Announcing the 2021 Innovation Funding Round

Minnesota State seeks to support student, faculty, and staff innovation that shows great potential for improving teaching, learning, and access for students across its 37 colleges and universities. 

Funded projects will aim to address obstacles to student success by using existing technologies, resources, or practices in innovative ways. Projects that can help support the Minnesota State Equity 2030 initiative are highly encouraged. 

Faculty, staff, and student* innovators are invited to apply for either of two innovation funding grants. 

Large Seed Innovation Grants

In the spirit of the television show “Shark Tank,” selected innovators who apply for a large seed innovation grant will be invited to compete for funding by pitching their innovative project to an “investor panel” (comprised of students, Minnesota State educators, business, and non-profit community members) at the 2021 Shark Tank Open.

This year, the Shark Tank Open will be held virtually over Zoom on April 8, 2021. In preparation for the pitch, individuals or teams will complete an application packet for the panel to review in advance and will be offered presentation coaching to help them prepare for the pitch. 

Small Seed Innovation Grants

Innovators are also invited to apply for small seed innovation grants that focus on piloting, enhancing, or sustaining an innovation program.

All students*, faculty, and staff who are currently enrolled in or employed by a Minnesota State college or university are eligible to submit an application. Applications must be received by 4:00 pm on January 22, 2020 for consideration.

Those interested in learning more about innovation funding opportunities are invited to attend an online information/Q&A session.

  • December 3 @ 1:30 – 2:30 pm
  • December 4 @ 9:00 – 10:00 am

Faculty and staff can find more information, resources, and the application on the Innovation Funding Sharepoint.  Sign in using your StarID@minnstate.edu as your username. 

*Student innovators will need a faculty sponsor in order to apply and access the application. 

View previously funded innovation projects in the Innovation Gallery or read the Stories of Innovation Series in the ASA Newsletter. Shark Tank Open Project Videos are also available on YouTube. 


Questions? Contact Stephen Kelly

To receive updates regarding innovation funding, subscribe to the ASA Newsletter.

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