The Eagle Entrepreneurs’ Fund is a critical Center program that provides a source of cash to accepted student/alumni business ventures. The Fund will provide AU business teams the opportunity to apply for modest, early stage seed funding. This supports critical activities such as: building out a Proof of Concept, prototype development/refinement, beta testing of the product/service, obtaining customer feedback to assist in improvements, and other appropriate early stage activities.
AU business teams who run for-profit businesses are eligible for funds up to $15,000; non-profit enterprises are eligible for funding up to $7,500. Students are encouraged to leverage the investment as part of a larger funding round, as a 1:1 match is required.
All Fund applicants are advised to consult their own legal, accounting, tax or other professional service advice.
Fund Investment Criteria
The student Fund application investment criteria is as follows:
Promise and ability to address the problem the new venture has identified
Documentation of the product/service’s need and any early target market customer views on the venture’s product or service
Ability to reach target market and grow sales/revenue
Competitive advantage issues and strategic differentiation
Venture founder(s) and leadership team commitment, relevant knowledge/skills, and experience
Business plan and implementation plan for new venture
Likelihood of new venture to break even; gain positive cash flow; generate attractive gross margins; and produce an attractive return on investment within 18 months
Total amount requested, and uses and expected outcomes, with a time line for milestones
The overall goal of providing internal funds is to facilitate early-stage product or service development for ventures with a high potential for success. It is expected that the investment will serve as a catalyst for additional funds. The fund will also serve as a “graduation” for businesses as the investment will help put the ventures on a pathway to sustainability.