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

Generally, only individuals completing Stage 1 are eligible for Stage 2 funding.  Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Stage 2 applicants must also demonstrate efforts to meet the 1:1 funding match of which 50% can be through in-kind matches.

How are Proposals Evaluated?

Awards will be determined by an Investment Committee with representatives from UW System, WiSys Technology Foundation, 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?

Ideadvance accepts proposals annually in April for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 competitive proposals. All decisions are made in May with grants to begin in June of that same application year.  The next deadline is April 19, 2019 for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 applications with decisiosn made in May 2019. It is never too early to begin working with Ideadvance in preparing a competitive proposal! Contact the New Idea Concierge.

How Do I Start?

Download and review the current Stage 1 or Stage 2 application guidelines.  You should contact Ideadvance ASAP to discuss your idea, team and proposed project plan. We want to help you be as competitive as possible for the APril 2019 deadline.  With enough time, we can help you connect with networks and proposal drafts. 

April 2019 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 December 2017 and download associated Proposal Tips PowerPoint Slides.