Innovation Center


We aim to accelerate impacts of faculty and student discoveries and inventions using startups as vehicles of innovation, in short to help Austin be a better Silicon Valley.

Who we are and what we do.

Led by Ethernet inventor Dr. Bob Metcalfe, we are a group of experienced entrepreneurs dedicated to helping professors and students transform their ideas and discoveries into innovations that will impact the world and change lives. We regularly meet with new and serial inventors to provide advice, answer questions and offer connections that can help turn their projects into successful startups or into significant licensing opportunities.

Innovation Grants

Innovation Grants help UT professor-led teams close the funding gap between research and commercialization. The Innovation Center seeks innovators who are committed to commercializing their research and donors who want to support their efforts with tax-deductible gifts. Grant amounts will range from $5,000-$50,000.  Learn More.

Fall 2017 Awards

Prof. Ashish Deshpande
Prof. Chris Rylander

Spring 2017 Awards

Prof. Chris Rylander
Prof. Tom Milner
Prof. Adela Ben-Yakar
Prof. Andrea Thomaz
  Thomaz in the News

Spring 2016 Awards

Prof. Luis Sentis
Prof. Richard Crawford

UTAustin stARTup Studio

The stARTup Studio is led by Bob Metcalfe and provides UTAustin professors guidance in the "art" of technology commercialization. Professors are invited to present their discoveries, inventions, and startups at small, informal gatherings of local industry experts and entrepreneurs. These studios are sponsored by the UTAustin Office of Technology Commercialization, and the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Attendance is by invitation only.

Selig Entrepreneurship Prize

The Selig Entrepreneurship Prize competition is held in both the Fall and Spring semesters and augments the senior design project experience for engineering students by focusing on commercializing their technology. The competition and the preparation for it gives undergraduates the opportunity to take their senior project to the next level and advance their entrepreneurial experience. All senior engineering student teams are eligible.

This competition is made possible by the Marvin and Ellie Selig Excellence Fund in Entrepreneurial Studies.

Courses for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The Innovation Center is pleased to share a partial list of the many courses offered across the University for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Click Here for Undergraduate Courses
Click Here for Graduate Courses

Longhorn Startup

The Longhorn Startup Seminar is a lecture-based course in the Fall semester that features prominent entrepreneurs telling the stories of how they founded their companies. Any student from any college can register for either of these course numbers: CS178 ES177.

The Longhorn Startup Lab is an intensive project-based course in the Spring semester for student entrepreneurs who get course credit for building their startup with guidance from amazing professors and mentors. Learn More.

Longhorn Maker Studios

Longhorn Maker Studio is a makerspace where engineering students can come and make things. It can be used for class projects, student clubs, to test an idea, or just for fun.

Innovation Network

The Innovation Center works closely with UT Austin's wide range of entrepreneurial resources which can be found in the Booklet of UT Entrepreneurial Resources.

Austin Technology Incubator
Game and Mobile Media Applications (GAMMA)
Genesis Program
Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship
Innovation, Creativity, and Capital Institute (IC2 Institute) Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency
Master of Science in Technology Commercialization
National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps)
Office of Technology Commercialization
Texas Venture Labs

Innovation Center Leadership

Bob Metcalfe, Professor of Innovation, Innovation Center Faculty Director

Steve Nichols, Advanced Manufacturing Center Director

Janet Walkow, Executive Director & Chief Technology Officer, Drug Dynamics Institute Clinical Professor, College of Pharmacy

Innovate_UT Twitter


Upcoming Events

Bucks for Brains

Austin Capital Resources

Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN)

The Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) is the largest Angel Investing Network in Texas.

NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™)

Is a public-private partnership program that teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to participants.

NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program

Supports innovation among businesses with fewer than 500 employees.


VentureWell has awarded $7.5 million in grants to over 500 student teams.

Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize

The student prize competition is open to teams of undergraduate students and individual graduate students who have inventions in categories that represent significant sectors of the economy: healthcare and consumer technologies.

Nokia Bell Labs Prize

The Nokia Bell Labs Prize is a competition for innovators from participating countries around the globe that seeks to recognize proposals that 'change the game' in the field of information and communications technologies by a factor of 10, and provide selected innovators the unique opportunity to collaborate with Bell Labs researchers to help realize their vision.