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The Drexel Startups Funds program has been established through generous donations from Drexel alums. 


This competition program, which is run by the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and supported through its Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship team, provides support to students for their startup ventures, with preference going to promising senior, graduate or post-graduate students. 

Fund awardees will have access to mentorship, incubator space and introductions to angel and venture capital funding from the university’s alumni network.

General Drexel entrepreneurship competition rules are at Baiada Rules Page and the program-specific rules and information are below. 


Applicants to the program can be from any major and include undergraduate seniors, graduate students, and post-graduate. We define post-graduate as someone having graduated within two years of the program application deadline. 

How to participate

Teams must register a team leader, list team members and enter all details about their startup through the competition website at Look for the Dragon Startups Fund to apply. 

Selection committee 

A Selection Committee (“Committee") will meet twice per year to review applications and select the awardees. 

A Committee chair has been designated additional Committee members comprised of no more than 50% faculty and can include representatives across campus units along with select alumni. The Committee chair, selected by the Dean of the Close School, selects the Drexel representatives along with conferring with the Office of Institutional Advancement on the selection of alumni. 

The Committee will identify the awardees chosen for funding with the understanding that the final selection will be made and confirmed by the Office of the Dean at the Close School. 

Specific selection criteria will be provided to the competitors. 


Annually, up to fifty-thousand ($50,000) may be awarded. Award amounts may vary depending on the decision of the Committee, and the Committee can decide to not award any amount in any given selection cycle. 

Awarded competitors will also have access to mentorship, incubator space in the Baiada Institute and introductions to angel and venture capital funding from the university’s alumni network. 

Awards will be considered “prizes” as is typically done for programs such as entrepreneurship competitions and the awards will not have any equity ownership or debt implications. Awardees will receive funding following similar procedures for such awards and will be responsible for taxes on those awards. 


Applications will be accepted twice per year with the anticipated schedule of activities (subject to change):

Spring schedule 

  • Applications open February 1 to March 31, 2021
  • Competitor presentations: weeks of April 26 and May 17 (specific dates/times TBD)

  • Funds distributed (by June 15, 2021)