Carnegie Mellon University

Innovation Fellows Program

The Innovation Fellows Program has the goal of accelerating the process of commercializing university research. It aims to foster entrepreneurship among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research assistants — the research personnel who work directly with faculty investigators to conduct scientific experiments, solve problems and innovate. The contributions of such individuals are crucial for moving faculty research toward commercialization; thus, this program aligns well with a major goal of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University: encouraging the successful commercialization of university research to benefit our communities. 

To develop the Innovation Fellows Program, the Swartz Center co-directors work with all of the college deans to determine a fair process of selecting Innovation Fellows from all colleges.

Components of the Innovation Fellows Program include:

  • $50K contribution from the Swartz Center with a $50K match from another source
  • Equitable distribution of Innovation Fellows across colleges (weighted by average # of applications per year)
  • Selection Committee consisting of the Swartz Center co-directors Lenore Blum, Dave Mawhinney, CTTEC director Bob Wooldridge, and deans/appointees
  • Specialized cohort activities/content
  • Mentoring by CMU alumni and partners
  • Commitment from each fellow to join the venture/company as a full-time founder/employee