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The Office of Technology Partnerships (OTP) is here to help you launch and grow your technology-based business through entrepreneurial training, mentoring, access to capital and networking opportunities.  Read below to learn how OTP can support your idea, startup or business through EPIC Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the ExCITE Incubator. Please contact us with any questions.  

EPIC SBDC provides early stage tech entrepreneurs and companies with support to grow their businesses at no cost. Services include specialized consulting, training programs and workshops, access to capital and SBIR/STTR assistance. A team of over 14 industry experts and mentors work one-on-one supporting tech entrepreneurs at any stage to develop, launch, or grow their business. 

ExCITE, Riverside’s own startup incubator helps new technology businesses with mentoring, training, business resources, co-working space, networking, and access to funding opportunities with support from EPIC SBDC. ExCITE is a partnership between the University of California, Riverside, and the city and county of Riverside. 



Your Entrepreneur Liaison

Martin Kleckner                       

Director, EPIC SBDC
Entrepreneurship & Innovation


Mr. Kleckner has 28 years experience in operations and business development in life sciences, healthcare, oil & gas, and cable television. He has advised over 115 emerging and Fortune 100 companies with corporate planning and strategy, commercialization and public policy throughout Europe, Asia & the Americas. He participated as founder or early-stage employee in five venture start-ups with two successful exits. Mr. Kleckner has been instrumental in supporting faculty and small businesses submit winning SBIR/STTR proposals through the EPIC SBDC SBIR/STTR Resource Center.

View Full Bio

Funding Opportunities

We provide funding opportunities to validate your technology and bring it to commercialization.


    If you have an innovative idea or techology and want to increase the chances of successful commercialization the NSF I-Corps Workshop is for you.   

    • Dedicated Mentorship: Receive 1:1 mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs who will guide you through the Lean Launchpad methodology to see if your idea has market potential.
    • Transferable Business skills: Sharpen presentation skills, learn basic business concepts and how to effectively present your idea or technology to non-technical audiences.
    • Expanded Network: Connect with fellow innovators, industry experts, and potential customers, partners, investors, and stakeholders to validate your idea or technology through interviews.
    • Access to Funding: Upon completion, qualify for $50,000 in additional funding from the NSF and secure special preference for Proof of Concept grant funding of up to $35,000 through the Office of Technology Partnerships.

    Application for the NSF I-Corps Winter 2023 cohort is now open!


    If you have  completed the UCR NSF I-Corps workshops or are a recipient of NSF grants you are eligible for the I-Corps National Program.   

    • Funded by the National Science Foundation I-Corps.  

    • NSF provides $50,000.  

    • 7 week intensive workshop offered in National I-Corps sites across the country. 


    If you have an invention with commercial or business potential this grant is available to you.  

    • Funded by the UCR Research and Economic Development Office.   

    • We provide faculty with grants of up to $50,000. 

    • Funds can be used for prototyping or to conduct translational experiments to bring a technology closer to commercialization.  

    • Five to eight awards are distributed annually through a competitive process. 

    • For more information on the Proof of Concept funding, contact Brian Suh  

    • Applications that have been validated through the I-Corps program secure special preference for Proof of Concept grant funding.


    Our SBIR/STTR Resource Center is here to help you develop and submit winning proposals.  

    • Programs are structured into 2 funded phases, with awards typically between $150,000 - $1,000,000.  

    • UCR’s SBIR/STTR Resource Center provides one on one mentorship and a robust training program that provides insights on preparing competitive proposals.  

    • For more information about preparing an SBIR or STTR proposal, contact Misty Madero  


    If you have a UCR affiliated company you can apply for venture capital investment through the Highlander Venture Fund.   

    •  Investments between $250,000-$500,000. 

    • For more information about the Highlander Venture Fund, contact Scott Brovsky

Programs + Services

We provide you with an integrated approach to obtain entrepreneurial education, mentoring and start-up development support.

    • License UCR technology
    • Field Trials
    • Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)
    • Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs)
    • Sponsored Research Agreements

    Our Entrepreneurship Proof of Concept and Innovation Center (EPIC) provides entrepreneurial education and start up formation support to entrepreneurs from UCR and the community.

    Our services include:

    • Entrepreneurial Training through structured programs such as the NSF I-Corps as well as ongoing workshops on topics from IP protection to startup funding delivered regularly by a team of industry experts.
    • Startup Mentorship to help future entrepreneurs, startups and small technology-focused businesses develop and succeed in the market. Our team of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence has deep experience mentoring and directly leading, creating, developing, growing and/or successfully selling their own startups.
    • Incubation at our local incubators help startups accelerate their development and growth. The Riverside ExCITE incubator provides dedicated co-working or office space where cross-pollination and learning is facilitated by our team. The Wet Lab incubator located on UCR's campus provides access to core laboratory and equipment facilities for up to 15 startup companies as well as startup mentoring support and exposure to UCR researchers, specialized facilities, and technologies.

    Learn more