SUNY Kicks Off Startup Summer School Class of 2021 to Help Innovators and Entrepreneurs Bring Technologies to Market

June 3, 2021

150 Faculty, Students, and Staff Enroll in the 11-Week Training Program; Participants to Pitch Their Technology or Venture for Two $10,000 Seed Investments

Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced the start of the SUNY Startup Summer School (S4) Class of 2021 to help seasoned and prospective innovators and entrepreneurs bring their technologies to market. Part of the SUNY for All program, the 11-week training program begins with the first of nine instructional webinars—participants will also receive customer discovery training and proposal development support over the course of the program.

S4 culminates with a "Demo Day" celebration, where participants pitch their technology or venture, with the top two proposals each earning a $10,000 Technology Accelerator Fund Catalyst Investment. The program-end pitches will be judged by SUNY Venture Advisors, successful entrepreneurs, and executives who serve as mentors and coaches.

The program is operated through the SUNY Research Foundation. A total of 150 faculty, students, and staff from 22 SUNY campuses are set to participate this summer for the Class of 2021.

"We are excited to welcome the SUNY Start Up Summer School (S4) Class of 2021. The class is made of up 150 entrepreneurs with both promising ideas and the drive to take those ideas from conception to completion," said Chancellor Malatras. "With guidance from our brilliant and experienced instructors, speakers, and mentors—participants can shape, refine, and polish their venture ideas with an opportunity to win $10,000 in seed funding. S4 is part of our SUNY for All program, and represents our renewed focus on prioritizing and promoting unique programs that cater to learners and full-time professionals from all walks of life. We're willing to meet people no matter where they are on their journey and help them realize their dreams."

SUNY Provost-in-Charge F. Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik said, "Now in its third year, SUNY's Startup Summer School program provides participants with the necessary experience, mentorship, and motivation to take their innovations from an idea to a reality. This year's class will greatly benefit from one-on-one time with experts who know firsthand how to help research teams and startups receive needed funding and thrive in their respective markets. We welcome the 2021 participants, and look forward to hearing all about their finished products come pitch time."

Jeff M. Cheek, President of the SUNY Research Foundation, said, "Welcome SUNY Startup Summer School Class of 2021! With gratitude to each of our speakers, instructors, and mentors, we are excited to kick off our third comprehensive summer training program that taps into SUNY's entrepreneurial spirit across the board and supports SUNY students and faculty wherever they may be in their journey to start a new venture, or move their research from the lab to the marketplace."

S4 offers virtual accelerated entrepreneurial education and training for participants to help them secure the initial funding needed to bring their technology to market. Depending on their experience, S4 participants will receive the following support:

  • Access to instructional webinars that provide the foundation of knowledge and learning aspiring entrepreneurs and established startups need to be successful.
  • Proposal development support from experts with successful track records in helping research teams and startups secure grants and other non-dilutive funding.
  • Customized follow-on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities that are provided in a just-in-time format based on each participant's needs and traction.

For a listing of the full curriculum, click here.

About the SUNY Research Foundation

The SUNY Research Foundation (RF) is the largest comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country and supports a vibrant research ecosystem that cultivates innovation and entrepreneurship across multiple key areas including artificial intelligence, clean energy, biotechnology, longevity, substance addiction, next generation quantum computing, environmental health, and resiliency.

Driving social impact, enhancing human wellbeing and stimulating economic growth, the RF provides SUNY's 30 state-operated campuses with an infrastructure of people, technology, and processes that enables faculty to write and submit grant proposals to agencies, foundations, and companies; establish contracts and manage funding awarded to run campus-based research projects; protect and commercialize intellectual property created within those projects; and establish enduring partnerships that shape the future.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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