Student Entrepreneurship Fund

Apply to the Student Entrepreneurship Fund

The SEF is currently closed.


Are you a student or recent grad looking for financial support to test the market, build a website, or fund access to other resources needed to move your new innovations forward? Consider applying to the Student Entrepreneurship Fund with CWRU LaunchNET.

This application is open to undergraduate and graduate students along with 2022 grads from Case Western Reserve University. The SEF supports the following:

  • Individual and team-based extracurricular and personal ventures
  • Competition related expenses
  • Entrepreneurial projects

Please note that the SEF does NOT support course-related ventures or projects.

To advance our commitment to equity and inclusion within innovation and entrepreneurship, we are prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our grant process. We are committing at least 50% of these funds to broaden the participation of traditionally underrepresented, underestimated, and emerging groups such as women, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and Indigenous people from all backgrounds.

To be considered for funding from the SEF, the applicant(s) must be full-time CWRU undergraduate students (at least 12 credit hours) or full-time CWRU graduate students (at least 9 credit hours or one credit hour of thesis) or have graduated 2022.


The deadline has been extended to 5:00 PM on November 11, 2022.

The application will close either at 9:00 AM on Oct 31, 2022 or when the fund runs out. Applications are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. We are unable to provide advance notice of the fund’s depletion, so we recommend submitting applications promptly.

To receive an award, the scope of the proposed project must be able to report realistic deliverables and achievable before the reporting deadlines detailed on this page.

The maximum amount of funding available per project is $1,000 to cover costs such as market research, market testing, concept testing/development, contractor/consulting fees, initiating sales cost, web design, and other related expenses. Funds may be used to pay for external support in these areas that cannot be performed at think[box].

Please note that funding will NOT be awarded to support any of the following:

  • Food, drinks, or entertainment
  • Stipends
  • Expenses that do not appear on an approved budget

Applications to the Student Entrepreneurship Fund are reviewed and approved by a committe of staff members from LaunchNET and Sears think[box], as are interim and final reports for approved projects. The committee also determines the amounts awarded. Members of the review committee are:

  • Tiffany McNamara, Sr. Director of Sears think[box]
  • Bob Sopko, Director of LaunchNET
  • Brittain Elswick, Program Manager for LaunchNET
  • Misha Villanueva, Manager for Sears think[box]
  • Mindy Baierl, Sr. Director of Veale Institute

The review committee for the Student Entrepreneurship Fund considers all proposals and notifies applicants by email as to the status of their application(s). Proposals are considered based on the following criteria:

  • SMART Goals: Have you or your team selected goals for your venture that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound)?
  • Feasibility: Can you or your team realistically reach the goals you set out given your existing skill set(s)?
  • Monetary Feasibility: Is the requested funding appropriate for your venture goals?
  • Innovation/Functionality/Creativity: Does the venture involve a creative aspect, a challenging or educational aspect, or a new idea or process? We’re looking for ventures that will help you develop your professional and technical or social skill sets


Receiving a financial award from the Student Entrepreneurship Fund at CWRU LaunchNET provides a valuable learning and life-skills opportunity to develop and experience a number of critical professional practices. These include venture planning and management, budget ownership and management, fiscal responsibility and professional reporting.

If you are awarded funds, you are fully responsible for their use and management. You are expected to keep accurate financial records and a summary of transactions, and must scan receipts to include in your project’s interim and final reports. Please be aware that monetary awards of $600 or more are taxable and, if you receive an award higher than this amount, you will be issued a Form 1099 at the end of the calendar year. Please consult a tax professional if you have questions.


If you've received financial support from the fund, you must submit an interim and final report by the dates enumerated in the Student Entrepreneurship Fund Agreement.

  • You must submit an interim report by January 15, 2023. The interim report must include:
    • A description of your venture goals and progress to date
    • Photos, drawings, and/or renderings of your work
    • A completed [link] Expense Report, following the [link] Expense Reporting Instructions, of venture purchases to date
    • Scans of all receipts indicated on the spreadsheet
  • You must submit a final report by May 1, 2023. The final report must include:
    • A description of the completed project
    • Photos, drawings, and/or renderings of the final project
    • Results from any competition(s) or presentations
    • A completed [link] Expense Report, following the [link] Expense Report Instructions, of venture purchases to date
    • Scans of all receipts indicated on the spreadsheet

If you are selected to receive support from the Student Entrepreneurship Fund, you will be required to sign an agreement indicating acceptance of the terms outlined for the SEF before you receive the award.

At that point, you will receive payment of 50% of the total award value, with payment for the remaining 50% of the total award to be issued after you’ve completed your interim reporting requirements. When the final report is due, you will be contacted to arrange the return of unspent or undocumented funds to LaunchNET.


Please contact with any questions regarding the Student Entrepreneurship Fund.