The Illinois Proof-of-Concept Program

You are here

Bridging the gap between University innovations and the marketplace

The Illinois Proof-of-Concept program (I-POC) funds development projects that demonstrates an innovation's market viability to potential investors and partners. I-POC projects consist of a defined set of milestones that, when completed, help overcome a specific hurdle to an innovation's transfer outside of the University. The I-POC Fund is currently made possible by contributions from the following colleges & units and matching funds from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.   

The fund is not currently accepting submissions. For more information or questions please contact: Nicole Nair at or 


$1,082,000 in campus proof-of-concept funding since 2009 (I-POC combined with prior programs) has leveraged:

  • the formation of 9 startup companies
  • $49 million in venture and angel funding, including a $45 million investment from Third Rock Ventures in the launch of Revolution Medicines
  • $1.875 million in government SBIR/STTR funding


Participating Colleges & Units

  • Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
  • College of Agricultural, Consumer, & Environmental Sciences
  • Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology
  • College of Education
  • College of Fine & Applied Arts
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • School of Social Work


New College of Engineering Program

The College of Engineering has launched a new Faculty Entrepreneurial Fellows program that will provide proof of concept funding to its participants.  The proof of concept compenent of this new program replaces IPOC for Engineering faculty.  More information about the Faculty Entrepreneurial Fellows program and its benefits can be found at:


I-POC Recipients Discuss the Impact of the Program