Penn Engineering Entrepreneurship Grant Funding
A part from the Engineering Entrepreneurship curriculum, the program also provides grants funding opportunities for students seeking to develop innovative high-tech products. In our Engineering Entrepreneurship programs, we teach that entrepreneurship and venture development is an iterative process. Similarly, we believe the funding process also should be iterative with students earning additional funds by demonstrating that the can create value with initial funds. Penn Engineering currently has two funds in place to help students build and investigate high-tech products and ventures: the Berkman Opportunity Fund and the new Miller Innovation Fellowship program.
To apply for funding, students must be undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in a Penn Engineering degree, minor, or certificate program, or they must have completed one or more Penn Engineering Entrepreneurship courses. Teams applying for funds must include at least one student that meets the criteria. Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee.
Berkman Opportunity Fund
The Berkman Opportunity Fund provide $500-1,000 grants to support students with innovative ideas that might turn in to products and companies. Eligible projects for Berkman funding may be at any stage of development – concept only and needing pilot funding or needing additional funds to demonstrate feasibility or production or even commercialization.
Berkman Fund grants must be used for product development efforts, including materials, components, lab fees, and other costs associated with prototyping and iterating concepts. Grant funds may not be used for legal or professional services. Grant recipients must provide brief reports on use of funds and outcomes.
Miller Innovation Fellowship
Miller Innovation Fellowships are designed to allow students (or teams of students) to develop ventures based on high-tech products & services and have focused capital and advising resources to explore a venture. Miller Innovation Fellows receive $15,000 in grant funding (per venture) and a business mentor/advisor. Fellows will also be part of a community of Penn Engineering innovators that will grow.
Miller Innovation Fellowships are designed to provide higher levels of support to student entrepreneurs that have used other University resources to investigate and develop their high-tech concepts. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements above and also have developed their concept by participating in one or more Penn Engineering Entrepreneurship courses, Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship programs, Weiss Tech House programs, or other Penn competitions, resources, and programs for innovation and entrepreneurship (https://tinyurl.com/PennEntrep). This will ensure that Miller Innovation Fellows have already gained important learning and insight into their venture.
Miller Innovation Fellowship funding should be used for product development and may also be used for marketing and business development purposes as well. Fellows will need to meet with advisors throughout the term and provide periodic pitch decks, press releases, or other marketing materials to chronicle progress. In addition, at the end of the fellowship, they must provide brief reports on use of funds and outcomes.
Intellectual property developed are subject to the “Patent and Tangible Research Property Policies and Procedures of the University of Pennsylvania” available at https://bit.ly/PennIP.
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