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Business development Lab (BDL)

Turning Ideas into Global Impact

The Business Development Lab (BDL) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA acts as a cutting-edge incubator, propelling startups from concept to commercialization. Our mission is centered on advancing STEM innovation, cultivating technical and entrepreneurial expertise, and making significant contributions to scientific and technological communities. We provide an integrated support ecosystem for STEM entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into market-ready solutions. Our customized strategy encompasses interdisciplinary technical skill enhancement, practical learning experiences, and a focus on launching ventures that use emerging technologies to address complex challenges and drive progress that contribute positively to society.

Our Goals

  • Accelerate Startup Development: Expedite the journey from innovative idea to operational STEM enterprise, offering strategic insights and essential resources.·        
  • Enhance Technical and Entrepreneurial Expertise: Deliver specialized training and mentorship to refine both scientific know-how and business acumen for enduring achievement.·        
  • Foster Groundbreaking STEM Ventures: Motivate the development of enterprises that not only achieve market success but also deliver substantial benefits to the scientific and technological sectors.

The BDL maintains close partnerships with other Entrepreneurship Support Organizations (ESOs) in the greater Worcester area, including MBI, Solvus, WorcLab, Massachusetts Founders Network, MIT I-Corps, Venture Forum, and others. These collaborations enrich our ecosystem, connecting our startups with a broader network of resources, expertise, and opportunities for innovation and growth within the STEM landscape.

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BDL Specialized Services

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Our Programs

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Venture Catalyst Incubator

Venture Catalyst Incubator (VCI) offers startups personalized mentorship, a comprehensive curriculum, and essential resources, focusing on ideation, development, pitching, and growth, to nurture successful, scalable businesses. 

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WPI's Startup Expo

The BDL "WPI's Startup Expo" is an annual event highlighting WPI's entrepreneurial milestones and community contributions through awards, keynotes, panels, networking, and showcases of student and faculty innovations.

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AMP! Advisors, Mentors, and Partners

The AMP! Bi-Monthly Pitch Event Series provides startups with opportunities to pitch to industry experts, receive tailored feedback, and build networks for VC and angel funding, enhancing their market readiness and growth potential. 

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BDL Startup Fund

The BDL Startup Fund strategically supports startups with SAFE investments, mentorship, and resources, bridging them to larger financings and fostering a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurial growth and regional economic development.

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GOAT Summer Accelerator

The BDL Goat Innovators Summer Accelerator (GISA) is an 8-week program providing mentorship, practical workshops, and a collaborative environment to early-stage startups, culminating in a Demo Day for growth opportunities. 

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The ART Program

The Advancing Research Translation (ART) program equips faculty with tools and skills to transform research into practical applications, fostering real-world impact through workshops, mentoring, and strategic market-focused project development.

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Leadership Milestone

Ardian Preci Named Director of WPI's Business Development Lab

Ardian Preci joins WPI Business School as the new Director of the Business Development Lab, infusing it with his extensive experience in SaaS, Fintech, and Blockchain. 

Startups at BDL

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Simplified Housing Solutions for International Students in the USA is an international student housing provider dedicated to assisting international students in finding right accommodations in the USA. Recognizing the challenges faced by students moving abroad for their studies, offers a seamless and supportive service to secure safe, affordable, and convenient housing options.


Revolutionizing Legal and Public Data Collection for the Legal Industry

Founded in 2015 by Dr. Rosanna Garcia and Paul Rummel, Vijilent leverages AI and expert research to deliver precise social media and public data analysis for the legal sector. Committed to inclusivity and empowerment in STEM, the company provides critical insights for legal and insurance professionals.


Empowering Health through Alternative Medicine and Sustainability

Founded by Priscila Espinosa, SproutChange is a startup backed by UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, focusing on consumer education in alternative medicine, organic agriculture, and social justice to improve health outcomes in North Central Massachusetts.

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Gompei’s Goat Cheese

GGC: Cultivating Community and Education with Gourmet Goat Cheese

Led by CEO Brianna Ankstitus, Gompei’s Goat Cheese (GGC) partners with Westfield Farm, offering ten flavors of award-winning goat cheese to support WPI scholarships and nurture community ties.

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True Robotics

Innovating Education with Robotics Kits for Middle School Students

TRUE Robotics, founded in 2021 by Anthony Galgano and Kwasi Acheampong, is dedicated to enhancing middle school education with an innovative robotics kit and curriculum. This Massachusetts-based S Corporation, enriched by the talents of WPI students, is progressing towards its first MVP, aiming to inspire future generations in robotics. 

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Q&A with Rosanna Garcia, Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Professor Garcia answers questions about the entrepreneurial culture of WPI


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Business Development Lab at WPI?

The Business Development Lab (BDL) at WPI is an interdisciplinary learning lab focused on fostering innovation and entrepreneurial growth through various programs and services, including mentorship, educational programs, funding assistance, and more.

What services does BDL offer to startups?

BDL offers a comprehensive suite of services to support startups, including workspaces, technology infrastructure, mentorship, training programs, networking opportunities, funding and financial assistance, legal support, and market access. 

Who can benefit from BDL's programs?

BDL's programs are designed for student entrepreneurs, startups, and companies at various stages of their entrepreneurial journey, from ideation to acceleration, looking to make a positive societal impact through innovation. 

How can startups access funding through BDL?

Startups can access funding opportunities via BDL through grants, connections with venture capitalists and angel investors, and the BDL Startup Fund, which focuses on strategic equity investments. 

What types of mentorships and expert guidance does BDL provide?

BDL connects member companies with a network of mentors and Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) who offer expertise in finance, marketing, legal, technology, and other areas essential for business growth. 

Can BDL help in product development and market entry?

Yes, BDL offers specialized incubation and acceleration programs that include structured training, product development support, and resources for market entry and growth. 

What networking opportunities are available through BDL?

BDL hosts networking events and pitch events like AMP! (Advisors, Mentors, and Partners), facilitating connections with potential customers, partners, industry experts, and investors. 

How does BDL support educational growth in entrepreneurship?

BDL offers workshops, seminars, and courses focusing on entrepreneurship, business skills, and industry-specific knowledge, aimed at empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary skills for success.