News and Updates

Find out what’s new with the Innovation District initiative. And see how our faculty and students are creating novel solutions.

Service pairing student workers with small businesses wins Community Design Sprint

A startup idea called Meld, an internship platform connecting college students with small businesses seeking workers, won the $2,500 top prize at the University of Georgia’s 2021 Community Design Sprint virtual pitch competition. Created by Sabrina Greco, a Franklin College of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in French and psychology, Meld would respond to the […]

UGA Kickstarter Fund board members

UGA Kickstarter helping startups get off the ground

Every groundbreaking startup begins with a really good idea, but what if that good idea can’t get off the ground. That was a question facing the members of the UGA Kickstart Fund — the Entrepreneurship Program’s student-led startup fund — as they waded through grant applications for their 2020-21 funding cycle.

Valeria Brenner of Thryft Shop

Student entrepreneur retools startup idea for Build/Test Accelerator Demo Day

In the nine months since Valeria Brenner won the UGA Entrepreneurship Program’s Idea Accelerator pitch contest, she’s been busy. She retooled Thryft Ship ­— her startup idea to streamline shipping for social media merchants — and launched it successfully. She leaned into her Instagram community and converted her network into customers, helping more than 200 […]

Innovation District draws tech startup to Athens

Metropolis, a Dallas-area healthcare startup, has relocated to Athens to establish its headquarters in our growing Innovation District.  Metropolis uses advanced digital technology to streamline recruiting processes for healthcare providers in large U.S. metropolitan areas. Led by CEO, co-founder and UGA alumnus Scott Edwards, Metropolis moved into the Innovation Hub on June 7.

Streaming platform for stock traders wins Idea Accelerator

Nick Dasoveanu, a graduating economics student from Duluth, won the UGA Idea Accelerator pitch contest, held April 19, with his plan for a site where traders could stream their trading activity and portfolios live. Inspired in part by Twitch, a platform that allows gamers the ability to stream their gameplay live to their fans, Dasoveanu […]

New mentorship resource available to UGA entrepreneurs

Havalyn Hensley, a veteran executive who spent two decades overseeing IT operations at Coca-Cola Enterprises, will become UGA’s first Startup Mentor-on-Roster, providing business mentoring services to the growing pipeline of university-based ventures and entrepreneurs.

‘Brain glue’ shows promise in repairing injured brain tissue

The toll of traumatic brain injury, which affects an estimated 5.3 million in the U.S., is enormous. But a UGA-developed hydrogel, dubbed “brain glue” by researchers, shows promise for treating and possibly helping repair severe brain injuries, according to a recently published study. With support from partners in UGA’s Innovation District, researchers have filed a […]

Student designs solution for vet visits

Every pet owner wants their pet to feel safe and secure, especially on daunting trips to the veterinarian’s office. One major hurdle is the frigid stainless steel tables that offer an unappealing surface for animals that are used to the comfort of home. During the 2021 University of Georgia Food, Agribusiness and Entrepreneurial Initiative (FABricate) […]

UGA reclaims No. 1 spot for new products to market

The University of Georgia has returned to the top of AUTM’s national rankings for the number of products developed by industry partners based on UGA research discoveries, marking the seventh straight year UGA has placed among the top five schools in the country for this metric.

Athens Startup Week is April 12–16

With a combination of in-person and streaming expert panels, pitch competitions and demonstrations, Startup Week is an opportunity for students, faculty and community entrepreneurs to connect and learn about what’s happening in the Classic City.

Meet some of UGA’s most promising entrepreneurs

University of Georgia student entrepreneurs Valeria Brenner, founder of ThryftShip; Worth McFall, founder of Somewhere Waffle; and Kristen Dunning, founder of Professional Plant Girl; introduce their businesses.

A tour through UGA’s Innovation Hub

The University of Georgia has officially opened its new Innovation Hub in downtown Athens as part of the university’s Innovation District initiative to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and experiential learning.

Building safer medical devices

UGA scientists developed an innovative coating to prevent liquids like water and blood—and the bacteria that live in them—from sticking onto surfaces such as particular medical devices. The researchers also found that the liquid-repellant coating can kill bacteria and halt blood clot formation on an object’s surface.

