Since its inception in May 2018, StartupRU, also known as the RCIE Summer Accelerator Program, provides Rowan students with the resources needed to further develop their startups. This flexible summer program provides mentorship, seed funding, and dedicated private workspace on campus.


The RCIE Summer Accelerator Program provides five types of support:
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  1. Financial – Ventures can be awarded up to $7,500 non-equity seed funding and have the ability to also earn course credit.
  2. Strategic – Each venture is partnered with a dedicated coach to work with your team each week, has access to a team of incredible ‘Startup Gurus’ (seasoned mentors) and a faculty guide to help you along the way, and will attend bi-weekly special topic webinars led by amazing trainers.
  3. Infrastructure – Each venture has access to the RCIE and its physical resources. This includes access to the StartupRU space (BUSN 230), RCIE (BUSN 209) breakout rooms, and Studio 231, as well as a dedicated Class-A office and meeting space in Business Hall. (space availability contingent on facilities being open post-COVID-19).
  4. In-Kind – Each team has access to in-kind services offered through the RCIE, including legal guidance, software, etc. 
  5. Additional Funding – Each venture is encouraged to apply for additional funding from the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund (RIVF) upon completion of the accelerator program. It is important to note that RIVF does aim to fund high growth ventures and may not be a fit for all student ventures. Your mentor will help advise you further on this.


Program Details

StartupRU is a 10-week program running from May 31 – August 6. Each week teams will have a virtual 1:1 meeting with their coach and access to the gurus for mentorship throughout the program by appointment. Bi-weekly webinars on key topics will be offered virtually (sales, legal, etc.). Teams will be expected to complete a preliminary use of funds budget for approval, a mid-program check-in during week 5, an end of program summary report. Additionally, each team is expected to attend a luncheon with the sponsors and present their startup to the advisory council in the Fall or Spring semester (dates for both are to be determined).


Meet the 2021 StartupRU Team

Coach Daniel James Scott

Daniel James Scott is co-founder of five companies, a non-profit, numerous community initiatives, the undergraduate entrepreneurship program at the University of South Florida, and a seed-stage investment fund under the TechStars Network banner. He currently serves on the board of Yes.Fit, one of the nation's fastest-growing companies, and as on-air technology expert for iHeartRadio. Daniel has earned two master's degrees, an International Stevie medallion, two U.S. Small Business Administration advocacy awards, and more than four hundred media mentions including Entrepreneur Magazine, GeekWire, New York Times, TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal.

Faculty Lead Dr. Eric Liguori

Dr. Liguori is the Executive Director of the Rowan Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He sits on the Board of Directors of the International Council for Small Business and the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2017 he was one of several investors to participate in a seed funding round for Republic Restoratives, a D.C. based, women-owned, distillery. In 2020 he co-founded an e-commerce holding company which has since acquired several leading brands and online SKUs. His work has been featured in media outlets including USA Today, U.S. News and World Report,, and BuzzFeed.


The mentors for the program include Phon Malone (CEO of Revel Nail), Aaron Fragnito (Co-Founder of People’s Capital Group), Chris Greco (Executive Vice President of Ginsey), Mike Williams (President of Sureway Property Management), Christine Miles (Founder and CEO of Equipt), and Anthony Magaraci (President of Trinity Packaging Supply). 


Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Rowan students, including those graduating this Spring or within the last 12 months, are eligible to apply. Faculty/student collaborative projects are also welcome. Graduate students and students enrolled in Rowan’s medical schools or at RCGC or RCBC are eligible to apply. Before you apply, be sure you and your team are registered on StartupTree, and that you register your venture on the platform. 


To Apply

Applications are presently being accepted on StartupTree. Preliminary reviews will begin immediately and continue until all the funding allocations are awarded. For full consideration please complete your application by 11:59 pm on May 6. ​