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Entrepreneurship: Funding Opportunities for Startups

This guide supports UCI’s innovation and entrepreneurship community by connecting users to relevant resources used to conduct research throughout the entrepreneurial process.

Funding Opportunities for Startups

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Geography: US & Global

Pivot is a database of funding opportunities made available by the UCI Office of Research. Enter your own search terms or browse by keyword using the interactive chart to explore over $44 billion in global funding resources.

SBIR and STTR Programs

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Each year, federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $100 million are required to allocate approximately 3% of their R&D budget to domestic small businesses with the potential for commercialization or technology transfer. These grant programs are called:
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A centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. Houses information on over 1,000 grant programs offered by over 26 federal grant-making agencies.

NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts

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The National Institutes of Health Guide for Grants and Contracts (NIH Guide) is the official publication for NIH biomedical and behavioral research grant policies, guidelines, and funding opportunities.

National Science Foundation: A-Z Index of Funding Opportunities

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering through grants and cooperative agreements. Research areas include: biological sciences; computer and information science and engineering; crosscutting and NSF-wide; education and human resources; engineering; environmental research and education; geosciences; integrative activities; international science and engineering; mathematical and physical sciences; and social, behavioral and economic sciences.

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Global crowdfunding platform focused on funding creative projects from artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators.

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Crowdfunding platform focused on technology, design, and innovation that allows people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or start-up business.

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Known as “Kickstarter for investing,” Wefunder is a crowdfunding service which connects startups with investors online. Wefunder uses a provision in the 2012 JOBS Act which allows unaccredited investors to provide equity for entrepreneurial undertakings.

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Business crowdfunding platform that enables companies to raise capital from investors, customers, and friends.

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An equity crowdfunding platform that connects pre-vetted startups with individual investors online.

Student Startup Fund
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Microgrants available through UCI Beall Applied Innovation to current UCI students engaged in the campus’ entrepreneurship programs, competitions and centers. The Fund helps cover entrepreneurial project expenses.

Proof of Product (POP) Grant

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Gap funding available through UCI Beall Applied Innovation, up to $100,000, to UCI faculty innovators to help move research and intellectual property to commercialization.

New Venture Competition

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Teams compete for $100,000 in cash prizes plus additional professional services. Open to all UCI students, staff members, and researchers, as well as community members.

Beall Student Design Competition at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
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Open to all UCI students. Students are encouraged to submit new product ideas that involve the development of hardware and devices. Top three teams receive cash prizes ranging from $3,500 to $10,000.

Butterworth Product Development Competition at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences
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Open to all UCI students. Students are encouraged to submit new products that involve the development of software and systems. Top three teams receive cash prizes ranging from $3,500 to $10,000.

Startup Launch Grant
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The Startup Launch Grant provides up to $5,000 to accelerate the development path of UCI-affiliated startups. Applicants must have at least one active team member who is a current UCI faculty, student, staff or alumnus (degree program or minimum completion of 16 units), use UCI-owned intellectual property as a core part of the startup’s business idea, or are an active Wayfinder participant. The startup must have not received equity investments of more than $50K. See website for more information.

Creativity & Entrepreneurship Scholarship
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The UCI Creativity & Entrepreneurship Scholarship is directed by UCI’s Beall Applied Innovation and is a campuswide scholarship focused on rewarding innovative ideas. Students must develop or have developed a distinctive solution to a problem faced by the campus or the community as a whole. The scholarship fund may be used to enhance an existing project and/or to develop a new one. This scholarship is open to all students in any major including out-of-state and international students who will be attending or are already attending at UCI. Awardees will carry the title of “Student Innovation Fellow.”

Startup Scholarship
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The UCI Startup Scholarship is a campus-wide scholarship sponsored, funded by the Beall Applied Innovation and is intended for students with entrepreneurial aspirations. The scholarship fund may cover early-stage startup activities such as prototyping, market research, and product refinement. See website for more information.

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