Baquerizo Innovation Grant >go BIG

Baquerizo Innovation Grant

Supporting Duke undergrad entrepreneurship with grants of up to $20,000

The Duke University Pratt School of Engineering is home to groundbreaking research and is a leader in defining and advancing high-impact fields in service to society.

Application Deadline:
11:59 p.m. ET, January 9, 2018


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The Baquerizo family has generously agreed to provide funding to challenge undergraduate students to pursue ambitious applications of technology. The goal of the Baquerizo Innovation Grant (BIG) to encourage bold ideas that will have positive, transformative impact on millions of people’s lives.

BIG supports Duke undergraduates developing highly innovative technological solutions to the world’s greatest problems. Each year, a total of up to $20,000 in grant money is awarded to undergraduate-led teams.

> go BIG — learn how to apply

How It Works

Grant funds may be directed toward prototyping, testing, and student summer stipends. No funds are available to support the technical mentor. While many technical mentors will be faculty members, participants from industry are welcome. All funded teams agree to return to Duke in the fall following the award to present their work publicly. Each team must include an undergraduate student leader and a senior technical mentor.

Duke undergraduate students will have the opportunity to continue their research during the school year and re-apply for the next BIG award.

Key Dates

2018 Award Cycle

  • Full Application Submission Deadline:  11:59 p.m. ET, January 9, 2018
  • Finalist Selected:  January 19, 2018
  • Oral presentations: January 24, 2018
  • Award Announcement: January 29, 2018
  • Award Period:  February 1, 2018 - December 31, 2018


  • Cross-functional teams are encouraged and consist of full-time, undergraduate students
  • Proposed projects must be led by an active Pratt School of Engineering student
  • At least one advisor, with expertise in the proposed technology


Award(s) will consist of funding up to $20,000.

Selection Process and Review Criteria

Awards are made after review of the application by the Duke Pratt Engineering School Review Committee. The Review Committee will consider the following when evaluating applications:

  • Problem being addressed
  • Value of solution
  • Approach
  • Strength of team
  • Status and plan
  • Technical Mentor Letter of Support

How to Apply

Applicants will enter proposal information via this online form:

The application sections are:

  • Project Title, Description, and Amount Requested
  • Team Information: Information and resumes for each team member
  • Letter of Support (1 page) from a qualified technical mentor that includes the name and expertise of endorser, declaration of willingness to support the team, context of technology in the field and endorsement of the viability of the technology involved in the solution.
  • Mentor Resume
  • Plan: Your proposal (5 page or 10 slide limit) should include:
    1. Problem you are addressing (Who has this problem? How big is the problem? How do you know this is a problem?)

    2. Value of your solution (How will this have real-world positive impact? How do you measure success?)

    3. Magic of your approach (What is your technical innovation? Why is now the right time?)

    4. Status, plan, and use of funds (What have you done already? What are the next steps? How would you use the grant funds? What are critical factors for success?)


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Contact Us

For additional information on this funding opportunity, contact the BIG team at

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