faculty grants

Deadline: November 4, 2015

Faculty grants support the creation of new courses and programs in which students develop ideas and gain the skills to bring them to market

Our Faculty Grants guidelines have been updated. There will be ONE round of submissions per academic year. This year’s deadline is November 4, 2015. The next deadline will be fall of 2016.


Innovation is a skill that can and should be taught in universities. With our faculty grants, VentureWell challenges faculty to pioneer new ways to engage their students in the entrepreneurial process. The grants:

  • Support new (or help modify existing) courses and programs that lead to the formation of E-Teams—multidisciplinary groups of students, faculty, and mentors working together to bring inventions to market.
  • Help students learn by doing–gaining the entrepreneurial skills they need by actually forming a team and trying to make both the technology and business model work.
  • Have a strong likelihood of continuing beyond the grant period and becoming part of a campus culture of innovation. To date, 92% of our funded courses and programs report that they are ongoing.

There are two types of faculty grants: Course & Program grants and Sustainable Vision grants.

Course & Program grants support courses or programs at the intersection of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship that lead to the creation and support of E-Teams. Focus areas include but are not limited to:

  • General (technology-based) entrepreneurship
  • New materials/clean tech/green energy
  • Biomedical and healthcare
  • Information technology

Sustainable Vision (SV) grants are very similar to Course & Program grants in that they support experiential learning and generate E-Teams. The key difference is that Sustainable Vision proposals must lead to the development of technology innovations that address poverty alleviation and basic human needs. A local, off-campus partner must be identified in the proposal. Focus areas include but are not limited to:

  • Water
  • Sanitation
  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture
  • Shelter
  • Information technology

Examples of successful Faculty grants include:

  • Inventor’s Studio at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in which students have one semester to learn product design, prototype an invention, research IP, and launch a startup. This course launched Ecovative Design, developers of environmentally friendly packaging material, among others.
  • The Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program at Penn State. HESE brings together students and faculty from various disciplines to develop technology-based solutions to challenges facing the developing world and marginalized communities.
  • Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) program. IPD is a set of courses that allows students from any college at Lehigh to work with students from other disciplines on a real-world industry-sponsored project.
  • Art Center College of Design’s Safe Agua Peru program. This program led to the development of award-winning products designed for people living in urban slums.

Read the guidelines


faculty grants:

  • Up to $30,000
  • Fund new (or help modify existing) courses and programs in tech entrepreneurship
  • Who may apply: faculty from VentureWell member institutions

meet our grantees:

2015 submission deadline:

  • November 4, 2015
  • Next deadline: fall 2016

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