The UT Dallas Startup Launch Funding program enables undergraduate and graduate students in the Jindal School of Management to receive grant funding that may help them launch a scalable business opportunity. Undergraduate entrepreneurs may apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding and graduate entrepreneurs are eligible for up to $25,000 in grants.
Undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurs are eligible to apply upon enrolling in ENTP 3320 or ENTP 6360 and making sufficient progress on validating the business concept to warrant funding consideration. Special consideration may be given to students that place in the Business Idea Competition or similar business concept competitions held at UT Dallas or that have independently made significant progress on development and validation of a business concept. For these special situations, some level of initial funding may be provided up front as the students enroll in the startup launch course sequence. During the Startup Launch I course, students will successfully validate a business concept by developing a product or service, receiving customer feedback, building a scalable business model, and preparing a plan to execute business growth. For students enrolled in the Startup Launch course, the instructor will guide students through the application process and assist in determining funding eligibility and feasibility. For MSIE students applying to the Startup Launch Specialty (SLS), instructions regarding how to apply are available on the MSIE academic website.
∗ Students enrolled in the MSIE Degree Program can also apply for funding as part of the Startup Launch Specialty (formerly known as the Startup Launch Track). Please see the MSIE website for additional information.
Applications may be submitted directly to the Chair of the committee and to the Startup Launch course instructor at any point during the year, with a preference for the end of the semester in which the student team completes Startup Launch I. Applications should include a business proposal of no more than ten pages that includes:
- An executive summary of the concept (estimated 2-3 pages)
- A proposed budget and use of funds for the funding requested (1-2 pages)
- Resumes of the team (1-3 pages)
- 12-month financial projection of cash flow (1 page)
- Milestone and funding timeline (1 page)
In addition, supplementary materials such as an investor pitch, customer letters, product info sheets, advisor bios, and multi year financial projections may be attached as an appendix to the formal business proposal.
Once the proposal has been submitted, the SLF committee will evaluate the proposal (generally within two weeks) and make a decision to invite the team to meet in person within an additional two weeks. After an interview with the SLF committee, additional materials or changes may be requested and a final decision will be made within two weeks of any final updates.
Upon mutual agreement to the budget and milestones, the company will be required to submit an invoice for use of funds and submit the invoice with the proper paperwork to the instructor for the startup launch course the students are enrolled in. UT Dallas will not issue the funds directly to the company, but will pay for invoices to vendors on behalf of the company.
Preferred qualifications for funding are listed below and provide a general guideline of the criteria the SLF Committee will consider in making a funding decision.
- At least one UT Dallas team member that has recently or is currently enrolled or planning to enroll in Startup Launch I or II- Required. (Note: A team of multiple students or one student and multiple mentors or advisors may apply as long as at least one student is enrolled in the SL course).
- A business concept with the potential to scale to millions of dollars in revenue within the next five to ten years – Required
- A clear problem, solution, value proposition, and market opportunity – Required
- A budget and milestones that align with the business model, value proposition, and customer feedback to date – Required
- A clean and well-considered financial model that showcases the scalability and repeatability of the business model- Preferred
- At least a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or service that has been in the hands of a reasonable quantity of customers and a clear path to full product development and launch based on customer feedback and interactions – Preferred
- A fully established legal entity with web, logo, branding, and social media – Preferred
Additional information is available at the following websites:
Graduate startup launch funding:
Undergraduate startup launch funding:
The SLF Committee is comprised of the Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Academic Programs (Chair), Executive Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Startup Launch I Instructor(s). If the Startup Launch I Instructor(s) are one or more of the previous members listed above, one or more additional I&E faculty may be invited to join the committee at the request of the Committee Chair.
The current makeup of the SLF Committee is: