Funding for Entrepreneurs (and We Don’t Mean Venture Capital)

Mar 13, 2012

While on our recent university tour, I was asked by several students if there are any fellowships for entrepreneurs. In fact, there are quite few.

Entrepreneurs seeking funding for their ideas, particularly ideas that border on community service, don’t necessarily need to go to Silicon Valley for venture capital. We define fellowships as competitive, short-term, funded opportunities to pursue a project, conduct research, enhance professional skills and pursue higher education. In other words, funding to do something exceptional. Here are some great fellowship opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and established startups.

  1. Venture for America Fellowship – 2 years, stipend, placement at a startup, $100K prize
  2. KPCB Engineering Fellows Program – 3 months, salary
  3. Code for America Fellowship – 11 months, salary, travel, health
  4. Detroit Revitalization Fellowship – 2 years, salary
  5. The Thiel Fellowship – 2 years, $100K
  6. Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation – 3 years, $300K
  7. Echoing Green Fellowship – 2 years, $90K
  8. Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship – startup funding, varies
  9. Unreasonable Fellowship – 6 weeks, stipend
  10. Ashoka – varies
  11. Acumen Fund Fellowship – 1 year, stipend
  12. REDF Farber Fellowship – 1 year, stipend
  13. IDEX Fellowship – 10 months, stipend
  14. Open Society Black Male Achievement Fellowship – 18 months, $70K
  15. Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship – $10K
  16. Mind Trust Education Entrepreneur Fellowship – 2 years, salary, training, travel, mentorship
  17. IDEO Fellowship – 11 months, salary
  18. PopTech Social Innovation Fellowship – multi-day intensive program, all expenses paid
  19. Rainer Arnold Fellows Program – annual/ongoing, $10K/year
  20. Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship – 2 weeks, stipend

This is by no means a complete list of entrepreneurship fellowships, however we hope it’s enough to whet your appetite for now. We’re in the process of building a much more exciting and comprehensive database of fellowship opportunities. If you’re interested in getting an early peek, make sure to sign up for our private beta.