Steven Dorfman Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about the grant:

I am not based in the United States. Am I eligible for the grant?

If the grant is given to a startup, it has to be incorporated in the United States. If the grant is given to an individual, then that individual must be a citizen of the United States, intending to incorporate in the United States. We are investigating how we can expand the program globally.

What stage startups can be funded by the grant?

Any stage startup may apply, although there are limits to the amout of prior fundraising and sales that the startup has achieved (see the guidelines for amounts). We may even fund an idea, if the funding application is compelling enough.

Are non-profits eligible for the grant?


If the maximum grant is $100,000, should I just ask for the max?

It's tempting to just ask for the max, but your ask should be in line with the your plans for the grant. We intend to give as many as five grants per year. It is unlikely that they all will be for the maximum amount.

Can the grant be renewed?

It cannot be renewed, but you can apply for another grant the next year.

Can I enroll myself as a Cal Lutheran student to meet the Cal Lutheran connection requirement?

You can, but taking a single class probably won't do much to improve your chances. We would rather that oyu spend the time finding a Cal Lutheran student intern who is a good fit for your startup.

Who will be evaluating the grant applications?

The identities of the evaluators are not disclosed. No Cal Lutheran employee, nor Mr. Dorfman will have a vote in selecting the grant recipients.

What help is available to find a Cal Lutheran student intern?

Check out Cal Lutheran's Career Services for Employers, where you can post a job listing. You also can e-mail us at, or attend Cal Lutheran community events.

Can I apply for the grant while I'm a full-time Cal Lutheran student?

Yes! However, you will need to convince us that your studies won't be affected.

Is the grant tax-free?

That's between you and your tax professional. We made absolutely no effort to provide a tax advantage for the funding.

What's the catch?

None whatsoever. It is the donor's wish for: 1) the funding to go to early-stage startups with potential, and 2) creating learning experiences that become more valuable over time. This is a pure grant. No forgivable loan, no convertible debt.

What is expected of me to once the grant is spent?

We expect you to be honest and forthsoming in your assessment of what you learned, both positive and negative. We would like for all grant recipients to become ambassadors for the program and mentor future grantees.

What help will be provided in my execution of the grant?

You will be assigned a contact from Cal Lutheran for the administration of the grant. You also will have access to the services provided by Hub101

What if my startup fails?

While we would love for every startup to find success, we understand that many of them will fail. Sometimes failure is the best learning experience!