UGA’s Shrivastav elected to National Academy of Inventors

Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction and a prominent researcher in the field of assistive communication technology and speech sciences, has been elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is the ninth University of Georgia faculty member elected as an NAI Fellow, all of whom have been elected in the past seven years.

ATLANTA INNO: UGA grad creates fashion-forward phone strap

“I was in college for entrepreneurship,” said Kristi Frank BBA ’16, “and they’re always telling you to solve a problem, so it felt like the perfect synergy for me to explore my love for fashion and functionality.”  

Applications for Faculty Innovation Fellows Program open

The semester-long fellowship is accepting applications for its spring 2021 cohort and is one of several new initiatives launched by UGA’s Innovation District to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and experiential learning.

Veteran entrepreneurs mentor UGA startups

For faculty, learning to launch a startup venture while also managing research laboratories, instruction and other duties is no small feat. To help them find success, the Innovation District is expanding its Startup Mentor Program. The program pairs experienced entrepreneurs—many of them successful UGA alumni—with faculty members to help coach and inspire them.

UGA invests in faculty development, strategic hires

The University of Georgia continues to invest in faculty whose work addresses urgent statewide and global issues through new Presidential Cluster Hiring Initiatives in integrative, precision agriculture and in brain and behavioral health.

ThryftShip lands $2,500 UGA Idea Accelerator prize

Instagram has become a steady source of income for millions of merchants, who use the social networking platform to sell everything from art to vintage clothing and makeup. Businesses have found ways to do most of their direct-to-consumer transactions on the app, but shipping has remained a time-consuming challenge. That’s where Valeria Brenner’s idea for ThryftShip […]

UGA hosts SEC Student Pitch Competition

Young entrepreneurs from 14 Southeastern Conference universities presented their startup ideas at the SEC’s first-ever virtual Student Pitch Competition, hosted Oct. 26 by the University of Georgia’s Entrepreneurship Program.  The contest featured the brightest, battle-tested student startup from each SEC institution, ranging from new financial technology to medical devices.

UGA I-Corps Fall Showcase on Oct. 26

The Innovation Gateway Startup Program invites you to the UGA I-Corps Fall Showcase at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26. UGA I-Corps is the NSF-funded program that provides UGA teams (faculty, students and community) the training and funds needed to learn about the value they might bring to customers. 

Launch sends UGA’s first research satellite into space

We have liftoff! A student-led effort to get the University of Georgia’s first research satellite into space was a success. The small satellite SPOC, short for Spectral Ocean Color, launched aboard an Antares rocket from the Wallops Facility in Virginia on October 2. The Small Satellite Research Lab is a collaboration between students and faculty researchers […]

Grant funding to UGA startups climbs sharply

The university’s reputation for innovation with impact is paying off not just in the number of startups being formed but also in the success those companies are having in attracting funding support to develop their products. In fiscal year 2020, UGA startups surpassed $7.3 million in this type of funding, a jump of more than 60% from […]

UGA I-Corps Underway for Fall 2020

UGA’s I-Corps accelerator program recently welcomed its largest cohort since launching in 2017. Fourteen teams are participating in the customer discovery-focused program this fall, which kicked off its first virtual meeting on Sept. 21.

Inventions of peace: Neutralizing explosives safely and sustainably

It is easier and far cheaper to create explosives than it is to dispose of them. That leads to stockpiles of munitions with no place to go. It took many years of study, but UGA professor Valentine Nzengung eventually discovered a way to destroy explosive materials in a way that protects people and the environment. […]

UGA hosting virtual Innovation Research Week

UGA entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies soon will have an opportunity to connect directly with the country’s largest source of early-stage funding. The University of Georgia’s Innovation Gateway is hosting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Regional Small Business Innovation Research Week—virtually—beginning Sept. 14.  It will provide a rare opportunity for innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology companies and small businesses […]

Pandemic brings unexpected spin to summer internships

The right internship can be the first building block to a successful career in business, but what happens when a pandemic scuttles the entry-level experience of a summer internship?  For some Terry College of Business students, it meant changing tracks and putting their time and talents to work for community organizations and small businesses. “We […]

Students wrap up Summer Design Sprint

A student startup that wants to be a hub for gift-givers to buy local and regional hotel stays won the $2,000 top prize at the University of Georgia’s 2020 Summer Design Sprint virtual pitch competition.

