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Funding Opportunity Available from Venturewell (Formerly National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance)

Modified: April 16, 2015

The E-team Program cultivates opportunities for collegiate technology entrepreneurs by providing early-stage support and funding of up to $75,000. The E-Team Program gives college students the chance to move new tech ideas out of the lab and classroom and into the marketplace. An “E-Team” is defined as a multidisciplinary group of students, faculty, and mentors working together to bring an invention to market.

VentureWell supports the development of technological innovations that are scalable, commercially promising, and have a positive impact on society and/or the environment. Many E-Team inventions and innovations fall into one of the following categories:

  • Biomedical devices, health care solutions, and/or global health-based technologies
  • Clean technologies and green/sustainable materials
  • Technologies for low-resource settings (US and/or internationally) that address poverty

The three-stage program provides grant funding, experiential workshops, veteran coaching and a potential investment opportunity to help teams manifest their projects’ full commercial potential.

  • Stage 1 provides funding of $5,000 to attend a three-day workshop on how to better articulate the opportunity for the innovation in the marketplace.
  • Stage 2 provides additional funding of up to $20,000. In a second workshop, teams develop their business model hypotheses and plans to test them. Six monthly coaching sessions follow, helping keep teams moving forward.
  • Stage 3 Eligible Stage 2 teams may be invited to participate in Stage 3, which focuses on helping teams develop a “lens of the investor” perspective and culminates in a venture forum presentation to potential investors. VentureWell invests up to $50,000 in two to three Stage 3 teams per year.

To enter the E-Team Program, all teams must apply first for Stage 1. In rare cases, reviewers may fast-track eligible teams directly to Stage 2.


There must be at least two active students on the team (enrolled in a credit-bearing undergraduate, graduate, and/or doctoral program) for the duration of the proposed grant period.

All teams require a faculty advisor (or center or administrative director) to act as Principal Investigator. Students cannot serve as Principal Investigators.

Other team members should include advisors from within and outside the university who have experience, knowledge, and network connections that will contribute to the team’s success. It is strongly suggested that both technical and business expertise is represented on the team.

The team must be a part of a VentureWell member institution. Northwestern University meets this eligibility criterion.


Stage-1 Application due date: May 8, 2015
Stage-2 Application due date: October 2, 2015

Collaboration Opportunities

The Office of Research Development offers assistance in identifying and facilitating collaborations, putting together interdisciplinary teams, programmatic and administrative development of large, cross-school proposals, and leveraging institutional resources for outreach and education. Contact Fruma Yehiely (yehiely@northwestern.edu), Associate Vice President for Research, Director of ORD, for more information.

For more information, visit: http://venturewell.org/student-grants/