Curious How Our Seed Fund Works?

What are the Funding Opportunities?

Ideadvance grants are intended to support specific commercialization steps or milestones that will reduce the business risk in your ideas and ultimately help make your business investor-ready.

Stage 1 – funds up to $25,000 and focuses on helping you reduce the risk in your idea by determining what features will solve a real customer need
Stage 2 – funds up to $50,000 and focuses on developing a business model that effectively delivers solutions to customers and prepares the idea for investment

Once you complete Stage 1, you are eligible to apply for Stage 2 funding.  Stage 2 applicants must also provide 1:1 funding match of which 50% can be through in-kind matches.  To focus on the mission of commercialization, awards are not given in one lump sum but are incrementally dispersed based upon completion of commercialization milestones.

How are Proposals Evaluated?

Awards will be determined by an Investment Committee with representatives from UW System, WiSys Technology Foundation, UW-Extension, WEDC, and an entrepreneur affiliated with an eligible UW Campus. The Investment Committee selects competitive proposals that have described well the significance of the market problem, the strength of the proposed solution, and the learning needed to help reduce risks in their business model. The Committee also focuses on the skills of the team and how well prepared they are to tackle this learning.

What Are the Grant Deadlines Like?

Beginning in 2017, Ideadvance moved to hold annually one (1) solicitation deadline in April for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 competitive proposals. Decisions were made in May with a cohort that began in June. The deadline was April 28, 2017. But it is never too early to begin working with Ideadvance in preparing a competitive proposal! Contact the New Idea Concierge.

How Do I Start?

Now is the time to look ahead to April 2018's deadline; details to come. Please read carefully through the Stage 1 or Stage 2 solicitation guidelines.  Also, reach out to the New Idea Concierge to incorporate eligiblity and application changes that may be new.

Current Solicitation Guidelines:

Download the Stage 1 Application Guidelines and Proposal Instructions

Download the Stage 2 Application Guidelines and Proposal Instructions


To learn more about preparing a competitive application, view our  Stage 1 Proposal Writing Tips Webinar recorded on April 11, 2014 and download associated Proposal Tips PowerPoint Slides.  Finally, before you apply, reach out to New Idea Concierge via email or at 608.263.3315 to discuss your idea.