VentureWell has a deep and long-established commitment to supporting faculty and students at US-based colleges and universities through catalytic funding and training. Throughout the past 25 years, we’ve built a vital innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) community where collaboration is encouraged and ideas and best practices are shared. We are working to expand the participation of historically underrepresented, underestimated, and under-resourced faculty and students in science & technology I&E—specifically those who identify as Black, Latinx, and Indigenous; women of all backgrounds; and individuals from low-income backgrounds—as we help institutions bolster their I&E ecosystems to allow for early-stage innovators to bring their most promising innovations to the world.
opportunities for faculty and student innovators
Course & Program Grants: Helping Bring Student Ideas to Life
We offer Course & Program Grants of up to $30,000 to support faculty and staff who are pioneering new ways to engage students in STEM innovation and entrepreneurship. Our funding allows educators to develop inclusive programs and classes that support early-stage innovator teams in creating scalable solutions for positive social and environmental impact—while also building the on-campus I&E ecosystems that are critical to students’ success. Applications for Fall Course & Program Grants will open in August 2022.
E-Team Grant Program: Funding & Training the Next Generation of Innovators
E-Team Grants allow teams of student innovators the chance to unlock up to $25,000 in funding to help take their inventions out of the lab and into the market. Students also gain sponsored entry into the Early-Stage Innovator Training Program, designed to build both their confidence and entrepreneurial skills as they explore essential topics like customer discovery, intellectual property, and business model validation. Teams collaborate with student peers from across the US and work closely with our dedicated teaching team as they map out their path to launch. E-Teams receive continued mentoring after they take part in training, as well as national recognition through the VentureWell I&E network. Applications for the Winter 2023 cohort will open in August 2022.
OPEN Conference: Join an Inviting Community of I&E Educators to Learn Best Practices
Representatives from across the innovation and entrepreneurship spectrum gather annually OPEN to share stories, start new collaborations, and learn emerging best practices in the field of science and technology entrepreneurship education at our OPEN conference. OPEN features the most pressing topics in I&E education today, including engaging and supporting underrepresented student innovators, sustainability, proven teaching practices, growing your campus entrepreneurial ecosystem, and more.
Membership: Connecting with the VentureWell Network to Advance I&E
Through collaborating, learning, and sharing of best practices, the VentureWell Membership network strengthens the overall I&E ecosystem and better enables faculty and innovators to create real impact through invention. We understand that institutional budgets are tight during these challenging times, and we’re here to support you. We believe that seeking funding for your valuable and critical work should not be another hurdle, and we are committed to broadening participation and advancing opportunities for applicants. We are currently waiving all Membership fees. Institutions that sign up or renew will receive all of the benefits of membership for 12 months, like the ability to apply for VentureWell funding and access to the VentureWell network. Read more and sign up to become a VentureWell member institution today.
download now: advancing equity in innovation and entrepreneurship
We believe there is an urgent need to address the racial inequities that exist in science and technology I&E, which inhibit innovation by people from traditionally underrepresented, underestimated, and under-resourced groups. Advancing Equity: Dynamic Strategies for Authentic Engagement in Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a new report that offers six interrelated strategies to help entrepreneurship centers and programs broaden participation among early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs. The report presents approaches to foster equity and inclusion in science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship across the field of higher education. Learn the six strategies and download the report here.
We offer webinars to share new best practices on essential topics, offer helpful information for applying for VentureWell funding, and increase community engagement in I&E. Check back often to view upcoming offerings and to register for these free events.
Community Conversations for Advancing Equity
Our online series fosters discussion to help faculty and program or center leaders bolster their equity efforts.
Learn more about our commitment to advancing equity in STEM I&E and sign-up for free Community Conversations webinars.
reports, tools, and articles
We keep our community connected and informed through our website and newsletters, offering reports, educational tools and resources, and informative articles. Read on for ideas for expanding equity in I&E, supporting student innovators, and building the ecosystem at your institution.
- 3 strategies to cultivate comprehensive entrepreneurship ecosystems
- online education: tips and resources for innovation and entrepreneurship educators
- 8 points to help startups write a winning grant application
- advancing equity in i&e programs through authentic outreach and mentorship
- the multidimensional impact of entrepreneurial support programs