what we do

we enable powerful approaches to stimulating science and technology invention, innovation and entrepreneurship on university and college campuses, and move the strongest ideas rapidly forward to commercialization

VentureWell is a higher education network that cultivates revolutionary ideas and promising inventions. For nearly twenty years, we’ve been on a mission to launch new ventures from an emerging generation of young inventors driven to improve life for people and the planet.

Student inventors are at the heart of VentureWell. We help cultivate their skills and creativity and bring their ideas to market. Often we are first to validate, support and guide an idea with potential, allowing student entrepreneurs to take the important first step toward launching a business. Our support has given rise to companies such as Ecovative Design and Sanergy—recognized as some of the most innovative and environmentally friendly companies in the world.

Faculty are key to the success of the student inventors we support. VentureWell has spent the last twenty years revolutionizing higher education by building a community of faculty dedicated to instilling invention and entrepreneurship across campus. We fund faculty to create new courses and programs in which students develop inventive ideas and gain the entrepreneurial skills they need to bring inventions to market. With VentureWell’s support, almost 600 new courses and programs have been established across 160 campuses nationwide to transform education, especially in science, engineering and business.

VentureWell makes strategic financial investments that have exponential impact. We’ve given over $7.5 million in grants to over 500 student teams – and with that they’ve raised more than $620 million to launch new businesses. More than half of these startup ventures are still in business today, operating in over 50 countries and reaching millions of people with ground-breaking innovations. One exciting recent invention for mothers in low-resource settings will deliver medicine and nutrients to infants while they breastfeed. And there are many more.

VentureWell is proud that leading institutions, from foundations to government agencies to major businesses, support our mission to transform higher education and social entrepreneurship. The Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Intel and USAID are among those who recognize ours as the most effective model to train and launch a new generation of scientists that will change the world.

Epicenter, a partnership between VentureWell and Stanford University, and funded by the NSF, is dedicated to transforming undergraduate education for student engineers by placing innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of every classroom. Our programs directly engage researchers, faculty and students alike to lead and drive institutional change.

VentureWell is approaching our third decade and we’re only getting started. If you’re a student, a faculty mentor, a foundation program officer or a venture capitalist – you have an important role to play.

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