The Office of Research and Innovation, in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is offering three new programs this fall for research faculty, PhD candidates, postdocs, and other UT Dallas researchers interested in commercializing their inventions.

The programs are:

  • the Bio-Engineering Startup Training (BEST) series,
  • the Venture Development Center (VDC) JetPack, and
  • the UTDiscovery Scholar Awards

If you have any interest in commercializing your research – now or in the future – through licensing to large enterprises or launching your own startup venture, these programs are for you!

The Best Series

The Bio-Engineering Startup Training (BEST) series is a new, customized education and training program for the bioengineering and life sciences community. This series will be 8 sessions held on alternating Fridays from 4:00-5:15pm at the UT Dallas Blackstone LaunchPad. 

Each session will focus on a key commercialization part of the startup creation process, including guest speakers with real-world experience in developing and funding bio startups, with Q&A, discussions, and networking after.

Here is our schedule of sessions and topics. Food and beverages will be provided. Attendance is free, we just ask you to RSVP with Denyse Carpio ( so we know to expect you and keep you updated on any calendar changes. 

Aug. 27 Program Introductions and Welcome
Sept. 10From Idea to Concept to Plan – Finding the Pain Point & Team Formation (with Dr. Ted Price) 
Sept. 24Know Your Market – Understanding customer needs, market analysis, road to market, and regulatory matters 
Oct. 8Tools In the Toolbox – Pitches, Exec Summaries, MVP, budgets, the tools to help you mature your concept and share with investors. 
Oct. 22Understanding Funding – Venture Capital, Angel investors, term sheets, and valuations (with Dr. Claire Aldridge) 
Nov. 5Intellectual Property – Disclosures, patents, other forms of protection, negotiating licenses 
Nov. 19Incorporating – Company formation, legal, HR, accounting, payroll, taxes 
Dec. 3Wrap-up, Participants Give Their Own Progress Pitch.

The BEST series is a pilot of a concept to be offered to a broader range of STEM research field in the future. The goal is to increase the pool of talented, prepared “scientist-entrepreneurs” who could serve as CEOs or founders of a startup company, based on their research and UT Dallas intellectual property.

VDC Jetpack

The Venture Development Center (VDC) Jetpack is a set of services that helps a research leader and their team transition from working on an idea in the lab to working on a product in an operating company. There is no cost to the UT Dallas researchers or the venture for these services.

Normally, setting up or engaging most of the services is straightforward. However, the process can be time-consuming and – for first-time entrepreneurs – challenging to figure out the least expensive path.

The VDC Jetpack saves time and money by using pre-arranged partners who are volunteering their time, with the Office of Research paying the out-of-pocket fees for various typical expenses.

The services include the following:

  • Complete and file articles of incorporation and bylaws, including filing fees
  • Provide one-year of virtual co-working membership to the VDC
  • Set up basic accounting software, including chart of accounts, monthly reports, and processes
  • Set up basic brand identity and website for the company

To qualify for the VDC Jetpack, you must be a current UT Dallas research faculty member, graduate student, PhD candidate, post-doc, or research staff member working under the direction of a UT Dallas faculty researcher.

For more information about the VDC Jetpack or to apply, please send an email to A brief online application is required, with a link sent to you once your inquiry is received.

UTDiscovery Scholar Awards

The UTDiscovery Awards are a competitive award designed to reward the contributions and facilitate the entrepreneurial development of undergraduate researchers at UT Dallas. UTDiscovery scholars will work directly with startup companies that are members of UTD’s Venture Development Center, or VDC.

The principals for these VDC and pre-incubator companies are engaged in a variety of research, from basic to applied, to equip their startups for commercial success.

Research projects may range across a broad spectrum of possibilities, from validating product technologies, to investigating market or customer insights, to identifying prior art and existing alternatives to the startups company’s proposed solution.

Students selected to receive an UTDiscovery Award receive $2,000, awarded upon participation in the UTDiscovery Award poster competition held in mid-December 2021 (Fall) and/or mid-April 2022 (Spring). Research sponsors from the UT Dallas VDC supporting participant projects receive $500 (for supplies, project travel, poster printing, etc.). Up to 10 awards may be made per semester. For more information about the UTDiscovery Awards, please contact Kim Warren ( or Hillary Campbell (