Ignite Startup Projects is one of the four Ignite signature programs. The projects are funded via SAFE notes and are available for active CTL Startup Licensees from Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses; and/or members of Incubators: Center for Life Science Ventures, REV in Ithaca, and the Runway Startup Postdocs program at Cornell Tech. The funding intends to help achieve proof of concept and increase opportunities for raising critical financing for startups at the very early stage. Applications are received on an open, rolling basis. Annually up to 9 projects can be funded in the funding range of up to $50K or up to $100 K if a second tranche is awarded.


  • Applications are welcomed from startup companies with licenses to Cornell innovations from Cornell’s Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses or companies members of the Center for Life Science Ventures, REV, and the PostDoc Runway program at Cornell Tech.

  • Startup companies are expected to be pre-Series A financing. If your company has already raised Series A financing, please contact CTL, your LBDO, or your qualifying program’s director to determine eligibility.

  • Previously funded Ignite: Innovation Acceleration projects are eligible for Ignite: Startup Projects, but not previously funded Startup Projects.

  • Applicant should be in “Inc.” not “LLC” structure.

  • All proposed projects must comply with university policies.


Applications are received on an open, rolling basis through the CTL website via the InfoReady software platform. Applications are reviewed for alignment, receive feedback from external reviewers evaluating the project and company, and are invited to present to a review board.


Application Process

step one: applications
  • Applications accepted on a rolling basis
  • Marketed to licensees and eligible incubator companies
  • Application support
step two: external advisor review
  • Proposals reviewed by external Technology Advisors
  • External committee members with domain expertise for specific application will participate in selection
step three: committee decision
  • Applicants present to Ignite committee
  • Committee makes funding decision
  • For Prime projects, 2nd tranche decision
step 4: work and impact
  • 12-month long project
  • Progress and final reports
  • Showcase results
  • Track impact

Application Schedule

Applications for Ignite Startup Projects are received on a rolling basis.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.