DEN Founder Grants


"Before starting my student career at Dartmouth College, I was already pursuing a career in business and entrepreneurship. I founded GiftAMeal during my senior year of High School and feared having to balance college-level schoolwork with my venture. The DEN Innovation Center provided me with an alternative space and alternative resources fit for student entrepreneurs. Without a space and network concentrated on growing the next generation of Dartmouth Startups, GiftAMeal would not be the successful social-impact startup it is today."

 – Aidan Folbe ’19

Founder and COO, GiftAMeal


Apply today for a grant of up to $5,000

Fall term applications are due by 11:59am on Monday, February 26.   


DEN Founder Grants, part of DEN's seed funding portfolio, facilitates the start and development of Dartmouth-founded ventures. DEN Founders Grants award up to $5,000. Successful applicant teams have ambitious entrepreneurial plans, exhibit solid background research of the idea, and demonstrate high commitment to both learning and executing on their ideas.

Evaluators will mostly focus on the following qualities:

1. Strength of the team

2. Size and growth of the market

3. Quality of the product or service (value proposition)

4. Credibility of the business model

5. Clear definition of an action plan for the term (objectives vs. timeline)

6. Team commitment to learn and execute


At this time, DEN 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 DEN Founder Grant per primary applicant per academic year, regardless of venture, will be granted.

Preference is give to those primary applicants who have not yet received funding.

DEN currently provides three progressive seed funding opportunities:

1. The Pitch

2. DEN Founder Grant

3. Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forums

If a venture receives funding from a program they are ineligible to apply for an earlier stage program.

For example, if a venture applies for and receives a DEN Founder Grant they are ineligible to apply for The Pitch in the future. If they apply for and win at Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum, they are ineligible for The Pitch and DEN Founder Grant programs in the future.

Required items to apply:

1. Online application

2. Pitch deck of 10-20 slides

3. Company logo (can be a mock-up)

4. Founder(s) head shots

5. Two-minute pitch video

6. Possible 15 minute interview. 


Fall term applications are due by 11:59am on Monday, February 26. 


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.