Student Venture Seed Grant Program
The Wiscontrepreneur Student Venture Seed Grant (SVSG) program is an initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison focused on helping students pursue new ventures. Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded to passionate student entrepreneurs as a resource to help them further their business-related ideas. These grants are sponsored by the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations as part of the Wiscontrepreneur Initiative.
The Wiscontrepreneur Student Venture Seed Grant program is intended to build student entrepreneurial skills and confidence by encouraging formation and development of viable businesses or non-profit organizations by UW-Madison students who seek to convert their passions and ideas into sustainable ventures.
Applicants to the Wiscontrepreneur Student Venture Seed Grant program must complete a SVSG application. Applicants are encouraged to develop their ideas thoroughly before applying to the seed grant program. Participation in other events/programs such as the Burrill Business Plan Competition, the Schoofs or Tong competitions, the Student Business Incubator, or the Governor’s Business Plan Contest are excellent ways of developing and refining ideas related to a business or non-profit entity into a plan for a viable, sustainable venture.
Applications must be mailed to the Office of Corporate Relations (see address below). Applicants will receive a notice of acceptance of their application, confirming that the application contains the minimum required information. All accepted applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Finalists will be required to give a ten minute presentation to the selection committee, which meets on a quarterly basis throughout the year. Applicants selected to make presentations to the committee will be notified with at least ten days notice of the scheduled committee meeting. Meeting dates for the committee will be scheduled approximately three to four weeks following each of the quarterly grant application deadlines listed below.
Funds will be distributed to awardees as grants subject to certain performance reporting. Awardees will be required to expend the funds as detailed in their grant applications, and will be required to maintain documentation that demonstrates the use of the grant funds. Two reports will be required following the grant award. After three months awardees must submit a one page summary report to include: key accomplishments to date, challenges encountered, revenues received by the venture, number of jobs (for part time indicate percent time worked) created and number of customers. After six months awardees must provide a final report covering all the topics listed for the three month report plus a detailed accounting of the awardees use of grant funds. Awardees may be required to repay any grant funds for which supporting documentation cannot be provided.
The SVSG application must identify the specific business purposes for which Seed Grant funds will be expended. Winning applications will be selected on the basis of two major criteria:
- Dedication and commitment to the venture
- Quality of the proposed plan for creating a successful venture
In considering the quality of the proposed plan, the selection committee will look for a clear statement of the specific product or service that the venture will provide including a statement of its features and benefits. Additionally the committee will assign the highest ratings to those applicant(s) who support their ideas with evidence that they can actually produce the product or service being proposed and that customers will actually pay to obtain the product or service.
Deadlines are: October 31, 2011.
Other related resources
Recipients of the Wiscontrepreneur Student Venture Seed Grants are encouraged to leverage other entrepreneurship-related resources on the UW-Madison campus as appropriate to include the Student Business Incubator, the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, the MERLIN mentoring program and others. A complete listing of resources is available online.
How to apply
Completed applications should be mailed to:
Office of Corporate Relations
Attn: Wiscontrepreneur SVSG application – (name of business)
455 Science Drive; Suite 230
Madison, WI 53711
If you are having difficulties with the application form, please e-mail .