Chapter 14: University seed funding programs
Entrepreneurship programs offer a variety of ways that students, alumni and entrepreneurs from the community can get funding for their businesses. Business plan competitions (see Chapter 9) are a long-standing way of identifying promising ventures and providing seed capital. University accelerator programs (see Chapter 7) typically offer small cash infusions as one of the benefits for businesses that are accepted into those programs. But there also are a number of entrepreneurship programs that have created avenues for providing seed funding for student entrepreneurs that are independent of competitions and are not tied to a structured program, such as an accelerator. Importantly, these efforts tend to be directed at the so-called ‘valley of death’ where a viable business concept has exhausted the limited (or non-existent) personal funds of the entrepreneur or, in the case of a promising technology, has used up any available research funding, but is not far enough along from a business standpoint to be attractive to a lending institution, angel investor or conventional sources of venture financing.
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