, economic, and environmental concerns both in Charlottesville and in the greater global community

Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital (EVC) is Darden's forum for sharing and gaining ideas about starting and building new ventures. The Club provides an opportunity to meet successful entrepreneurs, sponsors educational lectures on the many facets of starting a business, helps students formulate business plans for the spring Business Plan Competition, and assists students in career searches

HackCville (HC) - Prepares students for careers in startups and entrepreneurship. This network and community of self-motivated, entrepreneurial students and alumni provide relevant, practical skills and experience through nearly 100 workshops each year, semester long programs, and workspace for projects

Nano and Emerging Technologies Club (NExT) - Raises awareness on current research and potential applications of nano and emerging technologies, building an interdisciplinary community of students interested in technologies of the future, facilitating interaction with faculty and industry, and promoting science and engineering innovation

Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) - Aims to help small and start-up NGOs worldwide by offering free consulting services in the areas of microfinance, operational efficiency, and marketing strategy. By incorporating best practices, we aim to help foster economic development in local communities. SEED also strives to encourage social entrepreneurship within the University of Virginia community by hosting educational conferences and workshops and serving as a resource for networking between students and active practitioners

The UVA Entrepreneurship Groupme - A group chat of students and advisors within UVA's entrepreneurship community

UVA I-Corps - A public-private partnership program designed to teach university graduate and faculty research scientists with STEM related technologies to identify valuable product/service opportunities that can emerge from academic research and provide entrepreneurship training to participants

Virginia Venture Fund (VVF) - A club that provides undergraduates the opportunity to learn about the venture capital process, helps venture capital firms conduct due diligence, and invests in early-stage startup ideas. By engaging in due diligence work and actively investing alongside established venture capital firms, students obtain real-world experience that simply cannot be gained inside a classroom

Women's Entrepreneurship Club - A club for early-stage projects and startups led by women entrepreneurs at UVA.

Works in Progress - A community of students across the university who are pursuing an entrepreneurial project (a startup, a non-profit, a new device, a new club, etc)

University Resources

Entrepreneurial Law Clinic - The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic at the Law School works in partnership with the Darden School of Business, which houses the MBA program at the University, to provide pro bono legal assistance to ventures participating in the Darden Business Incubator.

Galant Center - Our mission is to encourage, educate, and empower students---past and present---to take on crucial roles in the new venture community, thereby impacting positively the world in which we live and creating value of all kinds.

Makerspace Map - A site for finding resources and learning about Makerspaces, Shops, Labs, and other spaces for making at the University of Virginia.

Patent Law and Licensing Clinic - The U.Va. Licensing & Ventures Group hosts a patent and licensing clinic offered by the U.Va. School of Law. Each semester, approximately 15 enrolled law students spend six to eight hours per week at the Licensing & Ventures Group immersed in patent drafting and the negotiation and drafting of patent license agreements.

Social Entrepreneurship (SE)@UVA - UVA sponsored program that creates opportunities for students to learn about and minor in social entrepreneurship.

The Batten Institute - The driving force for entrepreneurship education, innovation and venture creation at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. Seeks to improve society by creating knowledge about the transformative power of entrepreneurship and innovation and by cultivating principled, entrepreneurial leaders.

U.Va. Licensing & Ventures Group's mission is to reinvigorate and grow the University's intellectual property and business development pipeline.

Accelerators & Incubators

Catalyst Accelerator - Long-format accelerator, providing early-stage startups in central Virginia with nine months of program support, including: $20,000 in grant funding, dedicated workspace, experienced founders-in-residence, monthly programming, dedicated staff, a large network of industry experts, and access to nearly $50,000 in additional resources.

ENTP 4000: Launch - An accelerator that counts as class credit A select group of admitted students would further develop over the course of a semester a venture of their own design

HackCville Hustle Class - Accelerator program that's part of HackCville. Class of ~20 students, or 5-8 teams, are guided to start their own company over a semester's time.

Venture Lab - An initiative of the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, which has sponsored an early-stage, summer incubator program for more than twenty years. VentureLab represents the latest evolution of this program, which was previously housed at the UVA i.Lab.

Hackathons and Competitions

Darden Business Plan Competition - The Darden Business Plan Competition features student pitches that aim to demonstrate the value of the business, capture the element​s of a business plan in a high-impact PowerPoint, video, and executive-summary-based format.

Effectual De-Risking Competition - The Effectual De-Risking​ competition hosted by the Darden School of Business requires students to demonstrate that they have taken steps to "de-risk" their idea. De-risking is a process expert entrepreneurs undergo after they have conceived of their idea, and before they invest significant time and/or money. First-, second-, and third-place winners are awarded with cash prizes as well as in-kind legal services specializing in technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide.

HooHacks - UVA's largest hackathon. A hackathon is a 24-hour tech event for teams of students to learn new skills, build cool tech projects, and meet tons of other students and tech professionals.

The Galant Challenge - Pitch to UVA alumni angel investors in a competition that has given $2M+ to founders over the past few years.

UVA E-Cup - Pitch an idea in the Concept stage (October/November) to win $1,000. Pitch your MPV in the Discovery stage (February) to win $5,000. Pitch your fully launched startup in the Launch stage (March/April) to win $20,000.

Notable Courses

Entrepreneurship and Business programs in Engineering School

COMM 4381 Developing and Managing Innovative Products

COMM 4680 Entrepreneurship

ENTP 1010 Startup

ENTP 4000 Launch

LPPS 3050 Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

LPPS 3410 Innovation and Social Impact

LPPS 4735 Experiential Social Entrepreneurship

STS 1800 Business Fundamentals for Engineers

STS 2730 Engineers and Art of the Deal

STS 2810 Introduction to Technology Entrepreneurship

STS 2830 How to Start a Startup

STS 4110 The Business of New Product Development


Contrary - University-focused venture fund investing up to $500K in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US

CAV Angels - A non-profit organization housing the only angel group specifically catered towards UVA alumni. CAV Angels' mission is to provide education on investment in private, early stage companies to members of the UVA family, and to facilitate investment by members of the organization in early stage growth companies founded by members of the UVA family.

Charlottesville Angel Network - A group of nearly 70 accredited investors and family offices. We are individually and collectively eager to apply our skills and put our connections and capital to work to help entrepreneurs succeed.

UVA E-Cup - Pitch an idea in the Concept stage (October/November) to win $1,000. Pitch your MPV in the Discovery stage (February) to win $5,000. Pitch your fully launched startup in the Launch stage (March/April) to win $20,000.

UVA Licensing & Ventures Group - The $10 million UVA LVG Seed Fund is uniquely positioned to assess new ventures created from UVA research ideas and discoveries.

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