Carnegie Mellon University



The VentureBridge program mentors students seeking to transform their high-tech concept into a startup. Bridging the gap between educational and startup environments, the program welcomes aspiring entrepreneurs to CMU’s Silicon Valley campus, providing unique access to the region’s venture capital ecosystem.

VentureBridge teams are supported throughout the process of building their startup into a reality, graduating from the program with a validated proof of concept and strategy for acquiring customers. VentureBridge is hosted by the Integrated Innovation Institute, in conjunction with the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship.

The purpose of VentureBridge is to help CMU student and alumni teams (Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley) to develop their startup ideas into fundable seed stage ventures. This effort is outside the of the traditional education mode and will serve as a bridge between educational and the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem.

Selected teams will receive a $25K investment in the form of a convertible note. There may be other industry specific grants available for startups operating in specific area.

VentureBridge Membership

Mentorship & Training

  • The VentureBridge program offers unique opportunities and insight into the Silicon Valley ecosystem:
    • Introductions to angel investors, incubators, accelerators, venture capitalists, CMU-affiliated companies and alumni startups
    • Invitations to attend different workshops and events located in the heart of Silicon Valley
  • Teams who are admitted to VentureBridge will have access to an experienced technology Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) along with faculty and alumni mentors for business consulting, strategy assistance, marketing and communication help, investor preparedness, or other startup consultation such as legal and accounting assistance.
  • Team members can participate in select electives and workshops offered by the Integrated Innovation Institute at the Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley (CMU-SV) campus covering topics that could include: intellectual property basics, business development and sales, financial projections, the use of funds, investor options and negotiations.


  • Co-working Desk Space in the CMU-SV facilities at Moffett Field
  • Access to Conference Rooms, WiFi and Ethernet Ports
  • Events Video Conferencing Services
  • Access to Techshop

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for VentureBridge, applicant proposals:

  • Must be a technology-based business concept based on work done as part of CMU education. For the 2017 application cycle, business concepts or technology related to travel and logistics within the airline industry will take priority, although all application areas will be considered.
  • Must have founders who are currently enrolled at CMU or have graduated recently from CMU. Currently enrolled CMU students should plan to graduate before starting the VentureBridge term.
  • Must be a for-profit based business.
  • Must have a real need for the services offered through VentureBridge.
  • Has had no prior institutional funding. Teams that have incorporated and sold equity in their companies are not eligible.
  • Must have received less than $100,000 in non-institutional funding in the form of grants, competition winnings and loans that are convertible to stock are eligible.
  • Once accepted, teams must be located or able to relocate to Silicon Valley for the duration of the program.

2018 Program Term

  • Spring - January 26-April 13, 2018
  • Summer - June 4-July 20, 2018
  • Fall - September 14-December 1, 2018

Summer 2018 Application Information

  • Application Deadline: April 6, 2018
  • Decision Date: April 13, 2018
  • Acceptance Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Start Date: June 4, 2018
  • Demo Day: July 18, 2018

VentureBridge Team

Emirates Innovation Lab Director

  • Prof. Stuart Evans, Distinguished Service Professor in Software Management Program, in Silicon Valley

VentureBridge Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  • Robb Myer, Entrepreneur-in-Residence
  • Prof. Ravi Thomas, Instructor in Software Management Program, in Silicon Valley

VentureBridge Committee

  • Prof. Ravi Thomas, Instructor in Software Management Program, in Silicon Valley
  • Dave Mawhinney, Executive Director, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship; Executive Director, Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, in Pittsburgh
  • Kit Needham, Entrepreneur-in-Residence & Associate Director, Project Olympus, in Pittsburgh
  • Prof. Bob Iannucci, Director of the CyLab Mobility Research Center and Distinguished Service Professor, ECE, in Silicon Valley
  • Prof. Gladys Mercier, Director, Software Management Program, in Silicon Valley
  • Prof. Sheryl Root, Director, Technology Ventures & Associate Professor in Software Management Program, in Silicon Valley