Mines Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

Funding Opportunities

Mines Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

To access funding opportunities become a member now

The Beck Venture Center provides access to a wide variety of funding opportunities to Mines-affiliated startups and founders who are members of the Beck Venture Center. The amount of funding is directly related to your progress toward commercialization – initial ideation and problem definition can be supported through Innovation Grants and Innov8x team grants, prototype generation can be funded by Innovation grants and proof of concept grants.  Once an initial product-market fit is achieved, additional funding is available for customer segment validation and business model development via Startup Accelerator Grants, Proof of Concept 2 grants and through equity funding via the Mines Venture Fund and affiliated investors.  See below to find more information about the best source of funding for your needs.

Please email Startup@Mines.edu for questions or more details.

Mines Venture Fund 1  

A $10 million pre-seed/seed investment fund focused on entrepreneurial engineers and their startup companies from Colorado School of Mines’ (Mines) faculty, students, alumni, and partners. An investment committee composed of five limited partners makes decisions on pre-seed investments in the $100,000 range with additional funding held for the most promising companies.  The fund should be deployed after September 1, 2022 and will have a five-year investment period. For more information, visit the Mines Venture Fund webpage.

Beck Venture Center Startup Accelerator Grant

These grants are funded by the Colorado Office of Economic Development with a match from the Mines Foundation and are designed to help Mines-affiliated startups gain the necessary expertise to raise capital funding. These grants ($2,000-$10,000) are available to startups that have developed an initial business model and need assistance from an experienced executive or entrepreneur to help finalize that business model to present to potential investors for equity funding.  The grant may be used for a fractional executive (e.g., chief financial officer, chief marketing officer) for one semester.

Beck Venture Center Innovation Grant

BVC Innovation grants ($500-$2000) are available to BVC founders and startups that are interested in developing a pretotype or prototype of their ideas.  Founders should have developed a value proposition for the concept (matching problem, solution and market) and use these funds to develop prototype(s) to share with customers to validate product-market fit.

Innov8x Team Grants

One of the most important things to do early in a startup is to validate the customer interest in an idea. This is done here by validating the problem that your idea is designed to solve. Innov8x is our program to help you design that process and come up with the best fit between your proposed solution (usually a prototype or pretotype), the problem and the customer segment that you are trying to match.  Innov8x grants ($100-$500) are available to students enrolled in Innov8x to help build pretotypes, prototypes and customer experiences to validate this process.

Nickoloff Faculty Fellows Grant

Our goal is to create a faculty fellowship program to provide focused and strategic faculty involvement in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, allowing Mines to establish an active, collaborative network of colleagues who are informed and enthusiastic about integrating an entrepreneurial mindset into their teaching and research.

  • Each Fellow receives an award of $5,000 in their professional development account to facilitate their involvement in the program.
  • Fellows must attend a workshop entitled “Faculty Entrepreneurship Bootcamp” and present an elevator pitch based on their team’s project as well as a “Lessons Learned” presentation outlining the key learning objectives captured through their team’s project during the BootCamp.
  • Fellows will be expected to prepare at least one module for deployment within their academic curriculum that demonstrates key entrepreneurial principles. Modules are developed in consultation with E&I Center staff and the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) and to teach the deployed modules in their normal courses, and possibly work with the Trefny Center and KEEN for dissemination of their module throughout the KEEN network.

Proof of Concept 1 & 2 Grants

POC1 and POC2 grants are available to help Mines researchers explore the possible commercialization of their inventions. The POC1 fund issues a request for proposals (RFP) in mid-October, with funding decided by the Advisory Board in the winter. The latest RFP is available below, including details of the fund’s operation and requirements. POC2 are follow-on funds that allow researchers to further explore commercialization opportunities.  If you have any questions, please contact the Technology Transfer Office. 

Introduction to Affiliate Accelerators & Venture Funds

The Beck Venture Center is well situated in the Colorado ecosystem, which allows us to make introductions to a wide range of investors and investment firms throughout the region.  For more information, please contact the Director, Beck Venture Center.

Find grant funding through our Office of Research and Technology Transfer

Mines subscribes to Pivot-RP to allow Mines associates to search for funding opportunities, and view them using your Mines Multipass. To get funding opportunities tailored to your research, create an account, claim and update your profile, and create and save a search. You can find user guides here, and can reach out to Lisa Kinzel and Alyssa Von Lehman Lopez for 1:1 coaching.