MBA TechVenture Fellowship

Every year dozens of inventions happen all over MSU’s campus, and a portion of those will have significant commercial potential. While some are licensed to big companies, many are ripe for the right entrepreneur to turn into a great startup company. In many cases, the support infrastructure is there to support, but there is no one to take the idea and build the startup around it.

The MBA TechVenture Fellowship provides an assistantship to MBA students with a technical background to explore launching a startup based on university intellectual property. The program is a partnership between the E-Center, MBA Program, and Office of Technology Management.


TechVenture Fellows will receive:

  Full tuition and assistantship for 20-hrs per week, flexible around class schedule. Non-resident fees waived.

  12-month, evaluation license on the intellectual property of your choice from MSU’s IP portfolio.

  Priority mentorship and guidance through MSU’s VentureCatalyst acceleration program.

  Up to $15,000 non-diluted funding to get started.


To participate in the program, students:

  Must be accepted to MSU’s MBA program.

  Must have an undergraduate degree in a technical field OR relevant work experience commensurate to entrepreneurship.

  Must have a desire to lead a startup following completion of MBA program.

Deliverables and Expectations

The TechVenture Fellowship is an intensive experience above and beyond that of a traditional MBA assistantship and involves pursuing a somewhat riskier career path. As such, the duties and responsibilities of the assistantship are broader and more complex. Throughout your MBA, you will be expected to:


  Choose an MSU innovation or technology and evaluate market feasibility.
MSU has an extensive catalog of technologies developed at the university. You will explore and select one technology, conduct market research and feasibility analysis, and negotiate with MSU’s Office of Technology Management for a 12-month evaluation license.

  Participate in a local or regional NSF I-Corps training cohort.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Site program provides training to learn the fundamentals of building business models, travel funds, and access to follow-on grants from the NSF over $1M. In addition, the E-Center provides infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training, and modest funding to enable I-Corps teams to do early customer evaluation in preparation for the national I-Corps Teams program.

  Complete MSU’s VentureCatalyst program through stage 3.
VentureCatalyst is a comprehensive, co-curricular program for MSU’s students and faculty interested in starting a successful, investor-backed company. The program includes a proven checklist, up to $7,500 in funding, dedicated mentorship, and tactical training workshops.


  Complete and submit SBIR/STTR application, if applicable.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are highly competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. You will develop an application with heavy support of the E-Center via its relationships paid to consult through its ties with BBCetc to TechVenture Fellows.

  Apply (and be accepted) to a state or national accelerator program.
Numerous respected nationwide programs exist (such as TechStars, gener8tor, YCombinator, CoBuilder, etc.) that have established reputations in advancing deep-technology companies. These opportunities exist year-round and across the nation. You will complete one or more applications and be accepted into a program.

  Apply (and be accepted) to NSF National I-Corps, PFI, or similar.
The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program is an immersive, entrepreneurial training program that facilitates the transformation of the invention to impact. This immersive, seven-week experiential training program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory. Working with faculty at MSU, you will apply and be accepted as a national I-Corps Team.

  Raise a first round of angel investment.
High-growth startups typically raise capital, particularly in the early stages when revenue isn’t sufficient to support the speed necessary to compete. Unfortunately, this is also the point of a company’s development lifecycle when the risk is exceptionally high, making traditional funding sources difficult. Angel investors commonly fill this gap, with deal sizes between $50,000 to $1M. With the support of the E-Center and its angel investor partners, you will raise enough capital to support the company for at least 18 months of runway (Stage 4 of VentureCatalyst).

Questions? Please contact Eric Hill at (662) 325-2560 or

Priority Deadline: November 30th, 2023.  Application Deadline: January 31st, 2024