Too many emerging technologies get lost in translation, so new models are needed to help academic investigators advance their technologies from the laboratory to the clinic. The NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) and Research Evaluation & Commercialization Hubs (REACH) form a diverse nationwide proof-of-concept center consortium. The network merges the strengths of 33 high-impact research institutions with expertise and resources from both federal and private-sector partners to transition innovations into commercial products that patients can use. The program creates a research environment that encourages innovators to validate the potential health impacts of their discoveries, improves the likelihood that promising technologies transition from academia to small businesses and educates innovators about commercialization. Attendees will learn how milestone driven development, project management and early partner engagement add value to ensure success in defining early stage products.