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The CCEI Summer Fellowship program helps UConn students and faculty launch their ventures.

Summer Fellowship Program was created to leverage core competencies of UConn faculty and students, draw on the knowledge of community business leaders and stakeholders, and support entrepreneurs in the process of developing the infrastructure and partnerships needed to launch their businesses. The goal of the Summer Fellowship program is to help entrepreneurs move out of the conceptual stage of venture development, and into the marketplace.  Sessions include goal setting, defining their business model, mapping out key milestones, sales and growth strategy, customer acquisition, data-driven decision making, and forward planning.  The program concludes with an overview of additional resources available both through the university and externally.

The top ten startups from across the University come together to spend 3 days a week over 8 weeks developing skills needed to bring new products and technologies to market and receiving one-on-one coaching from industry experts.  Teams are provided with valuable one-on-one mentorship and next step resources.

Teams pursuing high-potential ventures who have formed through participation in other UConn entrepreneurship programs are encouraged to apply.

Applications for the 2019 cohort are closed.

CCEI Summer Fellows receive:

  • Up to $15,000 in startup funding per team
  • Dedicated one-on-one mentorship
  • Professional legal & accounting services
  • Connections to alumni entrepreneurs, community partners and industry professionals
  • Professional co-working and meeting space

Program Overview & Dates (Summer 2019):

The themes outlined below are a rough outline and are subject to change due to the needs of the teams accepted into the program.
  • Week 1: Prepare to Launch (6/3, 6/4, 6/6)
  • Week 2: Market & Industry Analysis (6/10, 6/11, 6/13)
  • Week 3: Communicating Value, Brand Management & Marketing (6/17, 6/18, 6/20)
  • Week 4: Sales & Growth Strategy (6/25, 6/26, 6/27)
  • Week 5: Revenue, Cashflow, & Data Driven Decision making (7/9, 7/10, 7/11)
  • Week 6: Financing Strategies & Becoming Investor Ready (7/16, 7/17, 7/18)
  • Week 7: Scale & Launch (7/23, 7/24, 7/25)
  • Week 8: Next Step Resources, Refining Business Model & Program Finale (7/30, 7/31, 8/1)
               Most programming will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

2016 Cohort

2016 Cohort

The inaugural launch of the CCEI Summer Fellowship program concluded on August 4, 2016. 27 teams applied to the Summer Fellowship program. 10 teams were selected. These teams represent some of the best entrepreneurs from across the university.

2017 Cohort

2017 Cohort

The 2017 Summer Fellowship Program kicked off the first week in June. These 10 teams had 8 weeks of seminars and interactive instruction to improve the viability of their business ventures.

2018 Cohort

2018 Cohort

The 2018 cohort was the most competitive to date. With nearly 50 applications for 10 spots, the Summer Fellowship Program engages the top startups from across the University.


Entrepreneurial Team

Participation in this program requires the formation of an entrepreneurial team consisting of:

Entrepreneurial Lead (EL): The EL is responsible for driving the process of Customer Discover and Business Model development, and may also recruit additional students to participate in the team.  On faculty-led teams, the EL is typically a postdoctoral researcher, graduate student, or undergraduate student, who possesses the relevant technical knowledge and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation, and is responsible for leading the development of the business model for the product or technology proposed.  On student led teams, the EL is the student who acts as the point person during the length of the program, makes presentations on behalf of the group, and takes responsibility for group performance.

Academic Lead (AL): The AL is a faculty member that has led the development of a new product or technology, or has relevant knowledge about the problem the venture will solve. This person can act as the team’s Chief Technology Officer or advisor, and could also choose to take a more involved role in the development of the business strategy. 

It is not required that student teams have an Academic Lead, but it is strongly advised that they seek one out through this process.

Industry Mentor: An Industry Mentor is typically someone with experience transitioning technology out of academic labs and into the marketplace, or with experience bringing new products to market within the industry that the team is trying to enter. Industry Mentors should live in close proximity to the institution, and have connections throughout the region. The AU team can help facilitate finding an Industry Mentor.

If you have an idea for a new venture, or have developed a new technology that you would like to commercialize, but have not yet formed a team, Summer Fellowship staff may be able to help.  Please contact Jennifer Murphy:  Please provide her with an introduction to the product or technology that you are working on, a description of the existing members of your team, as well as an idea of the type of team member that you are looking for.


Program Timing and Commitment

Participants spend 3 days per week over 8 weeks in the summer developing skills needed to bring new products and technologies to market and receiving one-on-one coaching from industry experts.  Weekly topics include defining your business, building your brand, sales and growth strategies, and financing your venture.

Time frame: Summer only

Financial Benefit: Although there is no academic credit associated with Summer Fellowship, students who go through the program are able to receive a $5,000 scholarship to participate.

Commitment from the EL:

  • Attending and representing their team for the duration of the 8 week program (3 days per week, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.)
  • Lead the entrepreneurial efforts associated with each weekly topic and be prepared to do a 5 or 10-minute presentation each week on the insights and progress made during this process to the rest of the cohort, and program instructors
  • Spend time outside of scheduled hours working with other members of the team (team leads, team members and mentors) to update on the progress made in Summer Fellowship
  • Work closely with team for direction and guidance throughout the progression of the program

Join a Startup Team

Become an Entrepreneurial Lead for CCEI!

This opportunity is open to students (undergraduate and graduate) who wish to be paired as the Entrepreneurial Leads (EL) to Summer Fellowship teams. You do not need to have your own idea or team, but rather if there is a need or interest by the teams accepted into our program, we will work to match candidates from this application process with those teams.

This opportunity allows for students to work directly with a real startup, learn about entrepreneurship as well as the approaches to entrepreneurship.  This is a great way for students to build on the experiences they already have while learning entirely new approaches from hand on opportunities.

Apply to be an EL

Program Sponsors