The Failure Fund
Why call it the Failure Fund?
Because we encourage students to take risky decisions! Risk is a part of the creative process. Most first attempt(s) at a creative or innovative idea will fail. We want students to do something that’s never done before. In that process, they make mistakes. IT Innovation students must be unafraid of experimentation. We want students to take risks, try new ideas, learn how to quickly recognize what doesn’t work and pivot onto something that does.
Qualifying for the Fund
The Failure Fund considers ventures and ideas that surpass initial market validation, but ultimately are deemed (very) risky. That means the project must have potential to be self-sustaining by selling a product, idea, or service.
Applying to the Fund
We accept applications on a rolling basis, on a first come first serve basis. A board of faculty and community members serve as the Failure Fund panel and evaluate proposals. To apply, email your idea pitch to Dr. Magie Hall. While we don’t require a template, we recommend the Kawasaki pitch template. A good overview of the content can be found on this website, explaining the original Air BnB pitch: https://slidebean.com/blog/startups/airbnb-pitch-deck.
What types of projects win?
There isn’t one type of project that we are looking for, but it should be an artefact that incorporates IT in some way. Take a responsible risk. Make something sustainable. Be passionate.
This is an IT Innovation grant: the IP is yours. But: upon accepting the award, students must consent to signing a contract agreeing to use the funds in a manner consistent with their proposal. At the end of the grant period, students are required to file an end report of their investments, overall process, success(es), and failure(s).
Not an IT Innovation student? No sweat. We anticipate rolling out to UNO CIST in the future. Stay Tuned!