There are many sources of funding available to Northwestern students working on entrepreneurial projects, from fellowships to classes to competitions.

Scoots at the 2019 VentureCat competition at Northwestern University on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Funding Opportunities at The Garage

The Garage oversees multiple programs and initiatives that offer awards or prize money to students working on entrepreneurial ventures.


Activate is an 8-week immersive learning experience with the goal of making entrepreneurship more inclusive and accessible to Black Northwestern students.

  • The Garage
  • Up to $1,000 award
  • Full-time students who identify as Black

Little Joe Ventures Fellowship in Entrepreneurship

Five sophomores are chosen each winter quarter after a rigorous interview process. Each cohort is announced at the beginning of the spring quarter.

  • The Garage
  • $5,000 award
  • Undergraduate students


NUseeds is Northwestern’s $4M pre-seed/seed investment fund for student founded startups.

  • The Garage
  • $100,000 in exchange for equity
  • Founders who have graduated from a degree-seeking Northwestern program in the past 2 years and participated in at least one program at The Garage / VentureCat while they were a Northwestern student.

The Opportunity Fund

The Garage Opportunity Fund is for full-time, undergraduate Northwestern students that identify as lower-income and have been accepted into The Garage’s Tinker or Residency program. 

  • The Garage
  • Up to $1,000 to cover business expenses
  • Undergraduate students who have been accepted into the Tinker or Residency program and identify as lower-income

The Propel Program

The Propel program provides networking, mentorship, and immersive learning experiences that promote diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship.

  • The Garage
  • Up to $1,000 award
  • All full-time, female students

Jumpstart Pre-Accelerator

The Jumpstart Pre-Accelerator program at The Garage seeks to accelerate student teams by giving them additional resources and coaching over a period of 10 weeks in the summer.

  • The Garage
  • $10,000 award per team + $10,000 non-dilutive prize pool
  • All Northwestern students

Other Funding Opportunities at Northwestern

All Northwestern Students

These various funding opportunities and programs are offered throughout Northwestern for all students working on an entrepreneurial project.

Farley Center Classes

Some entrepreneurship classes offered through the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provide students with funding for business expenses.

  • Farley Center
  • Business expenses support
  • All Northwestern students

Resnick Family Social Impact Program

The Resnick Family Social Impact Program supports student projects that address significant local and global challenges in sustainability and energy.

  • ISEN
  • Up to $25,000 based on past recipients
  • All Northwestern students


VentureCat is an event and showcase celebrating Northwestern’s most promising student-founded startups. The event culminates with a pitch competition in which over $300,000 in prize money is distributed to student ventures.

  • Northwestern
  • $300,000 non-dilutive prize pool
  • All Northwestern students

Undergraduate Students

These programs and opportunities from across Northwestern are open to undergraduate students only.

Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP)

This is a funding source for undergraduates who have accepted an unpaid internship or summer experience in an industry that traditionally does not pay their interns. If you are working on your own startup and can meet supervisor requirements, you may apply.

  • Student Affairs
  • Up to $3,000
  • Undergraduate students

Kellogg Students

These funding opportunities and initiatives are open to Kellogg students only.

Heizer Center Business Plan Competition Reimbursement

The Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital may provide reimbursement to students participating in private equity and venture capital competitions.

  • Kellogg
  • Competitions and expenses support
  • Kellogg students

Kellogg Classes

New Venture classes offered to Kellogg students provide funding for business expenses

  • Kellogg
  • Business expense support up to $3,000
  • Kellogg students

Kellogg Real Estate Venture Challenge

This team-based competition invites MBA students to pitch ideas for real estate ventures to a panel of high-profile judges.

  • KIEI and the Kellogg Real Estate Program
  • Various cash prizes
  • Kellogg students

Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award

The Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award enables students to more feasibly pursue their social venture full time following graduation.

  • Kellogg
  • $70,000
  • Kellogg students

Kellogg Venture Challenge

Sponsored by the Kellogg Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Kellogg Founders in Winter Quarter, the Kellogg Venture Challenge gives students an opportunity to pitch their startup idea and gain valuable feedback from members of the startup and Kellogg School community.

  • Kellogg
  • $10,000 prize pool
  • Kellogg students

Project Impact – Funding for Summer Experiences

Financial support is available for social entrepreneurs working on their ventures full-time over the summer quarter. 

  • Kellogg
  • Up to $7,000
  • Kellogg students

Project Impact – Social Venture Expense Funding

Financial support is available to social entrepreneurs throughout the school year to defray the costs of pursuing a venture.

  • Kellogg
  • Up to $5,000 per quarter
  • Kellogg students

Project Impact – Social Impact Experience Funding

Project Impact covers 80% of pre-approved travel expenses to competitions, conferences, and other educational experiences that are focused on social impact.

  • Kellogg
  • Varies
  • Kellogg students

Zell Fellows Program

The Zell Fellows Program at Kellogg is designed to be a unique, applied entrepreneurial experience for MBA candidates with a passion for new venture creation or the interest in acquiring an existing venture.

  • Kellogg
  • Expenses support
  • Kellogg students


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