The Rader School of Business, through the Uihlein/Spitzer Center for Innovation and Enterprise (Innovent Center), will provide up to $500 in seed funds for qualified student projects. This includes senior design, capstones, or any other student project. Teams may use these funds to purchase equipment, supplies or services vital to the implementation of their project. While all requests will be considered, funds are limited. All student projects are welcome to apply, regardless of affiliation with a class or not. Applications are due Friday, Jan. 27. No late submissions will be accepted. Follow the steps below to apply.

Application Process

1) Attend Workshops. Everyone in your group must attend both the Business Model Canvas Basics Workshop and Customer Discovery Basics Workshop. Registration is required. Email with your names and the dates your group plans to attend. There are two opportunities for each workshop, but your group only needs to attend one of the days for each:

  • Business Model Canvas Basics Workshop | Monday, Jan. 9 or Friday, Jan. 13 | 12–1 p.m. | Rosenberg Hall, R-101
  • Customer Discovery Basics Workshop | Monday, Jan. 16 or Friday, Jan. 20 | 12–1 p.m. | Rosenberg Hall, R-101  

2) Submit Proposal. After your group attends the workshops, submit your proposal that covers the proposal requirement items listed below by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27. No late submissions will be accepted. The proposal should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document and should not exceed five pages.  

3) Present Video Pitch. After you submit your proposal, present your video pitch to a panel of judges by Friday, Feb. 3. Video pitches should be less than 10 minutes and include at least a PowerPoint or visual materials to support your proposal and apply what you learned from the workshops. Please be prepared to answer questions the panel may have regarding your project presentation.  

After presentations, judges will contact the teams with approved project via email. If your proposal is approved, you will need to submit receipts for your purchases to receive reimbursement. All receipts must be submitted at the same time. You may submit receipts electronically.

Note: A specific project may only receive one seed grant per academic year. 

Proposal Requirements

Project Information

  • Project name: Provide the name of your project
  • Team members: List the members of your team (a team of one is allowed) along with their degree designations. Ex: Roger Raider (EE).
  • Team contact: Provide the name and contact information for the person who will be your team’s primary contact regarding the funding.
  • Faculty advisor: Provide your advisor’s name and contact information. (If there is one, there is no requirement to have one).
  • Project description: Provide a concise description of your proposed project.
  • Fund request: How much funding will you need? How will funds be used? Provide information on what specific use you intend to use the funds for. In addition, describe why equipment or services are critical to the project’s success.

Business Aspects of Project

  • Target market: Describe who you believe is the primary audience is for your project. This should be the customer or user. Also, do you have any data that shows market size? Identify the whole market, sub-market, and target market.
  • Benefits of project: What is the problem your project solves in the marketplace? Describe the specific benefits you believe will be delivered to your customer/user?
  • Competitive analysis: Describe if there are other ways that your customer/user can obtain similar benefits. Identify what they are and how your project compares to them.
  • Value proposition: Based on the competitive analysis and your knowledge of your project, provide a concise statement that provides the compelling reason for your customer/user to use/purchase your project.  

Submit complete proposal and video to the Innovent Center at