Do you need a small amount of money to test or validate your product or service idea?
The 4th F Fund has helped several UM entrepreneurs get started; including Chilton Skis.
What is the 4th F Fund?
How much money does the 4th Fund provide?
How does the 4th F Fund work?
To be considered for 4th F funds please submit an application. We strongly encourage you schedule a consultation with the Blackstone LaunchPad before submitting an application. The application form is here: https://montec.submittable.com/submit/52878/4th-f-fund-application
Your application will be reviewed by a small panel within a few days of submission who will approve, reject or circle back with questions or requests for additional information.
Who is eligible?
The 4th F Fund is open to applications from all UM students, faculty, staff and alumni. Funds can be used for not for-profit, not-for-profit and social entrepreneurship ideas.
How will applications be evaluated?
The 4th F Fund will favor grants to applicants that demonstrate the following:
Prior commitment of time and resources to researching or developing the idea
Evidence that the entrepreneur or team has sought guidance from the Blackstone LaunchPad and/or other startup expertise and resources.
A clear rationale, purpose and budget for the requested funding
Outline plan for continued development and commercialization following the completion of the funded activities
Do I have to pay the money back?
No. 4th F Funds are grant funds. You are not required to repay them.
We do however ask that if your business or organization achieves some success in the future you consider supporting our ability to provide grant funds to future entrepreneurs like yourself.
Are there any requirements or commitments connected to receiving the funds?
Who is providing the funds?
Why was the 4th F Fund created?
Many, if not most, startup ideas require some small level of expenditure in order to better define, refine or validate their business, product or service ideas. Expenditures may relate to activities such as:
Market research activities (including costs of trips to trade shows, potential customers or suppliers)
Product design, prototyping or testing
Programming or coding
Patent searches or provisional patent applications
These “proof of concept” activities precede being able to demonstrate viable products and services to customers that might otherwise result in orders and revenue. With orders a startup may be able to gain funding via customer prepayments or from angels, banks or other investors willing to invest on the basis of customer commitments.
Entrepreneurs and innovators can and do put sweat equity and their own money into such “proof of concept” activities and call on friends and contacts for help to minimize such costs. But such endeavors can only take them so far. At which point startup founders often turn to the so-called “3Fs” of friends, family and fools to source funds to cover these startup activities.
We recognize that many entrepreneurs don’t have access to 3F’s ready and willing to support their idea. Hence The 4th F fund addresses this need.