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Frequently Asked Questions

What will be required of me if I apply for Propel Dayton?

Propel Dayton is designed to help you as a potential entrepreneur understand what it takes to start and grow a successful business.  In the beginning the only thing that is required is an open mind and some time to sit down and talk with the Office of Technology and Entrepreneurial Partnerships (OTEP).

If, after the initial talks, both you and OTEP feel the three phase program is right for you, you will be accepted in the formal program and begin your training!  In Phase I you will work with OTEP and service providers to do a professional assessment of your business opportunity, and write a business plan.  If you wish to continue to Phase II you will receive formal entrepreneurial training by local experts.  It is expected that your “skin in the game” is the time you spend in the program.  It is up to you how much or how little you invest in your startup, or if you want to continue at all.  The decisions are always yours to continue, but more opportunities are available to those who put more “skin in the game”.

You will be required to license your technology or business method from UD, but this will be at terms favorable to entrepreneurs.

Will I be required to make financial investment?

You will never be required to make a financial investment by Propel Dayton.  But some opportunities are cash intensive, and sources of funding are competitive, so all sources should be considered.

What if I want to leave the program?

Propel Dayton will never require you to stay in an opportunity you do not like. 

Can I still work at UD/UDRI and participate in Propel Dayton?

Of course!  You will still be required to perform your duties the same as before entry into the program. And as a bonus, those entrepreneurs that complete Phase II are eligible to pitch for release time from UD to work on their startup.

How do I engage with Propel Dayton?

It is easy!

Email the following information to

  • Name
  • Department/Division
  • Do you have an invention or business disclosure on file with OTEP?
    • If yes, please provide name of disclosure

Or contact Mathew Willenbrink in the Office of Technology and Entrepreneurial Partnerships (OTEP) at for more information.

Is Propel Dayton only for technology-based business ideas?

No, but it does require that you submit an invention or business disclosure to OTEP so that your participation can be evaluated by OTEP staff.  The business disclosure will likely involve at least some trade secrets that will form the basis of the business disclosure.

Do I have to work at UD to be eligible?

No, because there is a mechanism whereby the public can submit an invention disclosure (note not business disclosure) to OTEP and if OTEP is willing to take the invention disclosure on formally, you will be eligible because you have an active invention disclosure.  Please note this process requires acceptance by OTEP and requires you to agree to assign your invention to UD and abide by UD’s intellectual property policy.

What are the advantages of Propel Dayton?

Propel Dayton will help you understand all of the resources at UD, regionally, and nationally available to help start a business.  If selected to officially join, Propel Dayton will help you write a business plan, evaluate your opportunity, find mentors and service providers, and give you an opportunity to compete for funds to develop your startup.