This year's program is currently underway!

If you are interested in receiving information about the next Innovation Engine Accelerator, type your email below:


This year's program is currently underway!

If you are interested in receiving information about the next Innovation Engine Accelerator, type your email below:


2013 Accelerator Program

Tuesday, May 28

Entrepreneurship – The Lean Startup Approach

Wednesday, May 29

Business Model Canvas Presentations – Round One

Tuesday, June 4

The Value Proposition

Wednesday, June 5

Customer Discovery

Tuesday, June 11

Market Research

Wednesday, June 12

Channel Strategies

Tuesday, June 18

Revenue Models

Wednesday, June 19

Resources and Costs

Tuesday, June 25

Strategic Partners

Wednesday, June 26

Business Model Canvas Presentations – Round two

Tuesday, July 2

Financial Modeling

Wednesday, July 3

Finding and Negotiating with Investors


The Engine FAQ

What is the purpose and benefits of the program?

The Innovation Engine Accelerator (IEA) is a highly-competitive digital media business accelerator located in Ohio University’s business incubator, the Innovation Center. Made possible by public and private support, the IEA is launching its second annual program providing seed funding of up to $20,000 each for five companies this summer. By the end of the 12-week program, each company will have a market-tested MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and an investor-ready pitch developed to attract follow-on funding.

What is the definition of digital media?

The Innovation Engine Accelerator is open to digital media companies using a very broad definition as the “creative conversion of digital arts, science, technology, and business for human expression, communication, social interaction, and education.”

Is this program for me?

This program is designed for startups in the digital media industry that want an intensive program with industry mentors, seminar/training, and seed investment and shared office space including computers/software.  The program requires great commitment to the process.

Innovation Engine Accelerator companies must demonstrate a likelihood that the startup will be able to raise follow-on capital within 6-12 months of graduation from any university or college across the country.  Thus, applicants must demonstrate the quality of the product idea by describing the:

  • market problem
  • opportunity
  • sophistication of the solution offered
  • commitment and sustainability of the business after the accelerator program

Participants will be selected based on the aforementioned and the applicants’ potential including but not limited to:

  • coachability and flexibility
  • creativity and motivation
  • skill set range among the founders
  • the founders will derive meaningful benefit from the accelerator experience.

While not required, preferences will be given to applicants with 50% of the founders enrolled in a college or university within the last 5 years and with founders residing in Athens, Ohio during the duration of the program.

Do I have to be an Ohio University student or alumni to participate?

No.  The program is open to all universities and colleges (4- and 2-year colleges).

Can I apply as an existing business?

Yes.  However, if an entity has been formed, preference will be given to a startup company, as defined as being less than 6 months old, employing fewer than 3 employees, and, with less than $25,000 in revenue.

Does every founder have to be in Athens over the summer for every seminar?

No.  We have found that when all founders participate, the companies who finish the program are likely to be more successful.

How do I apply?

Participants can apply through the website by either downloading the application form then emailing it to OR by filling in the application form online.

What is the application process?

Applications Due
March 28, 2013

April 1 – 5, 2013

Applicants Notified of Acceptance
April 5, 2013

Program Begins
May 28, 2013*

*The program will also include a bootcamp sometime during the week of May 20.

What resources are provided during the Innovation Engine Accelerator?

  • One primary mentor for each company and access to 50 other mentors from our mentor database
  • No or low cost legal consultation to start your business
  • Training and seminars based on lean startup principles
  • Office hours with trainers to assist each startup as progress is made with business model development
  • Pitch coaching practice with a Venture Capitalist and continued assistance from a seasoned pitch coach
  • Executive-in-Residence assistance
  • Hardware and software access including:
    • Adobe Creative Suite
    • Final Cut Pro X
    • Autodesk Maya
    • iPhones
    • Unity Pro Suite
    • Android Devices
    • iPads
    • iMacs
  • Seed funding of up to $20,000

Do I receive the up to $20,000 investment upfront?

No.  The up to $20,000 will be distributed throughout the summer as companies meet stringent, defined milestones, with a tranche of $10,000 allocated to each business at the start of the program.  In exchange for the coaching and funding, companies will provide the IEA with option to purchase stock (or equity interest) at a fixed price in the future (e.g., warrants).