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Faculty Grants

Grants to USA and Puerto Rico IHEs for Programs
and Courses in STEM Entrepreneurship

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:

11/07/18 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of up to $30,000 to USA and Puerto Rico member colleges and universities to support new and existing programs and courses in STEM-related entrepreneurship. Successful proposals will involve the formation of student teams, experiential learning, and creative pedagogical approaches.

VentureWell awards faculty grants to colleges and universities for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs and/or building new programs in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Through these grant funds, VentureWell supports creative pedagogical approaches that generate student teams working on technology solutions to real-world problems, with the goal of the strongest teams applying to participate in VentureWell’s E-Team Grant Program.

VentureWell encourages proposals that involve students, faculty, and advisors from engineering, science, business, design, and liberal arts disciplines, as well as groups traditionally underrepresented in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship, including women and minorities.

Proposals may include plans for creating or improving an individual course, course sequence, minor, major, certificate program, incubator, accelerator, and other co- and extra-curricular programs.

Faculty grants support educational courses or programs at the intersection of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship that lead to the creation and support of student teams. Focus areas include, but are not limited to:

- General (technology-based) entrepreneurship
- New materials
- Clean tech/renewable energy innovation
- Technologies that address poverty alleviation and basic human needs, (including, but not limited to water, sanitation, healthcare, energy, agriculture, shelter)
- Tech-based entrepreneurship led by women and other underrepresented populations
- Biomedical and healthcare innovation

Successful faculty grant proposals include these elements:

- A focus on STEM entrepreneurship.
- Experiential learning by doing, and creative pedagogical approaches to solving real-world problems.
- The formation of student teams focused on technology invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship with a positive social/environmental impact. An intention to encourage the best teams to apply to the VentureWell E-Team program.
- A supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem for the most promising student teams to pursue commercialization beyond the proposed course/program.
- A plan for continuation (and financial sustainability) of the course or program post-VentureWell funding.
- If the program focus is outside the campus community or outside the US, a local partner must be identified.
- VentureWell welcomes proposals that are multidisciplinary in nature (this is not required as we understand that each campus is different).
- A simple work plan/table that outlines major milestones during the grant period.

Eligible expenses examples:

- Equipment expenses: VentureWell will typically not fund the purchase of equipment that is considered part of college or university infrastructure such as computers, tablets, 3D printers, or furniture for maker spaces or labs. Equipment expenses should be no more than 10% of the total proposed budget and relate directly to the proposal.
- Personnel costs up to $5,000 total for US-based proposals and up to $10,000 total for global proposals (may be divided or proposed for 1 person, and can include the cost of any applicable fringe benefits).
- Expenses related to the technical development of student team innovations, including (but not limited to) materials & supplies, prototyping, technical services, and testing.
- Expenses related to students performing patent searches, customer discovery, creating marketing analyses and business plans.
- Travel expenses (requests may include expenses related to one participant attending Open, VentureWell’s annual conference, for year one only).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164694

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants of up to $30,000 total may be requested.

Term of Contract:

Duration of the grant is one to three years.

*New Fall 2018: The duration of all Faculty Grants is now 3 years, although you may choose to spend the funding in 1 or 2.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Faculty Grants are awarded to US-based colleges and universities.

Faculty and staff from VentureWell-member colleges and universities are eligible to apply.

Proposals may include non-member partners from education, nonprofits, industry, NGOs, governments and/or the investment community, etc.

Membership information:

Examples of projects that are NOT strong candidates for faculty grant
funding include:

- Courses and/or programs without a focus on technology innovation and/or entrepreneurship.
- Pure research projects.
- Courses and/or programs that are unlikely to continue beyond the grant period.
- Existing programs where there is little change or improvement proposed (i.e., ongoing support requests).
- Course and programs that are disconnected from the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus/in the community.
- Courses and/or programs that do not lead to the creation of student teams.
- Proposals that do not demonstrate support for the most promising technologies and teams beyond the classroom/lab/club.

Ineligible expenses examples:

- Overhead: VentureWell does not cover institutional overhead.
- Expenses that are unlikely to be sustained beyond the proposed grant period, such as competition prize money, and lengthy student internships.
- Personnel costs over the maximums mentioned above.
- Equipment expenses totaling more than 10% of the total proposed budget.
- Speaker honoraria over $200.
- Wages for students during the academic year.
- Legal and other expenses of business formation or operation.
- Publicity expenses.

Pre-Application Information:

Upcoming deadline: November 7, 2018

All proposal deadlines end at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the specified due date.

VentureWell strives to notify applicants of the status of their proposals via email within 90 days of the submission deadline.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

For feedback on proposals, contact

For questions, contact:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: Puerto Rico (USA)