Student Incubator

Program Overview

The Simone Center’s Student Incubator initiative is an intensive program designed to assist students with a desire to start a business or commercialize their innovations. This initiative differs from other non-RIT university programs in that it is holistic in nature—the program focuses on both product (technology) and business development.

While the Simone Center provides innovation and business development coaches to most students seeking assistance, the Student Incubator program is more intricate and deliberate. Students accepted into the program get weekly coaching by an experienced coach (typically an entrepreneur or a product developer). Simone Center coaches assist students in all dimensions of advancing their business ideas or innovation projects including:

  • Voice of the Customer: What customer problem is being solved? What are potential customer needs?
  • Competitive Analysis: How are you (significantly) better than other options?
  • Product Development: What is the path to developing a “proof of concept”? When should a prototype be developed?
  • Timelines, Milestones, and Road Maps: What is the path forward for both the product development and the business development
  • Team Development and Management: What are the skills required for your team to be successful? Do your team members have them? How can you get them?
  • Business/Project Funding and Finance: What types and sources of funding are available to successfully advance your project/business?

In conjunction with the Student Incubator Program, students can get access to other RIT resources, such as labs, technical advisors, etc. When sufficiently advanced, students may apply for admission to the RIT Student Incubator in Venture Creations.

The Student Incubator Program is team-oriented. Individual students, typically, do not enter the program. High potential projects require high potential teams and the Simone Center will assist lead innovators and entrepreneurs on how to network to find the right team.

New Maker/ Product Development Track

Have you ever wished you could gain course or co-op credit for making your own products?  If the answer to this question is “yes”, then RIT has a unique program that I believe will interest many of you.   

The Simone Center is offering a new program entitled the Student Incubator Program (Maker/Product Development Track) that allows student teams to gain course credit for making their products.  Traditionally, this program has primarily emphasized the realization phase of product development, but it has developed into a new Maker/Product Development track.  This new track continues to require user insight, but emphases making instead of commercializing.   It is also possible to earn co-op credit for making your products, but this requires an interview with the Simone Center/Construct staff.

For more information contact Dana Wolcott.