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Bobcat Seed Fund

The Center for Entrepreneurship exists to help students from anywhere in the OHIO community get relevant, authentic experience and make an impact – as innovators, entrepreneurs, and social-change makers. Nothing the Center does better exemplifies that purpose than the Bobcat Seed Fund.

Established in the fall of 2018, the Bobcat Seed Fund is operated by students for students. Student entrepreneurs – from any major, any college, undergrad, or graduate student – can apply for grants up to $3,000 to start or grow their new ventures. Applications are reviewed and evaluated by an investment committee made up entirely of students. The process is competitive – not all applications can receive funding – but the seed fund team and the Center try to help all who apply.

Since its inception, the Bobcat Seed Fund has supported a variety of different business ventures, giving its recipients new opportunities to jump-start their careers, graduate debt-free, or enter emerging markets. We are proud of all of our recipients. Our biggest win to date is Matt Benson and eFuse – which won the seed fund’s first grant, has raised $7.4MM to date, and is enjoying explosive growth.

On the Student Investment Committee, we’ve been fortunate to have some of the best and brightest at OHIO be part of that team. Our alumni are early in great careers at places like Apple, Citi, Dell, the Ohio Innovation Fund, Salesforce, K1 Operations, Yale and the University of Michigan (for grad school), and more…

See below to learn more about the Bobcat Seed Fund’s prior investments and the Student Investment Committee.

 

 

Success Stories

To date, the Bobcat Seed Fund has backed 13 student entrepreneurs. Check them out below.

 

Student Investment Committee

When a student applies to the Bobcat Seed Fund, the Student Investment Committee reviews it (usually within about a week). The Investment Committee then decides whether or not to invite the student entrepreneur(s) to meet with the team and discuss their business in more depth. Typically, student entrepreneurs have about 10 minutes to present their business, followed by about 20 minutes of Q&A. Investment/grant decisions are typically made in the same semester a student applies. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis (there's no formal deadline). However, because of the nature of the academic calendar, decisions can be delayed if applications come in late in the semester. Earlier tends to be better. 

 

Meet the Student Investment Committee below...

About the Bobcat Seed Fund

The Bobcat Seed Fund is provided by Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and is available to all current Ohio University students regardless of their major or field of study. The Fund Provides grants to current Ohio University students or student teams who have identified a business opportunity or, preferably, have already started a business and can demonstrate several important things:

  1. Team: A talented founder or team of founders who can demonstrate commitment, relevant experience and skills, and passion for their business idea or proposal
  2. Business Description: A clear and concise statement of the business opportunity and idea
  3. Value Proposition: A compelling statement of the business “value proposition.” Why should a customer buy this particular good or service? What is the unique or differentiating benefit to the target customer or market?
  4. Target Market: Description of the target customer or user and the size of the need or problem being addressed by the business. Why is this an attractive market (segment of users)? What market segments will you pursue?
  5. Goals: What are the short-term and long-term goals for the business? What milestones do you hope to achieve?
  6. Use of Funds: What is the proposed use of funds and what objectives would the money, goods, or services help the team achieve? Examples might include legal or accounting services, creation of a prototype, website, or software development.

Apply Today!

Student Investment Committee Alumni: