A Tough Tech startup development program by The Engine

Turn your Tough Tech breakthrough into a Tough Tech startup.

Blueprint is a 2-month, non-resident program for graduate students, postdocs, and research scientists to explore the commercial opportunities of their scientific breakthroughs.

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

Program Commitment

  • 5x 1-day virtual sessions hosted by The Engine in Cambridge, MA

What to Expect

  • A platform to crystallize the commercial potential of your concepts
  • Access to The Engine team and an ecosystem of founders, investors, policymakers, and business leaders
  • Engagement with subject matter experts
  • Exposure to the entrepreneurial process from those who are living it

Program Schedule

  • March 19: Applications Due
  • March 26: Projects Selected
  • April 9: Virtual Session 1 | Overview
  • April 16: Virtual Session 2 | Technology & Scaling
  • April 23: Virtual Session 3 | Market & Regulatory
  • April 30: Virtual Session 4 | Preparing for Fundraising & Storytelling
  • May 7: Virtual Session 5 | Final Presentations

Eligibility Requirements

You must be a US-based graduate student (Masters or PhD), postdoc, or research scientist currently enrolled in, or employed at a university or college.




Who is eligible?

  • US-based graduate student (Masters or PhD), postdoc, or research scientist currently enrolled in or employed at, a university or college.

Must I have started a company?

  • No. In fact, if you’ve started a company, you are not eligible for this program, but please reach out to The Engine separately at zyx.enigne@dnufeht.

Do I need a team?

  • Teams are encouraged to apply, but not required.

Will my application materials be kept confidential?

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

How will IP be handled?

  • 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.

How do I know if I/we are too early or too late?

  • 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 zyx.enigne@dnufeht.

Does The Engine only accept applicants from Massachusetts?

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

What are your selection criteria?

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

How are fellows selected?

  • The Engine team will review all applications. Semfinalists will be selected for phone interviews.

What if I can’t make it for one of the weeks / days / sessions?

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

What if I’m an undergrad researcher?

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

Are there certain technology areas that are of interest to The Engine?

  • 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.

What if I decide if a startup is not right for me after the program?

  • That is OK. Go forth and keep innovating!