launch funding (pre-gap)

The Launch Funding program is open only to ONAMI Members. If you are an Oregon university faculty, staff or administrator and not an ONAMI Member, we suggest you learn about membership before submitting the formal proposal.

Begin with an email inquiry. The Launch Funding program is new in 2015. It's designed for early-stage ideas that have business potential. If you're further along and need larger funding, click here to read about Gap Funding.

To inquire about Launch funding, start with an initial email inquiry to ONAMI to begin the conversation about your research project. 

Your brief email should include:

  • Summary of the technology to be advanced (no more than 3 sentences)
  • Steps you will go through (1-3 sentences). The project should not exceed 6 months.
  • The problems solved by the technology and the expected customers 
  • Your plans for or status of a company and what assistance you would like from ONAMI
  • Intellectual property and licensing status
  • The amount of funding requested (maximum is $75,000) and how the funds will be used

If ONAMI is initially supportive, you will be asked to prepare a formal proposal. An ONAMI Entrepreneur-in-Residence may assist with this. Please be advised: an initial positive response from ONAMI does not guarantee your proposal will be funded.

STEPS. The Launch Funding process is as follows:

  1. Proposals are reviewed by the ONAMI Executive Director and Commercialization Manager who will request any necessary revisions and improvements before considering scheduling a presentation to the ONAMI Commercialization Advisory Council (CAC).
  2. The ONAMI Commercialization Manager will let you know if your proposal is selected (a competitive process) for presentation to the quarterly CAC meeting.
  3. If the CAC review is favorable, the Commercialization Manager and ONAMI VP of Operations will work with you to structure a fundable project. This will most likely involve some form of company ownership for ONAMI or ONAMI share of related licensing revenue to the licensing institution.
  4. If agreement on terms in the above step is reached, ONAMI and the university will execute the necessary contracts/statement of work (SOW) to enable the flow and tracking of funds.

REPORTING. If you receive ONAMI Launch Funding, you are required to provide monthly progress reports as well as a final technical and financial report showing the results of your work and performance against project goals. If the project is technically successful, ONAMI’s expectation is that an Oregon-based company will have been or soon will be started.

READY TO WRITE THE PROPOSAL? f you’ve already sent an email inquiry to ONAMI, received a positive response, and you’re ready to proceed with the formal proposal, make sure you include the following sections.

  1. Contact information
    • Your name, title, phone number and email address
  2. Executive summary: 1-2 paragraphs describing...
    • What you’re developing
    • Target market and application
    • What level of funding is requested ($75,000 max)
    • The technical indicators required for success
  3. The market opportunity 
    • Total and served addressable market potential
    • Target customers and key customer need(s)/pain points
    • Products planned and performance specifications required to win in the marketplace
    • Evidence of early customer interest
    • Competition—technologies, products, companies
  4. The technology
    • What it is (but no need to disclose proprietary “secret sauce”)
    • How it aligns with ONAMI’s focus on nano- and micro-technologies
    • The current state of achievement
    • IP status
    • Who developed the technology and their level of involvement in this project
  5. "Launch Funding" project objective and total amount requested
    • How the gap project will lead to significant follow-on private and/or federal funding within 12-18 months
    • If sources of outside funding have been approached. Provide any feedback from such discussions as they relate to the elements of this proposal.
  6. Specific project plan and detailed use of funds
    • (For requests over $50,000 applicants should anticipate that awarded funds will come in two tranches, with funding for the second stage contingent on meeting milestones and success criteria from the first stage.) 
    • Tasks
    • The team (personnel and qualifications)
    • Milestones and performance metrics
  7. Institutional endorsement /approval
    • A letter of support from the appropriate technology transfer office assuring that any necessary background or project-generated IP will be available for license (usually exclusive) to the company for at least the duration of the project
    • Confirmation that outside activities are acceptable with the institution that developed the technology
    • A conflict of interest management plan if you have an equity interest in the commercialization partner
  8. Attachments
    • Attach any additional documentation (e.g. budgets, letters of support, illustrations) you think would be helpful for ONAMI to review.

For information about Gap Funding, click here.