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What is uStartups?

uStartups is a special crowdfunding donation platform created to promote the maturation of university science and engineering projects to the point where they have real world impacts. uStartups is a crowdfunding platform so that donors can provide this crucial research “maturation” funding to faculty and student researchers so that they can continue their science and technology-based university inventions once the federal funding dries up. The funding provided by uStartups donors is essential to help university researchers move their discoveries into concrete, real life products and services for patients and users around the world.

Providing our scientists and students with research maturation funding will go a long way towards making the world a better place. Imagine the deadly diseases waiting to be cured, the new high-tech industries waiting to be created, the next generation of innovative leaders waiting to get going - our donors help make this imagined world a reality!

What projects are eligible?

uStartups on accepts projects from researchers, faculty and students affiliated with a university or have university involvement. Projects seeking funding must fall in specific research areas, including the following: life sciences and medicine, computer sciences, communications, and technology, physical sciences and engineering, and other research areas important for human health and development.

What are the eligibility requirements for setting up a project and receiving funding?

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You a connection to a university.
  • You are a permanent US resident with a Social Security Number (or EIN).
  • You have a US address, US bank account, and US state-issued ID (driver’s license).
  • You have a major US credit or debit card.

What is a project owner? What is a funder?

A project owner is one who submits a project to uStartups for funding. A project owner has control and responsibility over the information submitted about the uStartup.

A funder is one who donates to a uStartup.

A project owner can become a funder if he/she donates to another project owner's project. The same goes for funders that submit a uStartup, where they become a project owner.

Is uStartups free? What fees are associated with uStartups?

Joining uStartups is free. There is no cost to joining the uStartups community and to submitting a uStartup project.

uStartups charges a 5-9% fee from the funds you raise, depending on whether or not you reach your financial goal. If you reach your funding goal, uStartups chrages 5%. If you do not reach your funding goal the fee is 9%.

There are also third-party credit card processing fees usually between 3-5% for each transaction.

Keep-it  model

Even though you need to have a funding goal, you keep the funds (less fees) even if you don't make the goal.

 Does uStartups get equity or own any intellectual property? Will my funders get any equity?

No, uStartups will not claim ownership of your company in part or in whole. The same goes for funders. uStartups runs a donation model and equity cannot be given as a reward to funders. IP is also wholly your own, unless you work under an institution, in which case your institution's IP rules apply.

 updated: September 3, 2012