AWARE POC Grant Applications Available

August 03, 2017
Category: Research Park

AWARE (Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs) will fund up to $5,000 for teams to create a minimum viable product. 

The goal of the AWARE (Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs) POC grant program is to provide participants funding that will enable them to build a viable prototype that will accelerate commercialization. Applications will be evaluated based on 1) the project’s ability to successfully prepare the technology for an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) proposal and 2) the project's ability to be executed within the requested budget and timeframe. Teams will be provided with UP TO $5,000 grants of proof-of-concept funding.

To qualify, teams must be led by a PI from an underrepresented group. Awards will be granted to teams that can demonstrate a need, true commercial potential of the idea, and that there is reasonable potential that the project can be completed within the project deadline. 

- Awardees must have a University of Illinois affiliation (faculty, staff, student.) 
- Awardees must comply with University rules. 
- Awardees must submit a detailed budget to be included in their award agreement (a budget is required for this application, but it does not have to be as precise.)
- Award recipients will deliver a one-page final report by a deadline agreed to in their award agreements.
- Award recipients will be required to give a final presentation, in person. 
- Awardees will be required to meet with EnterpriseWorks EIRs to ensure that they are meeting milestones and making progress, a minimum of twice. 

- Grant money cannot be used for salaries, stipends and/or honorariums.
- Grant money cannot be used for permanent equipment.  

Applications will be due on August 25, 2017, with awards made by September 5. Applicants will have three months from award to completion to spend the money. For questions and more information, contact Research Park associate director Laura Weisskopf Bleill (

The AWARE (Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs) program is a collaboration between the College of Engineering and the EnterpriseWorks incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park, and is being funded by the National Science Foundation.

To apply and for more information, click here: