Student Innovation Fund Application

Student Innovation Fund Application

The ISU Student Innovation Fund enables student teams to experience the innovation process through experimentation, interdisciplinary collaboration and the free exchange of ideas in an inclusive and diverse environment resulting in a meaningful impact. The objective of the Student Innovation Fund is to bring together the physical and programmatic resources of the Iowa State University Student Innovation Center with funding to facilitate learning beyond what the classroom alone can provide. Fund distributions are intended to incentivize interdisciplinary student teams with financial support. Student teams may submit requests for funding to the Student Innovation Fund Committee, which will convene each spring to evaluate proposals for funding for the coming academic year.


Proposed projects are encouraged to encompass some or all of the following features:

  • Imagine solutions to societal problems
  • Collaborate across disciplinary areas of engineering, design and business
  • Create a minimal viable product or service

Proposal Requirements and Recommendations

Student teams are encouraged to self-initiate and should consist of the following:

  • A majority of full-time undergraduate students, and may include part-time undergraduate and/or post-graduate students in good standing at the Iowa State University.
  • Demonstrate diversity in academic focus, race and gender.

Funding may be used for travel, market research, samples, parts, equipment or supplies. Funding may not be used for clothing, food and beverages or stipends for students and/or faculty. Proposals must include a budget for requested allowable expenditures.

Timing and Logistics

Proposals will be accepted until Friday, March 6th, 2020. Teams will be notified no later than Monday, March 23 if they are chosen as finalists. Teams selected as finalists will be required to participate in a pitch competition, which will be held April 1st or 2nd, 2020. Each finalist team should prepare a 10-minute oral presentation (“pitch”) of the proposed project, followed by Q&A from the evaluation committee. More details will be provided about the competition upon notification of teams’ selection. The selection process is competitive and only a limited number of teams will be picked to participate in the pitch competition. In the initial 2020 year, a total of up to $10,000 is available for funding. Multiple recipients may be selected for funding at the discretion of the committee. Recipients will be expected to report on their use of funds and provide occasional updates to committee. In addition to being supported to meet their fullest potential, teams are also encouraged to volunteer and share their experiences with others and are challenged to give back their time and expertise for continued innovative impact, including supporting key events and programs associated with the Student Innovation Center. A representative from the team may also be asked to serve on the Student Innovation Fund selection committee the following year.

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