Tufts Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund (EIF)

Funding project expenses for student-led entrepreneurial initiatives

What is EIF?

The Tufts Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund (EIF) provides modest funding to individual students, teams or student clubs to support them in their entrepreneurial initiatives. Eligible funding requests are in the $100-$1000 range. Students can apply for EIF funding in three tracks:

  1. Student clubs and organizations that need supplemental funding for entrepreneurial training and experiences
  2. Travel expenses in support of innovation and entrepreneurship training and initiatives
  3. Project related expenses that support student-led new venture creation (startup, small business, or non-profit)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must have at least one actively participating executive or founding team member who is a matriculated Tufts undergraduate or graduate student
  • Applicants must not have raised more than $250,000 combined in grants, fellowships, convertible notes, SAFE notes, equity-based financing or other funding sources at the time of application
  • Applicants must commit to working on their project within the 3 month period after receiving the award
  • Applicants must commit to making contact with their designated mentor at least twice during the 3 month period after receiving the award

Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses fall into two categories:

  • Expenses supporting programs, events, or initiatives that support students in developing an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset and skillset (e.g. conferences, hackathons, etc)
  • Expenses supporting the exploration or development of a new venture (startup, small business, nonprofit)

Mentorship

To ensure individuals and teams make the most out of their awards, each applicant who receives an award commit to making contact with a designated mentor at least twice during the three months after they receive the award.

Student clubs are exempt from this requirement.

Dates and Deadlines

EIF applications will be processed on a rolling basis through May 1, 2023 or until all available funding has been distributed. We will review applications in the order that they are received.

Application Process

Application submission:

Teams submit a written application with a 1-minute video pitch outlining the following:

  • Quick overview about their venture
  • Total dollar amount applied for, and a rough description of use of funds
  • Why you need the money now

Screening and deliberation:

  • A funding committee will review the applications. Where appropriate, the funding committee may reach out to individual teams for additional information.
  • The funding committee will deliberate and decide whether the team will receive funding – and if so, whether they will receive the full amount applied for or a subset thereof.

Notification & award distribution

  • Teams will be notified of their application status within 2-3 weeks of the application submission date.

How to apply

  1. Review the application questions and prepare written answers
  2. Record a 1 minute video pitch summarizing your project and your funding “ask”
  3. Develop an itemized budget supporting your proposal on a linkable platform (Google Spreadsheet, Excel file hosted on Box, Dropbox or Google Drive, etc)
  4. Apply!