Seed Funds

Student Venture Funds are a catalyst to help student ventures move beyond the idea stage.

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Overview

A couple hundred dollars can mean the difference between an idea staying just an idea or becoming something much more. From validating customers to testing assumptions, there is a point when great student ideas need a small amount of capital to proceed. Whether a student venture becomes a successful endeavor or a learning experience, there is immense value in taking a step forward. In addition to the funding, student ventures will get support, mentorship, and connections through the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center. Student Venture Funding will be allocated according to the composition of the team as follows:

Single-person ventures – up to $250.

Multi-person ventures with students from the same major – up to $500.

Multi-person ventures where students are from different majors – up to $750.

Application Process
  1. Submit an application (via the application form) during one of the 6 application windows: 

    Fall – 9/8/17, 10/6/17, 11/3/17
    Spring – 2/2/18, 3/2/18, 4/6/18

    • Applications will cover the following questions adopted from the DARPA Heilmeier questions:
      1. What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
      2. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
      3. What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
      4. Who cares? If you succeed, what difference will it make?
      5. What are the risks?
      6. How much will it cost?
      7. How long will it take?
      8. What are the mid-term and final “exams” to check for success?
  2. Submissions will be reviewed the week following the application deadline by the Seed Funding application committee comprising the Entrepreneurship Center Executive Director, a member of Tribe Ventures, and regional entrepreneur.  
  3. A single funding recipient will be named during each funding window. (those who do not receive funding are welcome to resubmit).
Post-funding expectations
  1. Funding recipients will be awarded funds according to the team composition schedule and then paired with an Entrepreneurship Center mentor to help the team make progress on their idea.
  2. The team will schedule regular progress meetings with their mentor and will also provide an update to the Entrepreneurship Center every 4-6 weeks.
  3. Once a semester, funding recipients are expected to record a short video progress update which may be shared with Student Venture Seed Fund donors and on the EC website.
Eligibility
  1. Students from any major or program may submit an application.
  2. Teams must include at least one primary founder who will be a full-time student for the full duration of the project, and can include multiple other co-founders.

*Teams may only be awarded funding one time per year. Successfully funded ventures may only submit in a subsequent year if all post-funding expectations have been adequately met.