Announcing Founders Microgrants

A new program to support student entrepreneurs

Over the last few years, Founders has launched a number of initiatives to enable student entrepreneurs at the University of Illinois to build and launch their businesses. We’re excited to announce a new program this spring to continue supporting the university’s entrepreneurship ecosystem — the Founders Microgrant program.

A common challenge we see among student entrepreneurs are the costs associated with prototyping. This usually means things like buying hardware or other materials, purchasing a domain name, and paying for server space.

We are hoping to reduce these costs by providing Microgrants of up to $500 to student teams. Our goal is to enable more students to build and test their ideas and gain more value from existing programs on campus.

For example, teams coming out of 54 will have the opportunity to build prototypes of their refined ideas. Students participating in Startup Bootcamp or competing in the Cozad New Venture Competition can use this grant to build and test MVPs ahead of Demo Day or the Entrepreneurship Forum. Or teams applying for the iVenture accelerator can use this grant to prototype throughout the year and gather momentum heading into the summer.

The money will come in the form of reimbursements (for approved expenses) and Founders takes no equity in your startup. We’ll also connect you to our network of mentors and alums to help you keep moving in the right direction. The only requirement is for you to share routine updates on your progress.

In order to be eligible for a Microgrant, at least one member on your team must be enrolled as a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If you’re interested in applying, you can do so by following the link below. Microgrants will be awarded on a rolling basis.

Apply here.

Written by Ali Afridi and Jay Bensal.


About Founders

Founders is the premier student entrepreneurship organization at the University of Illinois. Our mission is to expose students to entrepreneurship and help students gain the skills to become entrepreneurs. We run events every year including 54, Startup Bootcamp, and Startup Fairs in the fall and spring.