Seed Grant Program

Many students at Lewis & Clark are entrepreneurs who identify problems, invent solutions, and develop transformative goods and services. In order to provide the initial financial spark these students need to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions, alumnus Gerry Fischer provided funding for the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership (the “Bates Center”) to create the Seed Grant Program.

This program is open to Lewis & Clark students enrolled at the College of Arts & Sciences. Students interested in applying for funding should fill out a Seed Grant Proposal Form (the “Proposal”) and send an electronic copy to Catarina Hunter, Associate Director of the Bates Center, at Proposals may be reviewed by the Bates Center Advisory Board. There is no temporal restriction on Proposals; the Bates Center staff and others they may select (“Review Panel”) will review Proposals regularly throughout the year. Initial grants of up to $2,000 (the “Seed Grant Funds”) will be awarded to students based on viability, and impact, as well as other factors including lived experiences. The Advisory Board may provide input and the Director will make the final approval decision. The Director may elect to ask follow up questions before making a decision. 

  1. Funding through the Seed Grant Program is available to Lewis & Clark students who are enrolled and in good standing at the College of Arts and Sciences at the time the proposal is submitted; and (ii) when funding is initially disbursed (a “Qualifying Student”). In the event of concurrent filings, proposals submitted by students who have participated in Winterim will be reviewed before those submitted by students who have not participated in Winterim. 
  2. Proposals may be submitted by a team of individuals – in which case at least one member of the team must be a Qualifying Student.
  3. All applicants should intend to use Seed Grant Funds to pay for costs that support the development or research of the entrepreneurial endeavor outlined in their Proposal.
  • Proposals must be type-written. Hand-written proposals will not be considered.
  • Seed Grant Funds cannot be used for salaries, stipends, general equipment (e.g. computers, iPads, printers), or travel without the explicit approval of the Review Panel and the Director.
  • Funds must be used directly on the venture, not for professional development, even if it could lead to the start of a venture. 
  • The Review Panel and the Director will be tasked with monitoring the use of Seed Grant Funds. All recipients of Seed Grant Funds agree to submit quotes, receipts, periodic reports and/or answer questions regarding the use of Seed Grant Funds and the progress of their entrepreneurial endeavor.
  • Applicants who receive Seed Grant Funds may apply for additional funds one additional time after their initial disbursement is exhausted or in anticipation of fund exhaustion.
  • Proposals involving illegal or potentially illegal ventures – either under state or federal laws – will not be considered. The Director has the discretion to reject proposals that are contrary to the college’s organizational culture, interests, or goals.
  • The Director reserves the right to revoke funding and/or support for any entrepreneurial endeavor that violates the college’s organizational culture, interests, or goals.
  • In some cases, individuals who submit proposals that are ultimately rejected may not receive information regarding the basis for the rejection.
  • Proposals that contain inaccurate or misleading information may be rejected without consideration.
  • Proposals that have been approved may be retroactively rejected if materially inaccurate or misleading information is discovered after approval; in these instances, applicants agree to promptly return all Seed Grant Funds on hand to the Bates Center.
  • Funding decisions will not be based in any material way on applicants’ ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, or sexual orientation.
  • The Review Panel and the Director dictate all aspects of fund disbursement and procedures may vary among applicants.
  • Though unlikely, an award of Seed Grant Funds may have tax implications and impact a recipient’s financial aid package. Neither the Review Panel nor the Director will be in a position to provide counsel/advice as to these matters.
  • The Director may alter aspects of the Seed Grant Program without notice.
  • The Director is tasked with evaluating and resolving all matters affecting the Seed Fund Program but are unaddressed herein.



Applicants must submit all of the following items via email to the Associate Director at and include “Proposal to Seed Grant Program” in the email’s subject line:

  1. One completed proposal form
  2. Applicant form for each applicant
  3. Itemized budget
  4. Resume for each applicant


Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by email two to four weeks after submission.