VentureWell awards faculty grants to colleges and universities for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs and/or building new programs in the 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 Program. VentureWell has funded over 803 new courses or programs through faculty grants, and 3 out of 4 reports that they are planning to continue their course or program beyond the grant period, thereby institutionalizing this experiential learning opportunity.
Up to $30,000 for a three-year grant (but funding may be expended in one or two years)
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 the 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 extracurricular 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
VentureWell grants are competitive and successful proposals will include the following:
- 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.
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).
- Courses 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.
In ONE PDF, please provide:
- A one-page cover letter with one-inch margins and 12-point-font including:
- PI Name
- PI Department/Division and School/College
- Project Title
- Brief Summary of Project
Please send these documents as a single PDF to Limited Submissions (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Final nominees will be notified of their selection by September 5, 2019.
The final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by October 30th, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST.
The final proposal must be received by the sponsor by November 6th, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST.