2014-15 E-Team Program


Next E-Team Stage 1 Deadline: October 3, 2014

Click here to view our most recently funded E-Teams.

The E-Team Program provides early-stage support and funding of up to $75,000 for collegiate entrepreneurs working on market-based technology inventions. Teams must be affiliated with a NCIIA Member Institution to apply.

Since 1995, our E-Team grants have been funding collegiate student and student/faculty teams to move ideas out of the lab and classroom and into the marketplace. The program enhances this opportunity by providing expert entrepreneurial and venture coaching, experiential workshops, and a potential investment opportunity to help realize the commercial success of the technology inventions and innovations that come through our organization.

Selected E-Team Program participants may also be invited to exhibit their technologies at Open Minds, the annual showcase of breakthrough technologies from NCIIA's top student teams. The 2015 Open Minds exhibition will be held in Washington DC, March 20-21 during NCIIA's annual conference, OPEN.

E-Team Program Stages

Stage 1 provides funding of $5,000 to attend a three-day workshop on market analysis and value proposition development. The focus of Stage 1 is to better articulate the opportunity for the innovation in the marketplace and to develop near-term milestones.  Remaining funds may be used to support further development of your project/product.

Stage 2 provides additional funding of up to $20,000. A required, intensive workshop helps teams further develop their business model. Six monthly sessions of coaching follow the workshop, guiding the team from confirmation to execution of their business model.

Stage 3 Eligible Stage 2 teams may be invited to participate in Stage 3, which focuses on helping teams develop a “lens of the investor” perspective and culminates in a venture forum to present to potential investors. NCIIA will invest up to $50,000 in two to three Stage 3 teams per year, typically in the form of convertible debt.

Stage 3 is currently conducted in association with our partner Village Capital.

At this time Stage 3 is designed for for-profit ventures only. Two sector-specific sections will be offered each year: one in the winter for teams working on cleantech devices, and one in the summer for teams working on biomedical and/or health-related devices.

What's an E-Team?

NCIIA defines an E-Team as a multidisciplinary group of students, faculty, and industry mentors working together to bring a technology-based invention (product or service) to market. The "E" stands for entrepreneurship.

E-Team Program submission deadlines:

  • October 3, 2014
  • February 6, 2015
  • May 8, 2015

Program guidelines

Read the guidelines before you apply!
The answers to most of your questions are in the program guidelines---program details and deadlines; information about how to apply; examples of eligible technologies; selection criteria and more. 

Is the E-Team Program for you?

Students and faculty from NCIIA member institutions (US-based colleges and universities) are welcome to apply. Please note: funding is awarded to institutions (universities or colleges), not directly to individuals or teams. Submissions are evaluated by external panels of reviewers and will be judged on the following:

  • Technology innovation and feasibility
  • Business model and commercial potential
  • Team composition, commitment, expertise, and institutional support
  • Positive benefit to society and/or environmental impact

Not sure your technology is a fit? First, read the guidelines: http://nciia.org/eteam_guidelines. Still not sure? Email us a short abstract (one paragraph) and we'll review it and let you know! Send your paragraph to eteams@nciia.org. Please send it at least two weeks before the deadline so we have time to read and respond, and you have time to get your proposal in!


How to apply

Click here to apply. Detailed instructions and information about the application process can be found in the program guidelines.

You may preview a PDF of the online application here. 
PLEASE NOTE: this PDF includes screen shots of NCIIA's five-step proposal process. The proposal content shown may vary slightly from the E-Team Program proposal, but steps for the application are the same. This PDF is for preview purposes only.

Contact us

Questions? Contact us: grants@nciia.org or call 413-587-2172.