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Leonardo Enterprises

Do you want to start your own business?

Leonardo Enterprises is a new business incubator and investment program at the School of Engineering for all University of Dayton students, faculty and staff who want to start their own technology-based business.

Technology-Based Business

A technology-based business is any business concept that requires some form of engineering support to be successful. This could take the form of a launch of a new product, a manufacturing process, an app and more.

What it is and What it isn't

  • I have an idea for a new method to roast coffee beans that will be more energy efficient and produce great tasting coffee — YES!
  • I want to open a coffee shop on Wayne Avenue that has live funk performances on Thursday afternoons  NO!
  • My product is a new app that uses your phone's pedometer and heart rate sensor to help athletes better understand their peak performance conditions  YES!
  • I'm launching my own personal training service for marathon runners  NO!

How Leonardo Helps

At the University of Dayton, Leonardo Enterprises invests pre-seed funding to new startups formed by students, faculty and staff. Plus, as a Leonardo Fellow, you will receive the following:

  1. Lab space
  2. Co-working office space
  3. Use of the School of Engineering's Makerspace
  4. World-class engineering support
  5. Legal support
  6. One-on-one business mentoring and education

As a Leonardo Fellow, you will be a part of a cohort with other startup business founders, and you will receive support and education as a group, as well as individual mentorship and direction. Leonardo also connects you with investors and small business services to help transition your business off campus after graduation.  Leonardo Enterprises is your first step towards creating a successful business around technology and your ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, the program is open to all University of Dayton students, faculty and staff. The only requirement is that you are a member of the campus community in good standing and that you have a technology-based business idea.

If your business is selected, you will propose your required funding as part of the business pitch round.

Leonardo Enterprises will generally ask for 5 percent profit sharing in return for our investment in your startup. Unlike other investors, Leonardo Enterprises does not take any share of ownership or equity in your business.

Yes! Look for future announcements about Leonardo Enterprises networking events, where entrepreneurial students can meet and share ideas.

Yes, absolutely!

Individual inventors are welcome to apply, and we can help you connect with other entrepreneurial students through the Leonardo Fellowship program.


Innovation Center, Rebecca Blust, Director

Kettering Laboratories
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0211