Building an Innovation Pipeline
Since its inception in 1964, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has been dedicated to the multifaceted mission of delivering the best in higher education. This includes a commitment to the economic development of South Florida, as well as the entire state.
In 2014, FAU Tech Runway (TR), an accelerator for early stage startups, was founded in an effort to enhance FAU’s impact on the economic ecosystem in South Florida. This program is designed to assist faculty, staff, students and the community at large on their entrepreneurial journey.
Building off the success of FAU TR, the newly hired Vice President of the Division of Research initiated the FAU Wave program, an applied research and entrepreneurial competition for undergraduate students. This program has become a feeder program for the TR accelerator program.
Over the past few years, FAU TR and FAU Wave have expanded their offerings through collaborations with internal departments such as the College of Business’ Adams Center for Entrepreneurship, built external partnerships to assist students and entrepreneurs, won an NSF I-Corps site grant, and created a university-based investor network. In addition, FAU partnered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which provides free resources and expert consultants to both FAU and the community.
This has had a powerful impact not only in the FAU community, but the entire South Florida region. Over six years, (self reported by companies) over 642 jobs have been created, 199 internship opportunities, 120 patent applications filed, 35 student-led companies developed, and over $1 million in cash prizes awarded.