An opportunity for any UND student or alumni to advance their business idea.
Runway is powered by the Center for Innovation's (CFI) Start-up Fund and The Nistler College of Business & Public Administration. This is a two-phase program that combines start-up training, mentorship by dedicated staff & faculty, networking with peers and industry experts, and up to $10,000 in mini-grant funding to support UND student/alumni ventures. Runway is offered to any UND student or alumni during the UND academic year and in the summer.
The first phase of Runway is seven weeks, focused on discovering the best market fit for your innovative idea, and answers the difficult questions innovators and entrepreneurs face. Students can use up to $1,000 (of their potential $10,000) to discover:
- Who is my customer?
- Does my idea address a pain point for someone else?
- How do I explain the value of my idea?
- Would someone pay for my idea?
- Is my idea scalable?
To move forward to Phase Two, participants must complete the following:
- Register their business
- Complete at least 25 customer interviews
- Design a business model
- Successfully pitch their business model for the mini-grant to a panel of reviewers
Disclaimer: Advancement from Phase One to Phase Two is NOT guaranteed for all applicants. The selection of which ideas will move from Phase One to Phase Two is up to the discretion of the pitch panel and Runway mentors.
Students invited to phase two must complete all requirements of Phase One and are eligible to receive the remainder of the $10,000 in grant funding toward their business. Before starting Phase Two, all businesses must be registered and provide their Employer Identification Number (EIN) on their application.
Phase Two also includes:
- Weekly office hours with CFI staff, Nistler faculty, and industry mentors
- Every other week learning modules with speakers
- Monthly cohort meetings
Disclaimer: The grant awarded in Phase Two has restrictions on expenses. An agreement will be written between student businesses and CFI to outline expectations and allowable expenses. Examples of not eligible expenses include office equipment, meals, employee wages, personal compensation, or in-kind labor.
Runway is currently eligible for ANY current UND student.
How to Apply
Use the link below to fill out the Runway program phase one application for the Runway program. CFI staff members will review applications. All applicants will be notified of their status via email. If you are accepted into the program, your notification email will include programmatic details and next steps.
If you have questions regarding the Runway Start-up Fund, please contact: