External Funding Opportunities

Research Funding

Unpitch: 2024 Innovation Tour

Unpitch provides a unique opportunity for emerging founders to engage directly with experienced venture capitalists in a supportive, no-pressure environment. This distinctive platform is designed not for traditional pitches but for meaningful conversations that provide startups valuable feedback, guidance, and networking opportunities. Prioritizing early-stage startups without prior accelerator or investor involvement, Unpitch requires at least one representative from each startup to participate in person. Over the years, Unpitch has consistently fostered impactful connections, hosting 20-50 VCs and founders at each event, facilitating genuine dialogues.

This year, Unpitch is hosting an Innovation Tour spanning six diverse sectors: TECH, FINTECH, FRONTIER, HEALTH, BIOMED, and RI. Founders are encouraged to apply for this series of events to seize this opportunity for growth and engagement.

Event Dates:
  • Unpitch HEALTH (Event Date - 6/12/24 @ Boston)
  • Unpitch BIOMED (Event Date - 7/10/24 @ Boston)

Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative

Due Date: June 14, 2024 at 4 p.m. EST
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is dedicated to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable life sciences ecosystem. To further this commitment, the Massachusetts Next Generation (MassNextGen) Initiative is expanding to support a broader range of entrepreneurs.Awardees will receive a year-long package of non-dilutive grant funding, mentorship from seasoned life sciences professionals, and the opportunity to refine business strategies and raise capital. The program concludes with a pitch event with sponsors, awardees, and venture capital representatives.Eligibility:
  • The applicant company must be based in Massachusetts, registered to do business there, and have the majority of employees in the state. Certificates of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue are required.
  • The company must be led by an underrepresented entrepreneur from one of several specified groups, including but not limited to Arab American, Asian American, Black, Female, Hispanic, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, individuals with disabilities, neurodiverse individuals, refugees, immigrants, socially disadvantaged individuals, or veterans.
  • The applicant must be open to executive coaching, including receiving feedback, and commit to attending coaching sessions in Massachusetts throughout the program year.

Carbon To Value Initiative

Due Date: June 21,2024
The Carbon to Value (C2V) Initiative Year 4 is a collaboration among the Urban Future Lab at NYU-Tandon, Greentown Labs, and Fraunhofer USA, with support from the US Department of Energy and the Carbontech Leadership Council (CLC).This global accelerator program allows startups to connect with industry leaders and experts shaping the carbontech market. Selected startups will gain market insights and collaboration opportunities and present their strategies directly to CLC members. The program includes:
  • Participation in a six-month accelerator program with customized programming to address technology development challenges and bridge to carbontech markets.
  • Collaboration opportunities with the Carbontech Leadership Council and industry-leading multinational corporations.
  • Access to the C2V Initiative’s rich network of mentors and resources from the Urban Future Lab, Greentown Labs, and Fraunhofer networks, including incubator memberships.
  • A $10,000 stipend per selected startup to support their participation in the accelerator.
Global Participation and Event Details:
  • Applicants may apply from anywhere in the world.
  • Events will occur in person in New York City, Boston, Houston, and virtually.
  • A $10,000 stipend will be given to each selected startup to help cover expenses associated with travel and any other program activities.

TiE Women Program 2024

Due Date: June 30,2024 09:30 AM
Applications are now open for the TiE Women Program 2024, offering a global platform for women founders to present their innovative business ideas.
Women entrepreneurs with a passion for innovation and impact are encouraged to apply. This program provides visibility, networking opportunities with industry leaders and investors, and valuable mentorship.Eligibility:
  • Female-founded or co-founded startups only, with the female co-founder(s) having at least 33% equity.
  • Businesses must be under seven years old (registered after Jan 1, 2017).
  • Preference for startups seeking funding.
  • Idea Stage Startups are not eligible.
TiE Women reserves the right to make application decisions to support their mission.

Global EdTech Startup Awards

Due Date: NONE; rolling application

The Global EdTech Startups Awards (GESAwards) represents the largest global competition and community for educational technology, involving over 6,000 startups from more than 130 countries since its inception in 2014. The awards aim to foster international collaboration and global expansion within the EdTech sector, offering startups from diverse regions the opportunity to showcase their innovations globally, connect with industry leaders, and potentially win the title Edtech Startup of the Year. The program includes regional semifinals leading up to a final event in London each January and a two-day boot camp providing finalists with significant networking and growth opportunities. Startups at various stages are encouraged to apply, especially those with products ready for the market but not yet widely distributed.

HULT Prize

The 2023/2024 Hult Prize program cycle has been launched, inviting students globally to participate in a challenge that combines competition with a cause. This program encourages young entrepreneurs to develop startups that address critical global issues, fostering a spirit of social entrepreneurship. This prestigious program enables students to develop startups with the potential for real-world impact, offering a chance to join a global network of peers, mentors, and experts. Competitors strive to reach the Global Finals, with a grand prize of $1 million in funding to realize their innovative ideas.

Participants can elevate an existing startup or create a new venture through this program. To be eligible, you must be a currently enrolled student in a degree program, part of a team of 3-5 members from the same university (with an allowance for one member from a different institution), and at least 18 years old. Engage in this opportunity to bring your impactful business ideas to life with the Hult Prize.

The Equity Fund Grant- General

Due Date: NONE; rolling application

Explore the Equity Fund, presented by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, dedicated to empowering Black-owned businesses in Greater Boston. With a particular focus on entrepreneurs from Cambridge and Somerville, this initiative seeks to strengthen long-term racial and economic equity through grants and low-interest loans. The Equity Fund is set to provide initial technical assistance grants aimed at the development and sustainability of Black enterprises in Cambridge, Somerville, and the broader Greater Boston region. Dive into this opportunity to support and grow your business.

Power Forward Small Business Grant

Due Date: NONE; rolling application

The Power Forward Small Business Grant is targeted at black-owned small businesses that can showcase how they intend to use the grant to further their impact on their community. Approved applicants receive $25k in funding, along with the opportunity to be featured in natural programming and resources for both marketing and design. There is no deadline; rewards are granted on a rolling basis.

More information

Seed Investments Program

Deadline: Rolling
The Seed Investments Program is a two-stage investment program that provides up to $250,000 in convertible notes to pre-seed or seed-stage clean energy startups. The program exists to support companies as they advance and commercialize clean energy technologies and business models.

Venture Lane | Connex

Deadline: Rolling
Venture Lane is piloting a new virtual membership in Q2 called Venture Lane Connect. The membership will enable B2B startup founders based in Boston to tap into Venture Lane’s curated network, weekly programming focused on go-to-market strategy, $400K in perks like AWS and Microsoft Azure, and other resources for early-stage growth. Interested B2B startup founders and their teams can sign up for the private beta in the below button.

Procter & Gamble Ventures

Deadline: Rolling

P&G Ventures is an early stage startup studio within Procter & Gamble that partners with entrepreneurs to  accelerate billion dollar ideas that improve consumers’ lives. Focus areas include nontoxic home and garden, women’s health, anti-aging, daily wellness, and cleaning/sanitizing.

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Seed Investments

Deadline: Rolling

The Seed Investments Program is a two-stage investment program that provides up to $250,000 in convertible notes to pre-seed or seed-stage clean energy startups. The program exists to support companies as they advance and commercialize clean energy technologies and business models.Massachusetts-based applicants whose primary business fits the MassCEC definition of “clean energy” (defined in the MassCEC Enabling Legislation), and that are currently based in, or intend to relocate to Massachusetts, are eligible to apply.

.406 Ventures Fellowship

For: Undergraduate and graduate-student entrepreneurs
Rolling Deadlines

The .406 Ventures Student Fellowship is a two-year program for exceptional student entrepreneurs. Selected students are given access to mentorship from experienced venture capitalists, $20k+ in vendor credits, and a dedicated network of founders. Former fellows have gone on to IPOs, acquisitions, and top companies such as Google and Amazon. Please note that this fellowship is only for students who have already started a company or plan to within the next two years; students with a primary interest in Venture Capital should look elsewhere. To apply, you must have at least two years left at your current academic institution.

For more information

U.S. Deptartment of Health and Human Services ENACT Funding

For: University researchers in a range of disciplines, including data science, epidemiology, biochemistry, and more
Deadline: Rolling

Rapid diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases are critical to both the patient and the broader community. Early Notification to Act, Control, and Treat (ENACT) partners with innovators to develop disruptive technologies that detect, prognosticate outcomes, and enable early intervention following exposures to both natural and man-made infectious threats.

P&G Venture Studio

Rolling Deadlines

Are you an inventor, entrepreneur, or startup founder interested in accessing the resources, networks, and knowledge of a multibillion-dollar company? If so, you may be interested in applying for a partnership with the Procter & Gamble studio. They are specifically interested in startups in the fields of chronic conditions, non-toxic home and garden, personal performance, male and female wellness, sleep, active aging, or menopause with patents or pathways for such.

They describe themselves as a different type of Venture Capital firm that is interested in a partnership rather than a traditional VC investment. Many of the details of said partnership are left up in the air and open for negotiation.

Women-led startups funded by Female Founders Club

Rolling Deadlines
The Female Founders Fund invests in women-led startups that are impacting e-commerce, web-enabled products and services, marketplaces, and platforms.

NIH Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE): Assay Development and Neurotherapeutic Agent Identification

Rolling Deadlines
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages research grant applications to develop in vitro and/or ex vivo assays and conduct iterative screening efforts to identify and characterize potential therapeutic agents for neurological disorders. 

iFundWomen Boston

Rolling Deadlines

Join iFundWomen if you are a Boston-area women-led startup to fundraise for your business and get your ideas launched.