Jim Moran Micro Grants
As a demonstration of their generosity and commitment to the excellent academic mission of Florida State University’s entrepreneurship program, Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation have provided an annual gift to establish the Jim Moran Student Business Micro Grants program to support outstanding Florida State University undergraduate and graduate student businesses or nonprofit organizations.
Students from any college at Florida State University applying for the award must be engaged in entrepreneurial activities including, but not limited to, the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship programs as well as other campus entrepreneurial organizations or groups. This gift is to be awarded as a one-time opportunity—students are not eligible to receive more than one grant. The student(s) must have a minimum of 51% ownership in the venture.
Recipient Selection Criteria
Individual micro-grants up to $5,000 shall be awarded to undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in Florida State University from any discipline across campus. The grant money is to be used for a specific need for growth or improvement of an existing student business or to validate the market of a new business concept. A selection committee will select grant recipients on a rolling basis as applications are entered. Applicants will submit an application that includes the student business’s value proposition, what problem they are trying to solve, customer segments, customer relationships and channels, key partners, activities and resources, anticipated costs and revenues along with the student’s plan to use the grant funding to validate their assumptions about these areas. Those student businesses that have already been validated and launched will include a plan outlining how the grant funds will be used for a specific need that will enable the business to grow. Applicants must specify exactly what that need is and how the money will help. A 2-3 minute video “pitch” must be included with the application. In the video, the student should describe the problem they are trying to solve, how their solution will solve that problem and why they think they have the ability to succeed (their background, skills and capabilities). Students should be professionally dressed in the video.
Budget/Statement of Financial Need
The budget should be a descriptive essay providing a narrative with details of how the grant funding will be used to validate the market or scale a student business that has already been launched. The grant review committee should be able to read these quickly, as their use is simply to familiarize the committee members with the idea and how the grant funds will help validate or grow the student business. The budget should contain the current status of the idea (is it already up and running or is it still in the idea-only stage), a detailed breakdown of the needed funding and any other information the applicant deems necessary to finding success in their startup or growth. The statement of financial need should include all anticipated expenses for which the business would require funding.
Dates and Deadlines
Applicants will meet with the JM Micro Grant Committee virtually to go over their application and answer any questions. Applicants should come prepared with a 5-minute pitch and their financial needs statement. Applications need to be turned in by 4:00pm EST. If you miss the deadline you will need to apply for the next month's meeting date. Professional dress is required. Application decisions will be emailed after the deadline date and include the pitch time, if applicable. PLEASE NOTE: meeting dates are capped at 5 student businesses due to time constraints. Applicants are scheduled on a first come-first-serve basis. If we cannot fit you into the date you applied for, and you're eligible to pitch, you will be notified and scheduled for the next meeting date. Committee meeting dates will be held from 10:30am - 12:30pm, EST on the fourth Tuesday of the month during the Fall 2023 Semester. *All dates and deadlines listed below are subject to change. This page will be updated if there are any changes.*
Fall 2023 Jim Moran Micro Grant Deadlines & Meeting Dates
|September 2023 Application||Tuesday, 9/19/23
By 5:00pm, EST
10:30am - 12:30pm, EST
|October 2023 Application||Friday, 10/13/23
By 5:00pm, EST
10:30am - 12:30pm, EST
|November 2023 Application||Friday, 11/10/23
By 5:00pm, EST
10:30am - 12:30pm, EST
Grants will be awarded based on the committee’s assessment of the potential of the business proposed and the spirit of entrepreneurship displayed by the student business owner(s).
Recipient Reporting Criteria
Grant recipients will be required to submit a report at the end of each semester detailing the progress made in the business venture. Specific attention will be paid to how Jim Moran MICRO GRANT funds were used and the impact those funds made on the business venture. The report will also include short-term (i.e., 6-month) projections for the venture.
Q. How do I get the money my company was awarded from the Jim Moran Micro Grant?
A. Your company will be paid $1,000 at a time. After you have spent $1,000, you must produce receipts and/or invoices of how you spent that money on business expenses before being given the next $1,000. These steps continue until the full-awarded amount has been given. All receipts must have an itemized list of what was purchased. A proper receipt includes the vendor or company name paid, address, date of purchase, the last four numbers of the card used to pay, and signature of person purchasing. Justifiable business purchases include costs for filing as a legal entity, market research, surveys, validating business ideas through customer interactions, building a website, and other items related to the company. In cases that a business cost is over $1000, appropriate documentation or proof of payment can be shown to receive the exact amount to cover the cost. Anticipated expenses more than $1,000 should be approved in advance by the Director of Student Engagement. If a vendor will accept direct payment, submit their invoice and W-9 form after receiving the approval of the Director.
Q. What sort of things can I use the money for?
A. You can use the money for legitimate business purchases. For example, you can use the money toward creating a legal entity, validating a business idea through potential customer interactions, surveys, market research, filing a copyright or trademark, building a website or developing an app after the idea has been validated. The priority should be customer discovery and validation if this was not done prior to receiving the grant.
Q. How do I set up a legal entity?
A. Go to http://www.sunbiz.org/ , choose E-Filing Services, and fill out the form you need for the kind of entity you want your company to be. If you need help knowing which type of legal entity you should be, please see the Director of Student Engagement.
Q. What forms do I need to fill out before I can receive funding?
A. You need to fill out an FSU Vendor Authorization and an FSU Vendor Direct Deposit Authorization form for your company. These will be provided to you when you are notified that you are awarded a Micro Grant. You will need a Federal Tax ID (EIN) number for your company to complete both forms. EIN information can be found here: Employer ID Numbers . DO NOT use your personal Social Security Number on either form.
Q. How long do I have to spend the money that was awarded?
A. You have until one year after graduation to spend the money that you were awarded.
Q. What do I need to do in exchange for the awarded money?
A. A report is required at the end of each semester detailing the progress made in the business venture. This report should also include six-month projections for the venture.