The year-long Ambassador Program enhances the connection between technology transfer and CSU faculty and students. Engaging graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to serve as Ambassadors provides career development opportunities such as identifying innovations, developing non-technical communication skills, and networking with startups and the Northern Colorado entrepreneurial community.

Since the inception of the Ambassador Program in 2012, there have been more than 40 Ambassadors from 21 departments across all eight CSU Colleges (Agricultural Sciences, Business, Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Natural Resources).  Each academic year, CSU Ventures accepts 5-10 Ambassadors into the program.

In 2020, CSU Ventures partnered with Innosphere Ventures Associates program to provide Ambassadors with enhanced skill development and access to startup companies engaging in business development with Innosphere.  During this pilot program year, Ambassadors worked directly with a client manager who facilitated and directed engagement with designated client companies.  Learn more about the Innosphere Ventures Student Associates & University Ambassadors program.

The Ambassador Program did not have a new cohort for the 2021-2022 school year.  The 2022-2023 cohort application process will open in late spring or early summer 2022.  Graduate students and Post-Doctoral fellows interested in applying should speak with their primary advisor/supervisor PRIOR to completing an application, as advisor/supervisor approval is required as part of the application process.  For ease, please use the  2020-2021 Ambassador overview and application form final to prepare your content prior to starting the online application process.  

The Ambassador program will be delivered as a hybrid (virtual & in-person) program to maximize meeting efficiency when possible and to appropriately reflect University, local, and state public health regulations.  As such, the educational content and resulting expectations regarding outreach and communication with CSU faculty and students as part of the program will be modified to accommodate a shortened program duration and reflect any public health guidance. Finally, the Ambassador program may be postponed or cancelled, should public health concerns or our ability to successfully deliver program content be impacted by COVID recovery plans or public health challenges.

Ambassador Program Goals

Ambassador Program Goals:

  1. Enhance communication with CSU academic departments.
    1. Communicate a basic understanding of the importance of the technology transfer process
    2. Communicate the role of technology transfer to fellow graduate students and CSU faculty/staff
    3. Communicate their own area of study succinctly and clearly to a broad audience
  2. Develop basic tech transfer skillsets capable of supporting CSU startups and technologies.
    1. Competitive Landscape analyses
    2. Market Research Analyses
    3. Prior Art Searches
    4. Process Workflow and Ecosystem Mapping
  3. Help the technology transfer unit identify innovative research, creative works, and potential inventions.
    1. Interact with fellow graduate students to identify research occurring in specific labs
    2. Summarize research topics to help better inform tech transfer staff
    3. Highlight new faculty and their research
  4. Support licensing staff by providing background information, identifying and evaluating intellectual property
How will I benefit?

By the completion of this program, Ambassadors will:

  • Communicate translational research in a clear and understandable manner
  • Identify commercial opportunities for CSU technologies by building a competitive landscape analysis
  • Deploy Lean Launchpad methodologies to prepare University discoveries for success in commercial markets
  • Engage peers to communicate the value of participating in our programs
  • Gain experience working with Innosphere Ventures and selected startup companies in their cohort programs.

Ambassadors are eligible to receive up to $800 reimbursement (per program year) for expenses incurred for professional development or academic travel.

PDF:  2020-2021 Ambassador overview and application form final

Qualification Requirements

Qualified applicants are:

  • Graduate students in a Masters or PhD degree granting program or Post-Docs at CSU
  • Individuals who exhibit excellent communication & networking skills with students and faculty
  • Interested in discovering and moving technologies from early concept to the marketplace
  • Able to commit an average of 5-7 hours/week for the full academic year
  • Able to obtain approval from their primary advisor or program administrator to participate in the program
Program Engagement

Generally, Ambassadors should budget an average of 5-7 hours per week to engage in the following types of activities:

  • Ambassador Program Orientation
  • Regular Ambassador Training Meetings/Seminars
  • Annual Programmatic Opportunities for Representing Technology Transfer and Communicating with the CSU Community:
    • Graduate Student Showcase, November
    • Research to Market (R2M) Program, January and February
    • CSU Demo Day- April
    • Other events as identified during the program year