The Idea Transformation Fellowship Program

 The program provides funding and hands-on support to early stage startup companies, helping them get to the critical point where they can obtain follow-on funding or support themselves through earned revenue.

Transformation Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to one year, and funding can total up to $100,000. Our investments take the form of a convertible note.

During the Fellowship Program, our management team rolls up its sleeves and works side-by-side with you on your business. The individualized and hands-on nature of our services has become the hallmark of our work.

Why Participate in the Idea Transformation Fellowship?

In the Trenches

Through a customized process tailored to your company’s unique needs, Idea Foundry’s seasoned management team will meet with you on a weekly basis and use our proven tools to help develop your business.


Funding can total up to $100,000 and can be used to cover any operating expenses. This helps pay the bills so you can concentrate on taking your business to the next level.


Idea Foundry provides a network of technical, commercial, and financial resources to assist you now and in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I should apply to the Idea Foundry Fellowship Program?

Do you have a business idea or product prototype that you are interested in developing? Do you plan on setting up your business in Western Pennsylvania? Are you dedicated to your idea and willing to commit to the rigorous demands of running a start-up? If so, then the Idea Foundry Fellowship Program is right for you!

What types of professional services are typical in the Idea Foundry Fellowship Program?

The professional services in the Idea Transformation Fellowship Program can include projects involving company definition, customer collateral, deal support, financial planning, investor collateral, market research, networking, operations, and strategy.

I don’t have an office. Can the Idea Foundry Fellowship Program help?

Idea Foundry has limited office space that may be available on a short-term basis to Fellowship companies based on their needs. However, this space is not guaranteed and Idea Foundry generally recommends that companies make arrangements to house their businesses.

How is the investment structured?

Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to one year, and funding can total up to $100,000. Also, the investment includes an amount associated with the hands-on services rendered to the business. Our investments take the form of a convertible note.

How long does the selection process take?

The entire application and four-round selection process generally takes between 3 and 4 months. This length of time is necessary to conduct thorough a landscape analysis and due diligence and to develop the unique work-plan to meet the individual needs of your company.

I’m interested. How do I begin the application process?

If you meet the eligibility requirements, it is strongly recommended that you schedule a meeting to discuss your idea. This initial conversation will provide us with an opportunity to meet you and learn about your idea, as well as provide you with suggestions to strengthen your application and answer any questions you may have.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applications should be based on an idea for which necessary research has been completed and initial development has resulted in a prototype or detailed design specification. Less mature concepts are not a good fit for the Idea Transformation Fellowship. Please see our accelerators for this stage.

  • Applicants should be prepared to reside in western Pennsylvania and intend for their company to be primarily based in western Pennsylvania.

  • Participants must commit appropriate time resources for the development of their business during the Transformation Fellowship period and beyond.