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What are Spark Grants?

The Olympus Spark Grant Fund helps Project Olympus PROBEs students kick-start their business ideas. Olympus Spark Grant Fund [pdf].

The Olympus Spark Grant fund is available for PROBE students and is funded by charitable gifts from alumni and other community donors. Students submit proposals and practice 'pitching' the donors. Donors play a vital role in helping Olympus evaluate the students' applications and making award decisions. This is an ongoing grant fund where donors can begin their participation at any time.  

More ways to support Project Olympus.

We invite you to join the supporters of Project Olympus. Your contributions will help us support commercialization by our best and brightest as vital to the growth and success of the university, the region, and the nation.
Olympus Core Sponsorship Opportunities [pdf].

  Contact: Brian Peck
  Major Gift Officer 
  (412) 268-1739

Glenn Philen“We applied for a Spark Grant to help get our company off the ground. It gave us the resources we needed to go to a composites conference and build the infrastructure we needed to validate our business idea.”
- Glenn Philen, CEO 
Carbon Freight

Nesra Yannier“Spark Grant has helped me hire a designer to work on the art, design and animation of my project. Also it has allowed me to make a trip to California to do customer discovery, make connections and learn about some funding opportunities."
- Nesra Yannier, CEO NoRILLA

Project Olympus Announces the 2016 Spring Spark Grant Award Winners

Five PROBE Projects were awarded a $5,000 micro-grant from the Olympus Spark Grant Fund. These grants are made possible through charitable contributions from alumni and Friends of Olympus.

Eleanor Haglund, Founder

DC 2016

eebooks is changing the publishing landscape of enhanced e-books. eebooks is developing software that enables writers to easily create media-rich e-books for electronic reading devices.

Torrell DaShawne Jackson, Founder & Investor

TPR 2016

Chiroproktr is an instructional medical device/dummy developed to assist doctors in developing/practicing adjusting techniques for spinal manipulation.

Parag Goel, Founder

ECE, Masters 2016

LogCycle helps schools process visa documents for millions of international students quickly and seamlessly, without touching a sheet of paper.

Austin Webb, CEO

Tepper MBA 2017

Robotany is automating the commercial vertical farming industry by creating mobile robotic solutions that increase labor efficiency by 25 percent, double crop output and provide an unprecedented level of data collection to improve farm operations.

Kerolos Mikaeil, Founder

ECE and Engineering/Public Policy, 2017

VIC provides vendors, such as Coca-Cola, with a mobile application that focuses on providing real-time inventory data. This information decreases the labor costs associated with manually counting inventory and allows sales representatives to spend more time selling.

Spark Grant Donors

Michael Baum
Tony R. Berkman
Roger Byford
Eric C. Cooper
Marcel D. DePaolis
Michael Donohue
Marc C. Guldimann
Adrian Hodges
James Jacob Huttner, M.D., Ph.D.
Theo Nicholas
The Painter Family
Richard and Nancy Waichler

Spark Grant Past Winners

2016 [.pdf]
2015 [.pdf]

2013 [.pdf]

2012 [.pdf]
2011 [.pdf]