The entrepreneurship program at Ball State University is working to enable student entrepreneurs! In 2019, we launched a new fund to offer pre-seed funding opportunities to all Ball State students. These grants assist students in the early stages of venture creation and enable venture development.
Enrolled Ball State students are eligible for the grants, a maximum of $2,500 per student per semester. 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, '18, a 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 pre-purchase tickets 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?
- Any dollar amount adds to the amount we can offer students, resulting in more grants and more opportunities for students to realize their entrepreneurial dreams by advancing their business concepts.
- For $100, a student like Chloe Harman, '21, could purchase items to build prototypes for her venture, sustained., an eco-friendly subscription service that helps users transition to a low-waste, sustainable lifestyle.
- A $250 donation would cover the registration cost for one student to attend the Global Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference. They can apply to compete in a pitch competition amongst some of the most promising student entrepreneurs across the world. Thanks to your donations, Class of 2022 students Sophia Chaille and Emali Grose could compete in 2021 after making it to the top 100.
- A gift of $500 could provide funds for students to hire professional designers to create CAD files and 3D renderings for businesses requiring a physical space, like Dustin Flynn, '21, did for his concept Safety in Arms Training Ground.
- A generous gift of $1,000 would provide a student with the tools to fully legitimize their concept. Funding could include a professional logo, high-quality business cards, a website, the fees associated with creating a prototype and allow them to secure a provisional patent.