The following funding sources are available for student, faculty/staff and community venture development. Note: this is not an exhaustive list and founders are encouraged to research additional funding sources with the assistance of departments and organizations listed under the ‘Resources’ page.
Spark Grants are $500 grants geared towards students with proposed product or service ideas that warrant further investigation. As grants, this money need never be repaid—as long as the guidelines below are followed. Spark Grants allow students to further examine the feasibility of a project, in order to make an informed decision about whether it makes sense to commit further time and resources. 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. Applications Open in March.
The Paul Anthony Troiano RAINmaker Seed Grants are $5,000 awards designed to support up to five UO student-led and owned entrepreneurial start-up businesses as they seek to refine and launch their concepts as new companies. The seed funds are awarded to help students launch their ideas into real companies and to connect them into the UO Innovation Network and RAIN Eugene networks of mentoring and entrepreneurial support. The RAINmaker Seed Grants are open to any currently enrolled students who are juniors or above, including graduate students, regardless of discipline. Applications Open in May.
The Innovation Partnership Services office has an extensive list of funding resources available for both startups and university spinouts including the SBIR/STTR federal grants. Be sure to check out the new UO VPRI Innovation Fund Program (VPRI-IF) Translational Research Grants an inter-disciplinary effort to foster the accelerated translation of innovations developed at UO into new products, services and businesses