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UH Technology Bridge Innov8 Hub Programs

UHTB Innov8 is a founder-driven series of accelerator programs for early-stage ventures and entrepreneurs who are faculty, students and staff in partnership with UH SBDC. These programs are run at the UH Technology Bridge in person and virtually.  The program consists of series of accelerator programs based on the Wendy Kennedy Inc. curriculum and will be run by SBDC advisors in partnership with the UH Technology bridge team at the UHTB Innovation center. Each cohort has 6-8 founders and they are equipped with all the tools needed to launch their ventures. Programs are catered to scientists, students and researchers looking to apply for SBIR/STTR grants.

At the end of the programs, each participants have the opportunity to Pitch their business on a Pitch Day. The goal of these programs is to launch new ventures, develop business plans that they can use to raise money and attract C-suite level employees to join their team.


What is different about these programs?

These programs are Founder–driven and not classroom/expert teaching driven. That means that the founders have to be committed to engage and spend the time to benefit from the program.


Founders DO NOT need to be UH employees to participate in the program

Who can Participate?

  1. Researcher with just an Idea- not sure of any commercialization pathways
  2. Researcher interested in starting a company, might or might not have a team. Researcher looking for a crash course to develop a commercialization plan for their SBIR/STTR grant application
  3. Startup from UH portfolio- Licensed UH Intellectual Property, started a company but stuck at some point: funding, sales, team, etc.
  4. Student startup- could be a startup or a small business, might or might not be interested in commercializing UH Intellectual Property

Accelerator Programs Offered

Innovators to Founders Cohort


Help Innovators launch ventures, participants will build business plans, pitch decks, will have access to all the resources available at the SBDC for launching ventures.

  • Starts: August-September and January-February each year
  • Timeframe: 3-months, 3hrs/each week
  • Runs every Semester (Fall and Spring)
  • 6-8 Founders participate

Pitch Day:

At the end of the 12-weeks, participating Cohort will get the opportunity to pitch in front of the community, investors, founders, mentors and answer questions and gather feedback. Based on the popular vote, the winning team will receive prizes.

SBIR/STTR Support Cohort


To equip SBIR/STTR applicants with the tools, methodologies, and mindset required to effectively communicate the value and potential of their innovations, aligning with both grant requirements and market needs.  We will write a draft of the SBIR/STTR commercialization plan using an SBIR Commercialization Plan Template developed by WKI.

  • Starts November and April each year
  • Timeframe: 5 weeks
  • Runs every Semester (Fall and Spring)
  • 6-8 Founders participate

5-Week WKI Program for Student Entrepreneurial Support Cohort


The Student Entrepreneurial Support Cohort aims to equip student founders with the skills and networks to turn innovative ideas into strong business pitches using the WKI methodology. In the intensive 5-week program, participants refine their business ideas and value propositions, validate market fit, and receive mentorship from UHTB, SBDC, and BMBAS experts. The program includes interactive workshops and peer collaboration, enhancing entrepreneurial skills and providing valuable insights for a polished final pitch at the culminating event.

  • Starts based on the needs to student and clubs
  • Timeframe: 5 weeks
  • Runs every Semester (Fall and Spring)
  • 6-8 Founders participate, multiple groups for different student organizations on campus.

About WKI Methodology

So what? who cares? why you?® Description:

WKI’s So what? who cares? why you? methodology consists of 13 visual frameworks used to ideate and design the business value of an idea. It was created by founders with decades of experience as founders, funders, and startup veterans. The frameworks engage innovators to think entrepreneurially about product-market fit, customer discovery, competitive difference makers, and build this thinking into a compelling value proposition. This method has delivered results for thousands of innovators in more than 27 countries, helping to secure investment, receive research grant awards, win pitch competitions and more.


If you are interested in learning more about these programs or interested in participating, please reach out to Tanu Chatterji at, UH Technology Bridge


"Innov8 was excellent for starters like me. The materials and teaching format were great! I hope to translate your great effort into our success. Can't say enough good things about this training course.”
- Shoujun Xu, Professor, Dept. of Chemistry
"Working through the WKI process has been invaluable. The fishbone activity and go-to-market strategies were key turning points. The Houston Business Coalition on Health was a great find. I'm wrestling with when to move from customer discovery to assessing interest and market potential.”
- Stephanie Calloway, Sanasol Wellness
"Meeting like-minded individuals in the cohort provided constructive criticism and unique perspectives, leading to valuable improvements. Despite joining later, it was a great experience with no noticeable areas needing improvement.”
- Jason Shi, Root Planter
"The in-person meeting with the cohort was engaging and energizing. We felt connected, despite working in different industries. The mentor's feedback on market strategy and value proposition was valuable for our commercialization plan. Looking forward to continuing the interactive learning with Innov8 in 2024.”
- Rashim Singh, Research Assistant Professor, Health Research Institute
"Innov8 has transformed my professional development. The provided resources significantly boosted my business knowledge, fostering continuous learning and propelling my business forward. The class management and material delivery were fantastic.”
- Babek Vafei, University of Miami