supporting diverse innovators and ecosystems

Our commitment to broadening participation in innovation and entrepreneurship

VentureWell is actively working to expand the participation of historically underrepresented, underestimated, and under-resourced faculty and students in science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship — specifically those who identify as Black, Latinx, and Indigenous; women of all backgrounds; and individuals from low-income backgrounds. We are dedicated to prioritizing the advancement of equity in its organizational practices, programs, and field.

We offer the funding, support, and training that faculty, staff, and early-stage student innovators need to build ecosystems at their institutions,

We have affirmed our commitment to actively work to support and expand the participation of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous individuals and teams in our grants and programs. We will continue to raise awareness of and support policies that expand equity within STEM entrepreneurship and innovation, in particular amplifying those policies that expand access and remove barriers for Black innovators.

Faculty grants

We offer Faculty Grants of up to $30,000 to colleges and universities that are committed to inclusive support of faculty, staff, and students who are creating innovations for positive social and environmental impact. This funding allows faculty and staff to strengthen existing curricular programs and build new courses and programs that engage student teams in developing and pursuing scalable solutions to read world needs through I&E. We fund faculty who support students who are developing novel, STEM-based inventions and gain the necessary entrepreneurial skills needed to bring these ideas to market. 

We especially encourage faculty and staff applicants from URGs and proposals from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Tribal Colleges, Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, etc., and other institutions that demonstrate clear support for students from URGs in S&T I&E.

E-Team Grant Program
An E-Team is a multidisciplinary group of students working together with faculty to bring an invention to market. Every year, the VentureWell E-Team Grant Program awards over $700,000 total in grant funding to early-stage science and tech student startups who are on the path to launching innovations with a social, health, or environmental impact.

Each E-Team has the potential to unlock up to $25,000 in grant funding to take their product out of the lab and into the market. E-Teams also participate in the Early-Stage Innovator Training Program, which provides teams with expert coaching, national recognition, peer networking, and hands-on workshops. Teams will learn more about essential topics like customer discovery, intellectual property, and business model validation.

Through collaborating, learning, and sharing of best practices, the VentureWell Membership network strengthens the overall I&E ecosystem and better enables innovators to create real social and environmental impact through invention.

In this extraordinary year with so many unprecedented challenges, we understand that institutional budgets are tight, especially for under-resourced colleges and universities. We believe that seeking support for your valuable and critical work should not be another hurdle, and we are committed to broadening participation and advancing equitable opportunities for applicants. That’s why we’re offering VentureWell Membership this year at no cost to you or your institution.

Through the next year, we are waiving all Membership fees for both new and returning members. Institutions that obtain membership between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 will receive all of the benefits of membership for 12 months—including the ability to apply for VentureWell funding, discounts on event registration, and access to the VentureWell network—with no membership fee.

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