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Turning Tough Tech breakthroughs into Tough Tech startups.

About Blueprint

Blueprint is a nonresident program for graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, faculty members, and their teams, to explore the commercial opportunities of their breakthroughs and startup projects.

First launched in 2020, Blueprint offers two cohorts a year: Fall and Spring. This program runs over the course of 5 weeks, with sessions every week.

The program helps the next generation of Tough Tech leaders navigate the commercialization process through tailored programming concerning technology risk mitigation and experimentation planning, market discovery and selection, IP, team building, storytelling, and other topics.

Blueprint provides participants access to The Engine team, Tough Tech founders, investors, policymakers, and representatives from major corporations.

Blueprint over the years

  • Technology & Scaling

    Scaling a technology from the bench to commercialization: identifying risks, establishing milestones, and putting plans into action.

  • Market & Regulatory

    Understanding and navigating markets and regulations, establishing a business model.

  • Fundraising Prep

    Working towards successful fundraising by identifying possible investors, understanding the market, and doing the homework.

  • Storytelling

    Telling a compelling story and vision of your company that engages and attracts investors, partners, and talent.

Blueprint provides the next generation of Tough Tech leaders with tailored programming.

“While technology isn’t the only solution, it is absolutely part of the solution, and we need entrepreneurs willing and able to tackle these challenges. Blueprint is built for the earliest stages of company formation, for individuals who ask themselves, 'can I commercialize my research?' and if yes, 'how do I start?'”

Michael Kearney Partner, The Engine & Blueprint Mentor

Fall 2023

  • July 5: Applications Open
  • July 24: Info Session | New York City, NY (contact to RSVP)
  • July 26: Info Session | Cambridge, MA (contact to RSVP)
  • August 16: Applications Close @ 11:59pm
  • September 8: Session 1
  • September 15: Session 2
  • September 22: Session 3
  • September 29: Session 4
  • October 12: Session 5

Questions for The Engine? Please contact Alex Grant.


  • We do not take an equity stake in or create a formal business relationship during Blueprint. At some point, The Engine may engage in investment conversations with Founders after the program, but that is a separate process.

  • US-based: graduate students (Masters or PhD), postdocs, research scientists currently enrolled in/employed at a university, or founder(s) early in the commercialization process.

  • No. If you have an amazing technical breakthrough and the passion to see it commercialized, we’d love to hear from you. We are also happy to review applications for those who have already begun the first steps towards formalizing a Tough Tech business.

  • Teams are encouraged to apply, but not required.

  • Yes. Your application materials will be viewed only by members of The Engine selection committee.

  • Your IP developed through your research is your IP. This program is to facilitate business model and commercialization strategy development. Accordingly, no IP will be developed in this program.

  • If you can fill out the questionnaire and have not yet started a company, you’re a perfect fit. If you have already incorporated a company, please email

  • No. We are accepting applications from across the United States.

  • Projects will be selected based on the merits of the technological breakthrough and its potential impact.

  • The Engine team will review all applications. Applicants will be informed via an acceptance email.

  • If you know in advance that there is a conflict, we can work around it. Please include this in your application.

  • Sorry, you’re ineligible for this program at this time. We might expand the scope in the future.

  • We cast a broad net and are open to all scientific and engineering breakthroughs. Areas The Engine has already invested in include: advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, energy, food and agriculture, life sciences, robotics, space, quantum and next generation computing, and semiconductors. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we are constantly learning from researchers like you about new areas that are impactful.

  • That is OK. Go forth and keep innovating!

  • To learn more about the origin of Blueprint, read our article here