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Getting Started

Have an idea you want to work on? Don't have an idea but want to get involved?...You've come to the right place!

Both undergraduate and graduate students can enter the Catalyst Program at any stage of the product development cycle and teams can range from one member to several members. If you need help finding team members with the right skills we can help you find them by posting on this website and through our network of entrepreneurs at Virginia Tech. You can also find team members and generate concepts by participating in one of the several entrepreneurial classes offered at Virginia Tech (below). We recommend this as an excellent starting point if you're not sure what you want to work on.

Once you've decided what you want to work on, the next step to getting involved with the Catalyst Program is to come and discuss your idea for a new product with us. If you are just starting out we'll help you develop your concept and guide you in performing the necessary background research.  When ready, you and your team will pitch your idea to a panel of Catalyst members who formally review your concept for acceptance into the program. If accepted, you will be given funding and access to our network of resources! If you don't get accepted the first time, don't worry. Students are encouraged to redefine their concept or try completely new ideas as many times as they want.

New teams and existing Catalyst Program teams are also encouraged to enter our annual Innovation Competition where we award additional support and funding to the team with the best concept. You do not have to be in the Catalyst Program to enter the Innovation Competition, so this is a great way to get involved.


VT Entrepreneurship Classes

BIOL-2984, CHEM-2984Drugs, Bugs & Entrepreneurship 
ECE-6604 Spectrum Policy and Wireless Innovation 
ENGE-2984 Innovation and the Technology Leader's Mindset 
ENGE-4984The Startup Class
IDS-4044 Professional Practice & Entrepreneurship 
MGT-4984 Intro to Entrepreneurship 
MGT-4984 Science & Engineering Entrepreneurship 
MGT-5984 Management Consulting: Entrepreneurial Environments 
MGT-5984 Tech Innovation Management for MBAs


 Concept Pitch Requirements

  • Define team members and their roles on team
  • Explain the need/problem you are trying to solve
  • Description of your invention, how it works, and why it is a good solution
  • Discuss current state of the art (what already exists like your product, if anything?)
  • Patentability/copyright/trademark potential of your invention
  • Current status of research/experimentation/funding
  • General plan to create marketable product and what resources you think you will need.


Join an Existing Team

If you're interested in joining the Catalyst Program, but just can't find the right idea, check out Current Projects  tab for a list of existing teams and a description of what they're doing. If a team is in need of members it will be listed in their description.


Come by our facility at 197 Durham Hall

...or contact Will Vatis at

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