Carnegie Mellon University

Mentorship & Funding

Receive developmental and financial support for your ideas

Whether it's receiving mentorship during office hours or being awarded seed funding to kick off your idea, The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship helps you and your business idea grow.

Mentorship Programs for Students, Faculty and Staff

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Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship is honored to have entrepreneurs from around the community in-house to provide guidance through their expertise. Mentors include successful CMU alumni, angel investors, business leaders and innovators whose depth of knowledge covers all aspects of the startup experience and entrepreneurship culture.

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McGinnis Ventures - Feedback & Coaching

The McGinnis Ventures Competition not only provides an opportunity to pitch an idea, it's also an excellent venue to collect feedback on your approach, presentation and ideas. Competitors are also assigned a coach — distinguished entrepreneurs, investors and CMU alumni — to help guide them through the competition.

Learn more about the McGinnis Ventures Competition

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Swartz Center Office Hours Program

Come in to get insights from experts on better ways to design your product, devise a sales strategy, overcome a startup milestone and more. Visit our events calendar to find an Office Hour that matches your specific hurdle.

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VentureBridge

Run by the College of Engineering, VentureBridge is designed to help student teams transition their concepts developed at the university to a startup. The goal is to help teams to validate proof of concept, acquire customers and get to the next stage of their company. The effort serves as a bridge between the educational and startup environments, while giving entrepreneurs at Carnegie Mellon access to unique resources at the university’s Silicon Valley campus.

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Funding Opportunities

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Federal Funding - NSF I-Corps

I-Corps builds upon Carnegie Mellon's demonstrated strengths in fusing technology and entrepreneurship, in broadening participation for underrepresented groups and in collaborating with regional stakeholders. Our Site program recruits exploratory business ventures started by faculty, staff, students and alumni, training 30 Site Teams each academic year to accelerate business exploration and creation. 

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McGinnis Ventures - Funding

In addition to being a great platform to receive mentorship, the McGinnis Ventures Competition at CMU allows winners to ignite their startup ideas with up to $60K in investment funds.

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Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund

OFEF is a new, groundbreaking model for providing early-stage business financing to CMU alumni who have graduated within the past five years. The OFEF is not a business plan competition in which only entrepreneurs with the best ideas receive funding. Instead, it's open to recent CMU graduates who have the desire to become entrepreneurs and to contribute to the university’s innovation ecosystem.

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Project Olympus - Spark Grants

The Olympus Spark Grant Fund helps Olympus PROBE students kick-start their business ideas. Every semester, students submit proposals and pitch their ideas to investors, with winning PROBEs going on to receive funds. The funds are provided by charitable gifts from alumni and other community donors.

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Gap Funding

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship may have opportunity for startup funding outside its competitions and traditional funding programs. Please contact the Swartz Center to learn more.