Key programs relocate into Innovation District

The intersection of downtown Athens and North Campus is becoming the front door for innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. This fall, several key UGA units will relocate to the Broad Street area as part of the university’s Innovation District initiative.

Incoming students get a taste of innovation

As the University of Georgia prepared to reopen campus for classes, a few first-year students donned masks to preview in-person learning this semester. Sixteen incoming University of Georgia students participated in Dawg Camp Innovate, an extended orientation program that introduced them to the UGA and Athens entrepreneurship community and the resources to help them grow businesses […]

UGA I-Corps cohort moves ideas to market

Eleven teams, which include UGA faculty, staff, students and community members, participated in the six-week learning process this summer and presented their findings at the online I-Corps Summer 2020 Showcase held July 27. To date, 85 teams have completed the accelerator program, but this was the first cohort to receive the educational curriculum entirely online.

Innovation bootcamp

UGA ranks high in innovation productivity

When it comes to converting original research into economic impact, the University of Georgia is one of the nation’s most productive large institutions. UGA ranked No. 10 for productivity in generating innovation impact among large research universities, according to The Innovation Impact of U.S. Universities report from the George W. Bush Institute and Opus Faveo Innovation Development.

Sign up now: Design Thinking Summer Virtual Sprint

The vibrant, bustling downtown Athens area may look a little different these days due to the impact of COVID-19. Without the typical steady stream of students and patrons throughout the spring and summer, some businesses and organizations have been forced to find new ways to stay afloat. But UGA innovators have come up with ways […]

I-Corp Summer Showcase: July 27

Week 2 of UGA’s Summer 2020 I-Corps cohort wrapped up on Monday, June 29, featuring sessions on customer segments, interview styles and techniques, and presentations by each entrepreneurial team.

UGA, industry leaders work on virtual internships

To help businesses navigate summer internships during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Georgia’s Innovation District recently hosted two virtual forums where professionals shared best practices, goals and challenges of virtual summer internships.

Students to Help Businesses with IT Challenges

The MIS Department of the Terry College of Business is providing an opportunity for small businesses to involve students in projects related to their technology acumen or online presence. Each project will be carried out by a student (or team of students) under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The focus will be on solving […]

Student brews up alcohol detector device

University of Georgia student Nick Robertson’s side hustle of brewing and selling the fermented health drink kombucha was going great until he ran into a problem. One he was determined to solve with a little bit of ingenuity.

UGA Research Addresses the Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the U.S. and much of the rest of the world, researchers at the University of Georgia are hard at work to find solutions to halt the virus.

UGA creates medical face shields

The shields, which help protect health care providers from droplets, aerosols and other contaminants while treating patients, are being produced through a collaboration that includes the UGA College of Engineering, UGA Libraries and the Instrument Design and Fabrication Shop.

Innovation District takes shape

To connect this activity and amplify it, the university has launched the Innovation District initiative: a vision for a dynamic ecosystem of places, programs, and people all working together to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning.

Top 5 for new products to market

Research at the University of Georgia led to 50 new products being introduced to the market in fiscal year 2018, ranking UGA No. 2 among all U.S. universities and colleges for this important metric.

Innovation bootcamp

New program earns high marks

“I realize more and more that the value of my research is maximized when I consider it all the way to the end user,” said Julianne Schmidt, associate professor in the College of Education and co-director of both its Concussion Research and Biomechanics laboratories.

Delta commits $5 million to innovation, engineering

The University of Georgia will take a major step forward in its Innovation District initiative and enhance the College of Engineering, thanks to a $5 million gift from The Delta Air Lines Foundation.

Startup 101

As UGA commits to the promise of innovation, one program is helping entrepreneurs get their startups off the ground.

License to Innovate

This cycle of IP licensing and commercialization has been going strong at UGA for four decades, longer than all but a few university peers, and it is central to the university’s Innovation District initiative.