Student Venture Fund

What is The Student Venture Fund?

The Student Venture Fund provides early-stage student ventures with preliminary funds to assist with typical startup expenses including professional services, market research, web services, technology tools, and marketing. 

How do I qualify to receive funding?

Students pursuing ventures with high potential social or economic impact collaborate with the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship to prepare a thorough business plan and organize the business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) registered in North Carolina. After that, each qualified student venture presents its vision and plans to the Fund Advisory Board (FAB) that assess projects on a predetermined set of metrics including:


The FAB determines if the student business is appropriately prepared to receive and use preliminary funding to accelerate the project through the initial development stages.  If the venture is reviewed and approved by the FAB, each fund usage plan and student ventures will be held accountable for spending the money in accordance with the plan and agreed upon schedule.

Who makes up the Fund Advisory Board?

The Fund Advisory Board (FAB) is comprised of successful entrepreneurs who will take an active role in the selection and mentoring of fund recipients. The FAB members will engage students with their networks and contacts, provide access to resources and markets, and share insight that will help student ventures demonstrate a proof of concept and validate their business models. Ultimately, the program will prepare student ventures to pursue additional funding through regional angel networks.

How did the Student Venture fund come to be?

The fund was initiated by Appalachian alumnus Steve Norwood to support early-stage student ventures. The fund continues to grow through contributions from Appalachian alumni and community members interested in supporting promising student entrepreneurs.