The Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University has announced the winners of two pre-seed fund grants to aid in student venture development efforts.
This semester’s winners are Teah Mirabelli, a junior majoring in Theatre with a minor in Entrepreneurial Management, and Mike Demski, a senior majoring in Entrepreneurial Management with a minor in Economics.
The Entrepreneurship Center invites students to apply for competitive grants of up to $2,500 per student, per semester. The grants can be used for a broad range of purposes designed to advance venture development and reach milestones including, but not limited to, securing intellectual property, prototype development, product validation, or competing in external competitions to raise awareness or additional funds.
The pre-seed fund application is open to any Ball State student.
“For many students, the financial burden of prototype development, customer validation, and so many other stages of venture development halt their entrepreneurial efforts,” said Krystal Geyer, assistant director of Ball State’s Entrepreneurship Center. “By offering these pre-seed funds, we can alleviate that concern and encourage students to test their ideas while simultaneously pursuing their education. It can be very impactful.”
Mirabelli is working on a concept for magnetic nails and will use her pre-seed award to continue developing her prototype. She first came up with her idea in fall and placed third in the Innovation Connector’s BIG Idea Pitch competition.
Demski has been working on his venture for the last two years. After his grandfather passed away, Mike was motivated to honor his legacy in a way that did not involve feeling sad, which led to Reflect, an alternative funeral service that takes a loved one’s ashes and makes them a trackable star in the night sky.
“I think I have a really good path on how to move this forward now,” Demiski said upon being selected for the pre-seed funding.