Laboratory for IT Entrepreneurship

Transforming IT ideas into ventures

Notice. As of August 2019, the Laboratory for IT Entrepreneurship has merged with the Mason Innovation Exchange (MIX), and LITE's flagsgip program, the Pitch IT competition, has become the Patriot Pitch competion. As a result, this website is no longer maintained. For more information about current programs, visit the MIX's website.

Laboratory for I.T. Entrepreneurship
Ngyuen Engineering Building


The Prototype IT program — made possible by funding from NCIIA — is aimed at supporting promising Entrepreneurial Teams (E-Teams) by providing financial support during the prototyping phase. Specifically, the main objectives of the program are to:

  • support the development of technology-based inventions and innovations, preferably with a positive social and/or environmental impact;
  • assist E-Teams in the development of their prototypes;
  • provide experiential learning opportunities to student entrepreneurs by working in multidisciplinary teams on real-world problems.

The ultimate goal of the program is to support business ideas that have the potential to scale to viable and profitable ventures.

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Eligibility Criteria and Application Requirements

Any team with at least one active Mason student is elegible for Prototype IT. Teams do not need to have already formed a company to be considered. In order to particpate, teams must have:

    1. A business idea in the IT field or with a significant IT component
    2. A clear value proposition
    3. A preliminary prototype or proof of concept

In order to be considered for funding, teams are required to submit an application including the following items:

    1. A proposal — Download the proposal template
    2. A budget — Download the budget template

Optionally, applicants can submit an appendix documenting the current state of prototype development (drawings, pictures, etc.). Only eligible expenses will be funded. Please carefully review the “instructions” section of the budget template for details about eligible expenses. All documents must be sent to .

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Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. However, for priority consideration, teams are encouraged to submit their applications by the following deadlines:

  • March 15, 2016
  • June 15, 2016
  • September 15, 2016
  • December 15, 2016

Applications will be reviewed by the LITE team and selected proposals will be invited for a demo presentation within 30 days of submission. Teams will be notified of LITE's final decision within 14 days of the demo presentation.

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Program Management

Funds will be awarded at LITE’s team sole discretion, based on the program goals and the eligibility criteria mentioned above. No funds will be directly transferred to selected teams. Funds will be assigned in the form of a line of credit to buy equipment and materials needed for creating prototypes. For details about eligible expenses, please review the “instructions” section of the budget template.

Funds will be allocated through multiple cycles throughout the academic year. Teams can apply for up to $1,000 per funding cycle. Each funding cycle has a duration of 3 months. During this time frame, teams who have been approved for funding will be expected to reach the three-month goal indicated in the proposal and meet the deadlines indicated in the work plan table.

LITE will provide all the needed assistance to support teams’ progress. Teams will be required to attend periodic meetings with the LITE team and give two presentations – one in the middle and one at the end of the grant period. The presentations will need to show progress made in the prototyping process and also include a demo of the prototype. Teams who fail to attend meetings, to give the required presentations and/or to reach the planned milestones will be denied access to additional funding cycles. LITE also reserves the right to suspend funds at any time to teams who do not show any ongoing progress or make improper use of awarded funds.

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LITE is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind that might arise from suspension of funding.

LITE is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages and/or injuries of any kind that might arise from use of services, equipment, materials, and supplies purchased through LITE funding.

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