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Grants to USA IHEs for Curriculum Enhancements that Advance STEM Entrepreneurship

Course and Program (C&P) Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
VentureWell (National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/08/23 11:59 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $30,000 to USA IHEs for activities to expand and enhance STEM curriculum. Applicants must receive institutional approval prior to applying. The purpose of the program is to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in science and technology by means of student engagement.

VentureWell Course & Program (C&P) Grants are awarded to U.S. higher education institutions to expand and strengthen STEM innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) ecosystems, with the end goal of accelerating sustainable and inclusive innovation. Ideally, C&P Grant funding should act as a catalyst for increased entrepreneurial activity and help faculty and universities leverage other opportunities to launch and/or grow their I&E ecosystems.

C&P Grants may be used to strengthen existing curricular programs or to build new, pedagogically inclusive courses and programs that engage students in collaboratively developing and pursuing scalable solutions to real-world needs through STEM I&E.

Activities supported by C&P Grants should lead to effective courses and programs that are sustained by the institution, enhancing collaboration between students and the larger community by leveraging experiential learning practices, and expand opportunities for learning across STEM I&E.

C&P Grant proposals may include plans to create or improve an individual course, course sequence, minor, major, certificate program, or other co- or extracurricular program that is directly tied to and supports I&E-focused curricula. Programs are defined as a set of organized, planned activities or structures that occur on an ongoing basis and are intended to work in collaboration with departments and degree pathways (e.g., engaging with a tech transfer office, office of sustainability, office of entrepreneurship, certificate program, community-based learning program, etc.).

Proposals are required to address the following core components:

  • Inclusive innovation
  • Sustainability
  • I&E ecosystem building
  • Stakeholder collaboration
  • Project team & resources
  • Long-term financial plan & deliverables

VentureWell is committed to inclusive innovation in S&T, and diversity, equity, and inclusion are a priority in the C&P grant program. They are aware of diversity and equity gaps in their past grant cycles, and are striving to award the majority of grants to the following institution categories or groups:

  • Community colleges
  • Tribal Colleges; HBCUs; Predominantly Black Colleges & Universities; and Hispanic-Serving Institutions
  • Teams that include one or more Co-PIs who voluntarily self-identify in their proposal narrative as members of one or more URGs in innovation and entrepreneurship, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous people, women of any racial background, and people from low-income backgrounds
  • Qualified universities or colleges that have never previously received a VentureWell C&P grant


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Course & Program Grants are awarded to colleges and universities that are:
- US-based. Proposals are not accepted from international universities at this time, but international partners are allowed. Proposals may also include non-member partners from education, nonprofits, industry, non-governmental organizations, governments, and/or the investment community, etc. Note: If the program focus is outside the campus community or outside the US, a local partner must be identified.
- VentureWell members. Membership in VentureWell’s network of higher-education institutions is currently available at no cost. If you are unsure whether your institution has an active membership, check your status in the Membership Directory ( If you have questions or need assistance, please contact


Pre-Proposal Conference
Register to join staff for a free informational webinar to learn more about the Course & Program Grant funding opportunity for faculty and staff. The team will give a short overview of the program and leave plenty of time for Q&A. Bring your burning questions and see if you're a good fit for this opportunity.

- Info Session: Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 11:00 a.m. ET
- Info Session: Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 4:00 p.m. ET

For more information and to register:

Pre-Application Information
Key Dates
- September 7, 2023 — First day submissions are accepted
- September 27, 2023 – Informational webinar (optional)
- October 10, 2023 – Informational webinar (optional)
- November 8, 2023 — Last day submissions are accepted
- January 2024 — Final decisions are made and applicants are notified
- February 1, 2024 — Grant period begins
- March 18, 2024 from 9am to 4pm — OPEN Pre-Conference Workshop

If you are selected, two members of your grant team will be required to attend OPEN 2024, March 18-20 in San Diego, California, to participate in a pre-conference workshop for C&P grant recipients and the conference that follows. Plan to schedule your travel on Sunday, March 17, to ensure you have time to settle in before the workshop. OPEN conference registration fees will be waived for C&P grantees, and the pre-conference workshop is free of charge. Each team member will be given a $2,500 stipend to cover lodging and travel expenses (up to two team members). The C&P pre-conference workshop will provide you with resources and activities relevant to your grant project and will connect you with other institutions doing similar work.

They will accept no more than two proposals per institution per cycle. If more than two are received, only the two submitted first will be reviewed. Proposals may only be resubmitted once.

VentureWell requires proof of institutional support for your proposal. Because many campus administrative offices have moved to a remote model of work, the timeline for obtaining institutional support may be longer than usual. It is strongly recommend that you reach out to your Office of Sponsored Programs/Research to inform them of your intention to submit a proposal, and to your institutional supporters well before the deadline date in order to obtain the verifications of support in time. Most universities require a full proposal for administrative review and approval 10 days to two weeks in advance before it can be submitted.



Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Grants of up to $30,000 are awarded. In addition, each team member will be given a $2,500 stipend to cover lodging and travel expenses associated with OPEN 2024 (up to two team members).

Term of Contract
February 1, 2024 — Grant period begins

Grants are awarded with a duration of up to three years (although you may choose to spend the funds in one or two).

Contact Information
Apply Online:

If you would like to discuss your idea, or if you have questions about fit or program requirements, please contact Jaime Wood-Riley, Program Officer at

For questions related to the submission portal or award management, please contact Erik Siedow, Grants Manager at

100 Venture Way
Hadley, MA 01035
(413) 587-2172
Contact form:

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