Now that you have first-hand experience with how your idea interacts with the real world, you are prepared to take the next step. The Center for Entrepreneurship can help you formalize and scale your business or social venture to create value. Set up a team, a structure, and routine processes to execute your plan. Campus entrepreneurs can apply for dedicated space, expertise, and seed funding to work within a JMU startup community. Make your dream a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I learn more about the marketplace?

JMU Libraries offer valuable databases to understand your chosen industry and market.  A business librarian can help you focus your search, then talk to faculty in your field of interest.

Where can I develop a prototype?

Create sample products or visual images at JMU X-Labs in Lakeview Hall, in engineering for complex designs, or in industrial design for function and form. 

How do I legally protect my idea?

Under the Research and Scholarship division of Academic Affairs, the Office of Technology Innovation & Economic Development offers assistance to entrepreneurs who want to learn about intellectual property and the patent process. They help guide students, faculty and community members on what they should know about prior art searches, patent applications, market research, and competitive analysis.

Who can help me set up my organization?

Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC) offers no-fee, confidential consulting services, low-cost workshops, and connections for stablished and new business ventures. They assist entrepreneurs with feasibility studies, business plans, market research, marketing, financial analysis and projections, operations, and human resources. Reach out to Center for Entrepreneurship at cfe@jmu.edu to get connected with other resources and opportunities to support your business development.

Where can I find dedicated work space?

Limited co-working space is available on campus.  In quire about availability at cfe@jmu.edu. The Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services supports collaborative healthcare initiatives.

Does JMU offer startup financing?

As a public university, JMU cannot invest in startups. However, JMU’s affiliated non-profit corporation James Madison Innovations (JMI), works with faculty to commercialize viable university products or services. Students, faculty and community members should contact Technology Innovation to learn more about JMI, space and professional services available, and funding opportunities. They can also connect you with a community angel group, Shenandoah Valley Angel Investors. Faculty and staff may apply for private support through Madison Trust toward innovative initiatives, a program offered by University Advancement.

Should I get venture capital?

Less than 1% of startups secure venture capital. Check out the U.S. Venture Capital & Private Equity database provided by JMU Libraries to find a list of investors. If you need money for your startup, contact the Center for Entrepreneurship at cfe@jmu.edu to practice your pitch and identify the best financing options based on your industry, the amount of money, and the financial return that your business will generate.

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