Baquerizo Innovation Grant >go BIG

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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.

Inaugural BIG Winners Announced

Zephyr Mobility and OptiML, the inaugural Baquerizo Innovation Grant winners

More about Zephyr Mobility and OptiML »

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.

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.


  • 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


Awards consist of funding up to $20,000.

Selection Process and Review Criteria

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

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

When to Apply

The application opens in the fall semester for funding in the following calendar year.

Contact Us

For additional information, contact the BIG team at

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