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Signature Programs

The LaunchPad hosts several recurring signature programs held each semester or year. Signature programs are designed to help students advance their entrepreneurial opportunities through a mix of education, mentorship, networking, and financial resources.



Student Entrepreneur Acceleration & Launch or SEAL is UT Austin’s selective summer accelerator, held for nine-weeks from June-August. SEAL picks the most promising emerging startups across campus and helps them confront their next market-driven milestone.

While other campus programs encourage entrepreneurial exploration, SEAL serves as a capstone-like accelerator that helps student and faculty entrepreneurs transition out of UT resources and into the marketplace.

Summer 2022 Applications: TBD


StartUP Grants 

The LaunchPad at UT Austin is providing $15,000 in grant funding every semester for undergraduate students to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Grant amounts range from $500 to $5,000 and can be used for projects related to customer discovery, prototype development, pilot deployment, travel expenses, living stipends for unpaid and/or low-paying startup internships, and more.

Spring 2022 Applications: December 10 – February 10 



Career Catalyst

Career Catalyst (formally Project Forward) is an annual summer bootcamp in partnership with Second Day, broken up into multiple phases. Project Forward was created with the mission of encouraging entrepreneurial thinking to help students continue moving forward in their professional journey, even in the midst of a global pandemic. 

Phase I: Know Yourself, Know Your Worth: Assessing Your Value & Effective Positioning

Phase II: Networking in 2020: Identifying Opportunities & Conducting Outreach

Phase II: Take the Lead: Creating Your Own Work Opportunities

Phase IV: Self-Manage & Reflect: Making the Most of Your Work Experience

Fall 2022 Dates: TBD


Gap Year Founders

A new 9-month program for recent graduates to discover an entrepreneurial opportunity in an industry of their choice and explore potential solutions with the goal of launching a venture. Each Gap Year Founder will receive a $15,000 stipend and $10,000 budget for travel and material expenses.

Up to three Gap Year Founders will be selected in 2021. Ideal applicants are between one to three semesters out of college. Each Gap Year Founder will be hired by the LaunchPad at UT Austin and receive a nine-month appointment for up to 20 hours per week for total compensation of up to $15,000.

2022 Applications: TBD


Cottrell Faculty Grant

An annual grant for one faculty member to explore an industry related to their area of research with the goal of discovering near-term commercialization opportunities. Over a 12-month period, the faculty member will receive a $30,000+ grant to lead a team consisting of a graduate student, undergraduate researchers/market analysts, and be paired with an Industry Guide to support their efforts.

The selected faculty member will be responsible for attending industry events, leading their team in exploring relevant industry topics, meeting one-on-one with industry leaders, startups, financial services firms, analysts, and other professional services firms, and identifying potential innovation opportunities that could be relevant to their research.