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About FirstIgnite

Empowering Universities to Build Strong Corporate Partnerships

FirstIgnite champions university innovation and education, powering engaging interactions between companies and universities. We provide simple tools that solve complex problems, delivered as a university-focused marketing platform with global reach.

Our History

FirstIgnite was founded in 2019 with a goal of changing the world through the successful commercialization of scientific research. That year, we were given the opportunity to support the commercialization of cancer treatment molecules – proven to slow tumor growth in small animals – and help them reach human trials. Although our founders had no skills in oncology, we learned we could help cure cancer.

Since then, we’ve been on a mission to bring together the world’s brightest minds and most innovative companies to form partnerships that attack big opportunities, across pharmaceuticals, energy storage, cyber security, food production, water treatment, and so much more.

Backed by some of the top venture capital investors in the world, including Y Combinator, FirstIgnite has grown into a brand that champions bold innovators looking to make a positive impact on society.

Alone, we can’t cure cancer, we can’t alter plant genetics, and we can’t solve the world’s energy crises. But we can build products and offer services that bring together the world’s top innovators and companies, who can work together to accomplish anything they put their minds and resources to.

We are FirstIgnite and our mission is to leave the world better than we found it.

FirstIgnite Team

Backed by Champions of Innovation


  • 2019

    Company founded. First university partners are Stony Brook University and Auburn University.

  • 2020

    Received investment from Michigan State University Research Foundation and participated in the Conquer Accelerator via Red Cedar Ventures.

  • 2021

    Graduated from Y Combinator Summer 21 batch.

  • 2022

    Reached milestones of over 2,000 innovation partnerships and over 250 new partnerships each month on FirstIgnite’s platform.

Core Values

We are Champions

We wake up every morning and work on behalf of our university innovators. We believe that they can change the world and appreciate the opportunity to work alongside them. We intend to be the voice singing the praise of university innovation.

We are Bold

We take risks every day in the name of innovation. Our team is encouraged to make bold attempts at driving innovation forward. Our team is confident and courageous as we support challenging problems for our customers.

We are Innovative

We constantly innovate and attract innovative companies, universities and team members who want to break the status quo and try new ways of doing things in order to solve big problems.

We are Family

FirstIgnite is a family business. We started this journey together and have stuck by each other’s side through the good days and the bad. We’re not just colleagues, we’re a family that stands up and looks out for each other.

Our Team

FirstIgnite is family, FirstIgnite is fun

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