Are you an innovator or an entrepreneur who thirsts for the exhilaration of launching your own business? Spark Grants, a new program from RAIN @UO, provide student entrepreneurs with the funding they need to get their ideas off the ground.
Spark Grants are $500 awards geared toward students with a proposed business idea that warrants further investigation. The grants allow students to further examine the feasibility of their potential venture, in order to make an informed decision about further investment and commitment of time and resources to the project. Funds can be used for a number of different purposes — developing a prototype, connecting with potential customers, digging deep into the competition, etc. — as long as the aim is to uncover the merits and challenges surrounding an idea. As reflected in both the short execution time and the limited funding, the purpose of the grant is enable the rapid assessment of potential value in the idea, not to fully build out a business. Grants are open to any University of Oregon student, undergraduate or graduate, in any discipline. (At least one member of the team needs to be a university student, though ventures also may engage non-students.) Ventures big or small, high- or low-tech, and for-profit or non-profit are all eligible for consideration. Spark Grants are just one step along the pathway to launching a venture. Students receiving Spark Grants are encouraged to apply for larger RAINmaker seed grants, which focus on business development and validation, if they choose to pursue the venture. They may also apply to the RAIN Eugene accelerator.
If you have questions about eligibility or are seeking advice on where to start, contact Andrew Nelson, Executive Director of UO Rain, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (541) 346-1569.
Application and Submission Process
To apply, download our Spark Grant Application materials. Email your completed application form to:
Innovation Administrator GTF | RAIN @UO