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Program details2021-2022 Challenges | Funding and application overview | FAQs | Application| Awards

How can I connect with other people that want to develop a solution to these challenges? (I don’t have an idea yet, but I want to work on one with others)

There are many courses and clubs that intersect with these challenges. You should try to connect with people through them. CSI, CES, SproutBox, and Emergence hold events that bring people from different disciplines across campus together. Additional resources can be found on our website, and you can connect with others through the SEN Team Formation Hub. You can also reach out to the TomKat Center (Danica at dsarlya@stanford) if you have specific questions.

What if I have an idea for a solution but I don’t have a team to work with?

If you have an idea you should apply. We expect that during the beginning phases of the program you will be filling out your team. The TomKat Center can also help connect you with relevant collaborators.

Is this program open to undergrads?

    Yes, this program is open to all Stanford students, postdocs, and faculty.

Do you expect the team to make a full-time commitment if selected?

We understand that people have many competing responsibilities and we do not expect you to commit full time to advancing your Solution at the beginning. However, advancing your idea through the phases of the program and getting it out into the real world where it can make an impact will require an increasing level of time and commitment.

What if we don’t have a faculty PI identified yet?

If you have an idea you should apply. The PI doesn’t need to be set before you apply. The TomKat Center can help refer you to relevant advisors and mentors.

How much funding is available?

The funding is dependent on your specific stage and needs.  The goal of this program is to provide committed teams, with a viable solution, a stable source of support as they transition from moving a solution from an early-stage idea through needs and viability testing to prototyping and piloting. Award amounts will be based on the team’s progress, commitment, and the cost of activities directly tied to milestones. We are committed to your success and want to provide you with the resources you need to deploy your Solution and have an impact.

How developed does our idea need to be to get awarded Phase I funding?

You just need to have identified a problem and developed a well-thought-out solution to address it. Phase I funding is intended to help you test your hypothesis and determine the viability of your solution. If you want help refining your concept before applying, please reach out to the TomKat Center. The requirements will become more stringent in Phases II and III.

Will any IP developed belong to Stanford?

TomKat funds are Stanford University funds. If IP is developed with TomKat funds, that is considered more than incidental use of Stanford resources and considered Stanford property. If you have more specific questions about what constitutes IP and Stanford’s rules, you should review these documents and reach out to someone in the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL).