Funding Opportunities

The NSF I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization.  Through I-Corps, NSF grantees learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research and gain skills in entrepreneurship through training in customer discovery and guidance from established entrepreneurs.  Faculty interested in participating in an I-Corps program can explore the I-Corps Teams Program, a program that helps faculty/student/mentor teams explore the commercial feasibility of their research programs.  The 7-week intensive program is designed to get teams out of the laboratory to talk with potential customers, partners and competitors to explore the commercial opportunities for their research.

The NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research (NSF PFI: AIR) program consists of two programmatic paths. The first, Technology Translation, encourages the translation of technologically-promising research discoveries made by prior and/or current NSF-funded investigators toward a path of commercialization; while the second path, Research Partnership, promotes synergistic collaborations between an existing NSF-funded research partnerships (including consortia such as Engineering Research Centers, Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, Science and Technology Centers, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers, Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, Centers for Chemical Innovation, and Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation grantees) and other public and private entities to motivate the translation and transfer of research discoveries into innovative technologies and commercial reality. Both of these choices are designed to accelerate innovation that results in the creation of new wealth and the building of strong local, regional, and national economies.

The BIRD Foundation was established by the U.S. and Israeli governments in 1977 to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between the private sectors of the U.S. and Israeli high tech industries, including start-ups and established organizations. BIRD provides both matchmaking services between U.S. and Israeli companies, as well as funding covering up to 50 percent of project development and product commercialization costs.

VentureWell is on a mission to cultivate a pipeline of inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges and to create lasting impact. VentureWell fosters collaboration among the best minds from research labs, classrooms, and beyond to advance innovation and entrepreneurship education and to provide unique opportunities for STEM students and researchers to fully realize their potential to improve the world.

  • VentureWell’s Faculty Grants provide up to $30,000 to help fund and support faculty with innovative ideas to create new or transform existing courses and programs to help students develop novel, STEM-based inventions and gain the necessary entrepreneurial skills needed to bring these ideas to market.
  • The E-Team Grant Program supports student ventures as they embark down the path they’re likely to take as an innovator and entrepreneur. If teams are able to continue with their startup after they graduate, ASPIRE and our investor network are available to help teams prepare to build their company.