Founder Grant

The Magnuson Center Founder Grants facilitates the start and development of Dartmouth-founded ideas. The Founder Grant awards up to $5,000 to an individual or team. Successful applications will demonstrate entrepreneurial plans, exhibit solid background research of the idea, and have high commitment to both learning and executing on their ideas.

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Important Dates:

Spring 24:

  • Applications will open Wednesday, May 1.
  • Deadline to apply will be Wednesday, May 15 at 11:59pm ET.
  • If selected for an interview, you will receive an email notification by eod Friday, May 17.
  • Applicants will be notified of final decisions by eod Friday, May 31.

Fall 24:

  • Details to be posted prior to the beginning of the term.



Founder Grants are open to enrolled full-time undergraduate and graduate Dartmouth students, Dartmouth faculty, and Dartmouth staff who are either the founder or one of the co-founders of the venture. A maximum of one Founder Grant per primary applicant per academic year, regardless of venture, will be granted. Preference is given to ventures with primary applicants who have not yet received funding.


Required Application Items:

  1. Online Application (The Google Forms application will require signing in with your Dartmouth@Google account for file uploads)
  2. Pitch deck of 10-20 slides (including funding ask and founder headshots)


Evaluation Criteria:

  1. Strength of team: commitment to learn and execute
  2. Problem definition
  3. Market opportunity
  4. Quality of product or service (value proposition)
  5. Credibility of business model
  6. Clear definition of action plan (objectives vs. timeline, use of funds)


Important Notes:

  • All recipients must provide any necessary information or documentation within one month of award notification or any and all monies awarded will be forfeited. If receiving an award, checks must be deposited within 90 days to avoid loss of funds. Checks will not be reissued.
  • International students should check with OVIS regarding any possible conflicts pertaining to working or operating a business.
  • Grant recipients will be required to submit a one-page writeup at the end of the following term detailing how the funds were used and what learnings were gained during that period.

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