Grants Supporting Entrepreneurship
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
- Mark Twain
CTEK* was a Colorado-based, award-winning business accelerator that helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with innovative technologies grow their
companies through mentorship from successful, senior-level business people. While the original CTEK team retired in 2005, it continues to
generate funds from the successful exits of companies and will soon be offering grants to qualified nonprofit entities. If your organization has
a similar mission, with a project that can significantly empower entrepreneurs and accelerate meaningful innovation, keep reading and use the button below to submit your application.
Grant Application Process
You start with an online application at www.CTEK.biz to initiate the grant-making process. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2017. CTEK will notify you via email by December 15, 2017, if your application is declined or if you will receive a full Request for Proposal (RFP) for funding consideration. RFPs will contain detailed instructions on what you should include in your full proposal. Grants will be awarded in 2018 once due diligence has been completed. The grant range is $10,000 - $600,000
A secondary benefit of this grant-making process is to highlight the many great organizations that are assisting entrepreneurs and the variety of projects and programs available. We encourage you to check the "share" box so that your organization and application may be made public. You might find another organization that is doing something similar and can combine efforts and resources to achieve your goals. We will also have CTEK partner companies look at the applications in case there is interest in side-funding.
What We Fund
- Product Development
- General Operations
- Software development
What We Don't Fund
- Grants to individuals
- Start-up funding for individuals or companies
- Capital campaigns/building construction
- Faith-based, spiritually-focused or religious organizations
- Political campaigns, legislative or lobbying efforts
- Proposals that have no ability to measure success
- Proposals that require additional or ongoing funding unless additional sources of ongoing funding and/or partners have already been identified
Please review our criteria before submitting an application to determine if your organization fits our funding priorities.
- Nonprofit status: Preference will be given to 501(c)(3) organizations. If you are nonprofit without that specific tax designation, you may still apply but must be willing and able to become a 501(c)(3) to receive the grant.
- Colorado based: Preference will be given to organizations based primarily in Colorado, but entities with worldwide impact are encouraged to apply.
- Promotes Entrepreneurship: You must show ability to significantly impact the growth and success of entrepreneurs and innovation.
- Beneficial Purpose: Will your program lead directly to making the world better? This is, after all, why we support entrepreneurs and innovation, but only if their success brings some sort of benefit, be it jobs, technology, or some other innovation that helps people and our planet.
- Impactful Scalability: Can your project grow into something bigger or create a multiplier effect that makes an investment in your organization pay off multi-fold later?
- Evergreen Effect: Preference is given to projects and programs where this grant is enough to trigger an effect that will last and not require additional funding every year.
- Uniquely Innovative: Your project or program should be as innovative as the entrepreneurs you help. If some other organization is already doing what you propose, you will not be funded, so tell us what is unique about your project.
- Provides Measurability: You need to show us how you would measure success.
- Committed Team/Partners: It's not about big names but about skills and time commitment and the passion for achieving your goals.
- Track record of success: We want to see that you have been successful in other endeavors, even if they are unrelated.
- Matching Grants/Investment: preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate existing commitments (or pledges) of additional support (in cash or in-kind) from other organizations, businesses, or foundations.
"Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred... Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
*CTEK, legally known as Colorado Venture Centers, Inc., is a 501(C)(3) charitable organization that combined the Boulder Technology Incubator, the Colorado Bio-Medical Venture Center and Colorado Venture Centers.