UVA Darden Supports Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Projects Through New Grants Program

By Derry Wade

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced the Batten Innovation Grants program, providing financial support to Darden student-led, early stage entrepreneurial projects. The program, administered by the Batten Institute, is open to currently enrolled Darden students in both the Full-Time MBA and Executive MBA formats.

Grants are available at three different levels of funding, depending on the stage of development for the student’s entrepreneurial project: Explore Grants ($250), Create Grants ($500) and Innovate Grants ($2,500).

Any current Darden MBA student is eligible to apply during five annual grant application cycles. Applications for Create and Innovate Grants will be reviewed by a new student-led Innovation Grants Committee (IGC), which gives Darden students an opportunity to hone their skills in evaluating early stage startups. Darden students from all industry backgrounds who are interested in serving on the IGC are invited to apply online.

The new grants program and selection committee are the latest additions to a suite of offerings for student entrepreneurs from the Batten Institute, including an incubator program, a weekly seminar, competitions, advising and mentoring, and several networking opportunities. This new program also complements the offerings in venture capital recently announced through Darden’s new Venture Capital Initiative.

“We are thrilled to offer two more ways for entrepreneurially-minded students at Darden to advance their goals through this new grants program,” said Sean Carr, executive director of the Batten Institute. “Not only will our student entrepreneurs have access to immediate financial support for their emerging ideas and budding ventures, but also, students who are interested in gaining experience in early-stage investing will have an opportunity to learn best practices for evaluating the potential of early-stage ventures through serving on the selection committee.”

Batten Innovation Grant recipients may use funds for expenses directly related to developing an entrepreneurial idea or new venture, such as: to build, test, and develop prototypes; purchase market-research services; access technical and legal support resources; and/or engage software developers or engineers.

All Darden students working on an approved project also have access to the new Darden Makerspace, including two 3D-printers and other fabrication equipment, in Darden’s i.Lab to develop physical prototypes as needed.

Applications for Batten Innovation Grants will be accepted beginning 12 September. Learn More

The new makerspace in the Darden Classroom Building includes 3-D printers and plenty of room to create.
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia