The Entrepreneurship Program at Ball State University is one of the best in the country. Currently ranked 12th by “The Princeton Review”, we are always looking for ways to give our students the best experience possible. In January 2019 we launched a new fund to offer pre-seed funding opportunities to all students at Ball State University. These grants are designed to assist students who are in the early stages of venture creation and enable venture development.
To be eligible for the grants, a maximum of $2,500 per student, per semester, applicants must be registered Ball State University students. Pre-seed funding can be used to advance venture development and reach milestones including, but not limited to securing intellectual property, prototype development, product validation, or competing in external venture competitions to raise awareness or additional funds for their venture.
Meet Jay Finley, a 2018 graduate of the Entrepreneurship Program. Jay was determined to prove the need for his venture concept uVoice, a web application that allowed college students to vote on potential acts and purchase presale tickets to their favorite concerts and events. Jay self-funded a proof of concept event where he demonstrated that college students would, in fact, pre-purchase tickets in an effort to bring their favorite artists to campus. Jay’s event, although eventually revenue positive, cost him more than $1,000 in upfront investments. With the pre-seed fund, Jay could have spent more time producing a high-quality event without the stress of self-funding his endeavor. For a lot of students, this would not be possible without assistance. This fund is your opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students like Jay.
How can you help contribute to students’ success?
- For $100, a student like Cody Spurgeon, Class of 2018, could purchase raw materials and gain access to a commercial kitchen to test his personalized pizza concept named Mongolian BBQ Pizza.
- A $250 donation would cover the cost of registration for one student to attend the Global Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference, where they can apply to compete in a pitch competition amongst some of the most promising student entrepreneurs across the world.
- A gift of $500 could provide travel funds necessary for students to gain customer validation directly with their target market similar to what Carlas Bogue with Bogue Feed Distribution, Class of 2018, did by traveling to Ocala, Florida to talk to elite racehorse owners.
- A generous gift of $1,000 would provide a student with the tools to fully legitimize their concept. This could include a professional logo, high-quality business cards, a website, the fees associated with filing for an LLC and allow them to secure a provisional patent.