Startups, Start Here: Top Two Matching Grant Funds in Florida for Tech Companies Partnered with UCF

April 27, 2016

It takes capital to launch a company. If your startup’s product or service is powered by technology developed at a public university in Florida, you may be eligible for matching grants. As discussed in the last Startups, Start Here blog post, the Venture Accelerator Lab (VAL) at UCF can help you identify grants, including matching grants, to raise capital.

As their name suggests, matching grants require companies to secure another source of funding, and will typically match it at a 1:1 or a 2:1 ratio. The benefits for obtaining such monies are manifold:

  1. The funds do not dilute investment equity.
  2. Startup costs are shared with other funders.
  3. Funders who may be tentative are incentivized by the shared risk.
  4. The additional funds, and the source of the funds, build credibility for your business.
  5. Through partnering with the funding organization, your startup gains publicity.

Two local resources within the Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FLHTCC) and the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (FICPR) provide matching grant funds for startup companies commercializing university research.

Florida High Tech Corridor Council

Logo for Florida High Tech CooridorThe Florida High Tech Corridor Council was founded in 1996 to support a 21-county service area for both UCF and the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. In 1997, it expanded to 23 counties across Central Florida and included the University of Florida (UF).

The mission of The Corridor is “to grow high-tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce, and entrepreneurship.” The Corridor provides a link between UCF, USF, and UF and their industry partners by supporting applied research.

Specifically, matching funds are available for companies commercializing research from one of ten key high-tech industries targeted for growth:

Argritechnology Life Sciences/Medical Technologies
Aviation and Aerospace Microelectronics/Nanotechnology
Digital Media/Interactive Entertainment Modeling, Simulation, and Training
Financial Services Optics and Photonics
Information Technology Sustainable Energy


If your startup company falls into any of these ten categories, there are two ways to receive funds from The Corridor’s Matching Grants Research Program:

  1. The Open Call requires that a corporation must match funds up to $3 for every Corridor dollar granted. Awards range from $10,000 to $150,000.
  2. The SBIR/STTR Phase II Industry External Investment Program provides matching funds to those businesses who have already procured government funding from SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) or STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs.

For either of these funding programs, a startup company must be linked to UCF, USF, or UF. To learn more about these opportunities, visit the FLHTCC site.

Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research

logo for Florida Institute for the Commericialization of Public ResearchThe Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (FICPR), a partnership with state universities and research institutions, was formed in 2007, and its mission is to support “economic development through the commercialization of new discoveries generated from publicly funded research.”

The Institute’s Company Funding program provides $50,000 – $300,000 in seed funding, which may be provided as either debt or equity, to qualified companies. Funding is provided by the State of Florida through the Department of Economic Opportunity.

To see if your company qualifies for funding and to apply visit the FICPR site.

If you are commercializing UCF technology, you may qualify for these matching grants. We can help identify the best tech solutions to meet your company’s goals.