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E-Team Program

Grants and In-Kind Services to USA and Territories Colleges
to Support Students in Developing Technology-Based Solutions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:

05/02/18 11:59 PM ET


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Grants of $5,000 and grants of $20,000 and in-kind services to USA and Territories colleges and universities to help students develop technology-based solutions to important problems in the world. Funds, training, immersive workshops, and specialized coaching are provided to student STEM innovators and entrepreneurs to help them move their inventions into the marketplace.

Please note that grant funds are awarded to USA-based colleges and universities, not directly to teams or ventures.

What is an E-Team:

VentureWell defines an E-Team as a multidisciplinary group of students and faculty working together to bring a technology-based invention (product or service) to market. The “E” stands for entrepreneurship.

E-Teams may form as a result of a course, extracurricular program, or the independent initiative of students and faculty. There must be a minimum of two active undergraduate or graduate students on an E-Team, and these students should be part of the key decision making team and leading core aspects of the venture’s development.

E-Team Program goals:

- Support the development of technology-based inventions and innovations that have a positive benefit to society and/or the environment.
- Assist teams in creating business models that will scale in an entrepreneurial, economically self-sustaining way through the development of a product or service, in a non-profit, for-profit, licensing, or a partnership structure.
- Provide opportunities for student inventors and innovators to learn by doing through working in multidisciplinary teams on real world problems with the potential for scalable impact.

VentureWell supports the development of science and/or engineering-based innovations that are scalable, commercially promising, and have a positive impact on society and/or the environment.

Many E-Team inventions and innovations fall into one of the following categories:
- Biomedical devices, health care solutions, and/or global health-based
- Clean technologies and green/sustainable materials
- Technologies for low-resource settings (US and/or internationally) that address poverty and basic human needs such as affordable energy, clean water, health and medical devices, agriculture, IT and other income-generating tools

Other compelling technologies beyond those listed above are also considered if there is a strong and logical description of the product’s positive social or environmental impact.

The benefits of participating in the E-Team Program include:

- Funding: You can receive up to $25k in grants* to support your venture.
- Training: Learn from experts in student venture development in the funding source's intensive workshops in Cambridge, MA.
- Networking: Share ideas with other E-Teams, learn from mentors, and build partnerships.

*See Estimated Size of Grant below for details.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181079

Number of Grants:

Each year, VentureWell funds approximately 50 Stage 1 teams and 20 Stage 2 teams.

Estimated Size of Grant:

There are three stages in the E-Team Program:

Stage 1: $5,000 grant + workshop
Stage 2: $20,000 grant + workshop + coaching
Stage 3: investment and partnership readiness training

To enter the E-Team Program, all teams must apply first for Stage 1. Acceptance into Stage 1 does not guarantee acceptance into subsequent stages. The program is competitive and requires an application at each stage.

Grant funds are awarded to the applying team’s institution.

Term of Contract:

- Stage 1: 6-8 months
- Stage 2: 18 months

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

VentureWell awards grants to US-based colleges and universities only, but does fund US-based teams serving international markets and US-based teams with international student members.

Students should serve as the entrepreneurial leaders​ of a team, regardless of the origin of the idea or invention.

You are eligible for the E-Team program if:

- Your university is a VentureWell member. Check your school’s membership status here:
- There must be at least two active students on the team (enrolled in a credit-bearing undergraduate, graduate, and/or doctoral program) for the duration of the Stage 1 grant period. Some fellowship programs may also fulfill this criterion.
- If members of an E-Team come from different universities, at least one of these schools must be a member of VentureWell and administer the grant.
- You have verified university support
- You intend to commercialize your technology innovation where possible

Your product is a fit for the E-Team program if:

- It’s an engineered, physical product
- It addresses a big problem or opportunity
- It positively impacts people or the environment
- There’s a path to commercialization
- Commercial development is being driven by the student team

There are five eligibility questions to ask:

- Do you have a science or technology invention?
- Could your invention scale to address a social or environmental need? Some examples of types of technologies VentureWell will fund include medical or healthcare-related devices, clean energy technologies, and technologies for low resource settings.
- Does your team include two or more students (grad or undergrad)?
- Does your team have a faculty advisor?

Examples of projects that are not a fit for the E-Team Program:

- Projects without any student involvement.
- Faculty-driven projects in which participating students have no ownership of resulting intellectual property (IP) or low decision-making power to apply learning from the E-team workshops. (VentureWell strongly recommends that each team reads and understands its campus IP policy before applying.)
- Pure research projects without any defined commercial applications or potential.
- Therapeutics and drugs (due to their long technical development timeline and time to market).
- Web-based or mobile apps that don’t require significant technical innovation
- Projects without a clear technology invention or innovation.
- Projects that don’t address a path to commercialization.
- One-time projects that are not scalable
- Projects without a clearly articulated social and/or environmental impact.
- Projects that do not involve an emphasis on entrepreneurship and/or that begin and end in the classroom. The student team leaders should show intention to move the technology beyond the classroom.

Pre-Application Information:

There are three E-Team Program cycles per year: one in the fall (October deadline); one in the winter (January/February deadline), and one in the spring (May deadline). You must submit your proposal by 11:59 PM ET on the day of the grant deadline in order to be considered. Typically VentureWell opens the call for applications about 6-8 weeks before the deadline.


- October 4, 2017
- February 7
- May 2

To enter the E-Team Program, all teams must apply first for Stage 1. Acceptance into Stage 1 does not guarantee acceptance into subsequent stages. The program is competitive and requires an application at each stage.

Grant funds are awarded to the applying team’s institution.


Click on the link in the Supporting Documents section below to access the guidelines.


All teams will be notified of their status via email within 60 days of the deadline date.

If your proposal is approved:

- VentureWell will email the Principal Investigator, the Administrative Contact, and the applicant a formal notification letter and approved budget.
- Grant funds will be awarded to the team’s college or university for the use of the team.
- VentureWell does not allow overhead to be taken out of E-Team Program grant awards.
- Stage 1 E-Teams will need to commit to sending at least two key team members to a Stage 1 workshop (expenses are covered in the Stage 1 $5,000 grant). See the event schedule for workshop dates:
- VentureWell will send an award letter agreement for signature to the Administrative Contact identified by the team. Once this award letter is signed and returned to VentureWell, funds can be disbursed.
- Stage 1 reporting requirements will be outlined in the award letter.
- Teams may choose to apply for Stage 2 of the E-Team Program after the Stage 1 workshop. Here are the application guidelines for Stage 2:

Stage 3 of the E-Team Program helps teams create a venture development plan to prepare for relationships with investors and strategic partners. Two sector-specific programs are offered each year and application is by invitation only. The program includes a matching investment opportunity of up to $50,000 for a select 2-3 Stage 3 teams per year.

Contact Information:

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


Patricia Boynton

100 Venture Way
Hadley, MA 01035

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: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)