Innovation Grant Rules and Eligibility

  • Generally speaking, entries from current undergraduate Columbia students will be accepted. Entries from blended teams with non-Columbia-affiliated undergraduate members will also be considered. Blended teams will be accepted if Grant administrators determine that the core of the team is comprised of CC or GS students.  The ruling of the administrators is final.  If a blended team wins but loses its Columbia-affiliated members, the team will be disqualified and will not receive the award grants.
  • Innovation Grants are intended for new, early-stage independent ventures.
  • Licensing technologies from Columbia University is acceptable, but the ownership of the technology or IP must be clearly stated.
  • Ownership of intellectual property and equity shares in the business must not be in dispute.
  • Teams must not have received more than $50,000 before March 1st, 2017.
  • Innovation Grants are for ventures created, managed, and owned by eligible (current undergraduate students). Team members who are not CC or GS undergraduate students must have played a substantive role in conceiving and developing the venture. All team members are asked to state their Columbia and school affiliation with degree year.
  • At least ONE founder must be a Columbia College or General Studies student.
  • All teams must clearly state the role of all founders. Proof of the length of time each of the founders has been engaged in their venture will be requested.
  • In the same calendar year, teams can only win a maximum of $30,000 through the Columbia Venture Competition, the Ignition Grants given out by SEAS, and the Innovation Grants. Teams are allowed to and are encouraged to apply to all three programs.
  • Eligibility is contingent on compliance with the rules listed above. Disqualification is final and cannot be appealed.
  • Teams receiving grants must participate in a mandatory, six month check in with Innovation Grant Administrators.
  • Teams receiving grants must meet with mentors assigned to them and report on progress every two months.
  • All applications must include a statement of how the funds would be used.
  • NDAs: There is no formal non-disclosure agreement in place for the Innovation Grant program. Participants’ executive summaries and pitch decks will only be seen by the Innovation Grant administrators and the judging panel. Neither of those documents will be distributed unless explicit permission is received from the team.
  • Teams should be aware that Innovation Grant administrators will not require judges to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe now