The Pava Center Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge brings together a variety of award opportunities into a single event, offering students a streamlined process to access funding to work on their ventures over the coming year.

All awards include:

  • Co-working space at Pava Center
  • Direct support for next steps with the venture (pro-bono services, mentorship connections, and much more)
  • Engagement with Summer Incubator program (including attending two or more events between May 22 – July 3)
  • Monthly online “coffee hour” networking meetings with the other recipients from the I&E cohort, starting August 2024

Each award opportunity is described below. While the awards have separate applications, the content of each application is similar. We suggest you write out your answers for the applications in a separate document and copy and paste for each individual application you’ll submit.

Undergraduate Award

Award Details: The Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Awards support up a Johns Hopkins undergraduate-led startup with grant funding of $10,000. The awards enable students to focus on building a successful company. Ideal applications will show validation for the business’ technical and revenue approach and demonstrated success in securing other grants or investments. Winners of previous awards have typically already been incorporated (or done so shortly after winning).
Award Size: $10,000. Award money has to be spent within one year.
Eligibility: Ventures with at least one JHU current undergraduate student as a founder. Graduating seniors are eligible to apply.
Acknowledgement: The Undergraduate award is supported by Jeff (KSAS ’03, SAIS ’04) and Laura (KSAS ’03) Raider.

MedTech Awards 

Award Details: The MedTech Awards support up to a JHU student-led startup working on medical technology to make significant progress on their venture. The awards are coupled mentorship from experienced medtech entrepreneurs who can offer guidance for the next steps to market.
Award Size: $10,000. Award money has to be spent within one year.
Eligibility: Ventures with at least one JHU current student (undergraduate, graduate or post-doc) as a founder.
Acknowledgement: The Medtech Awards are supported by Karthik Seshan and the Seshan Family Foundation (WSE ’10, ’11).

Graduate Student Awards 

Award Details: The Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship Thalheimer Graduate Student Awards (GSA) supports up to three Johns Hopkins graduate student ventures aiming to solve major challenges through entrepreneurship. Ideal candidates are actively prototyping or close to a working MVP.
Award Size: $10,000. Award money has to be spent within one year.
Eligibility: Ventures with at least one current JHU graduate or post-doc student founder.  Ventures can be at any stage, focus on any industry/vertical/problem and may utilize technology or not.
Acknowledgement: The Graduate Student Awards are made possible with the generous support of Louis B. Thalheimer.

Alumni Venture Awards

Award Details: This award supports up to two ventures founded and run by a Hopkins alum who has graduated in the last five years (2020-2024), who currently resides in or is committed to relocating to Baltimore, and is growing their business in the local ecosystem.
Award Size: $10,000. Award money has to be spent within one year.
Eligibility: Ventures with at least one JHU graduate as a founder. Graduating seniors are eligible to apply.
Acknowledgement: This award is made possible by the generous support of venture capitalist, John Avirett (KSAS ’05).

Bisciotti Student Prizes 

Award Details: The Bisciotti Foundation Prizes for Student Entrepreneurship are non-dilutive grants designed to help student startups scale their businesses as they graduate from our FastForward U student entrepreneurship programs on campus. The Bisciotti Student Prizes create a runway for our most promising student entrepreneurs and recent alums, providing them with valuable funding to transform their early stage startups into high-growth companies, especially those considering staying in Baltimore. Ideal applicants will be pre-Series A, but have received significant grants, venture funding, or revenue.
Award Size: 1st – $30,000, 2nd – $20,000. Award money has to be spent within one year.
Eligibility: Ventures led by at least one current JHU student (undergraduate, graduate or post-doc), or ’19 – ’23 JHU alum.
Acknowledgement: Bisciotti Student Prizes are made possible with the generous support of the Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation.