Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Accelerating Startup Partnership and Investment Readiness (ASPIRE) Program

Opportunity for USA Startups to Participate in an Entrepreneurial
Training Program to Prepare for Investment Fundraising

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 


Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/01/21 11:59 PM ET


Request a Grant Writer

Opportunity for USA startups to participate in an entrepreneurial training program to prepare for investment fundraising. During the seven-week program, cleantech startups will interact with active investors, mentors-in-residence, and fellow founders. The current cohort is aimed at startups focusing on engineering and science innovations that create positive environmental impact through the innovation's application or design, especially ventures that address sustainability priorities including climate change, air and water pollution, food and transportation systems, waste management, and energy use. Companies should be preparing to raise seed or Series A rounds within the coming year.

ASPIRE is an intensive program that prepares startups for the investments and partnerships necessary to launch their venture. Mentors-in-residence work one-on-one with startups to simulate due diligence conversations and integrate feedback into materials in real-time.

  • Engaged Mentorship: Startups will work with high-caliber mentors throughout the program that have experience investing or partnering with startups.
  • Clear Milestones and Ask: Startups will leave with a clear articulation of their investment needs, including the investment ask and planned milestones for the round.
  • Due Diligence Deal Room: Spend time creating and refining deal room materials to use during the fundraising process. Invest time and energy into work product for a deal room, not a demo day pitch.
  • Stress Tests: VentureWell pushes boundaries with real-world stress tests – actual startup disaster scenarios
  • Network Building: Learn from peers and share experiences with a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs who are facing similar challenges.


  • Spend one-on-one time with investors: Learn from a group of investor-mentors who have funded startups during the virtualized 8-week program.
  • Vet fundraising strategies: Refine deal room materials and take part in a mock board meeting to prepare for partnership conversations.
  • Stress-test the startup: Work through real-world disaster scenarios with the team to discover how to best prepare for the unexpected.
  • Collaborate and network: Meet with a portfolio manager weekly for deal room work sessions. Connect with fellow founders and leverage the VentureWell investor network after the program ends.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186392

Number of Grants:

VentureWell will select 10-15 dedicated science and engineering-based startups.

Term of Contract:

Program Dates: April 12 – May 28, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Science & engineering inventions with positive environmental impact: Clearly articulated assessment of how your technology will address key sustainability priorities through its direct application or design and manufacture.
- Team identified and startup formed. First-time founders with management team and key roles identified—no solo founders. Incorporated as a legal entity by the beginning of the program.
- Intellectual property. Provisional patent(s) filed and assigned to the company or a clear pathway to the license.
- Actively fundraising. Company has raised at least $25K (grants or equity) and is preparing for a round of equity investment within 12 months.
- Technology validated: Initial prototype developed, pilot studies or field trials underway.
- Early market validation. Validated customer segments and initial evidence of product-market fit. Articulation of economic value proposition and evidence of customer buy-in.

ASPIRE is open to startups that have previously received funding from VentureWell (E-Teams) OR startups new to VentureWell that are led by at least one founder from a group underrepresented in science and technology. This includes founders who identify as women, persons with disabilities, and/or members from the following racial and ethnic groups—Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, and American Indian or Alaska Native.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Informational webinar: February 4, 3:00 pm ET

Link to download the webinar presentation:

Pre-Application Information:

- Applications due: March 1, 2021
- Program dates: April 12 – May 28, 2021

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Application Portal:

Questions? Please contact Contact Christina Tamer at

100 Venture Way
Hadley, MA 01035
(413) 587-2172

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Suggested Grants:

Fundraising and Publicity Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits for Cult...

Deadline Ongoing

Fundraising opportunity for USA, Canada, and International nonprofit organizations to host a jazz concert held in honor of their organization or cause. Applicants must contact the funding source prior to applying. In addition to funds raised through concert ticket sales

GrantWatch ID#: 123735

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Address the Climate Crisis and Reduce Inequality

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to reduce social inequality and promote solutions to the climate crisis. Eligible programs will address the areas of racial and economic justice, corporate and political accountability; voice, creativity, and culture; and an inclusi

GrantWatch ID#: 123756

Grants to Texas Elementary and Middle Schools in Eligible Districts for Agriculture-Related ...

Deadline 04/29/21

Grants of up to $2,500 per campus and grants of up to $10,000 per school district to Texas public elementary and middle schools and supporting nonprofit organizations in eligible school districts for agriculture-related activities. Funding is intended to improve student

GrantWatch ID#: 124734

Grants to Virginia Nonprofits for Public Programs that Promote the Humanities in Local Commu...

Deadline 07/15/21 LOI Date: 05/15/21

Grants of up to $5,000 and grants of up to $20,000 to Virginia nonprofit organizations for programs that promote the humanities in local communities. Certain applicants are required to submit an LOI prior to a full grant application. All applicants are advised to contac

GrantWatch ID#: 125447

Grants to New York and Pennsylvania Families Caring for a Child with Cancer to Offset Treatm...

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to New York and Pennsylvania families living in eligible areas and caring for a child with cancer to offset expenses related to the child's cancer treatments. Funding is intended to cover costs not covered by health insurance, including travel costs, housing, and

GrantWatch ID#: 125904

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Protect Natural Resources

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to protect natural resources on land and water in locations around the world. Funding is intended to ensure that activities to acquire metals, gemstones, and corals for design use do not have an adverse impact on the area of origin.

GrantWatch ID#: 126162

Grants to USA Nonprofits in Multiple States for Community-Based Social Change Initiatives

Deadline 04/30/21

Grants of up to $3,000 to Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia nonprofit organizations for community-based social change initiatives in eligible areas. Funding is intended to support organizational operations. Eligible applicants are those serving communitie

GrantWatch ID#: 126411

Grants to Indiana Nonprofits to Address Community Needs in Eligible Regions

Deadline 10/01/21

Grants to Indiana nonprofit organizations in eligible regions for projects and capital campaigns that address community needs. Applicants requesting support for a capital campaign are asked to contact the funding source prior to submitting an application. Projects are e

GrantWatch ID#: 126506

Grants to Ohio Nonprofits in Eligible Locations to Support Mergers or Acquisitions

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to Ohio nonprofit organizations in eligible locations to support entrance into mergers or acquisitions. Funding is intended to support reorganizations that result in well-maintained or improved services or financial savings. The Foundation encourages transformati

GrantWatch ID#: 126963

Grants to Indiana Organizations and Artists in Eligible Areas for Community Arts Projects

Deadline 04/30/21

Grants of up to $2,000 to Indiana artists and arts organizations in eligible areas for arts programs that benefit the local community. Funding is intended to support projects that encourage public appreciation of art, demonstrate innovation and creativity, and promote d

GrantWatch ID#: 127897