Funding Opportunities


Student showing off the electronics inside his product.

ZinnStarter is a program that exists to ignite the next generation of entrepreneurs. By completing the application, you have the chance to win $2500 in seed funding. Finalists will be announced on 11/10/23. Good luck!

Get funds for your website, a logo, prototyping, Kickstarter videos, email marketing, legal assistance, licenses and registration, and more.

Criteria and Submission Requirements

About the UVU ZinnStarter Program

ZinnStarter exists to ignite the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

ZinnStarter’s mission is to:

  • Inculcate the next generation of entrepreneurs to create enduring businesses
  • Provide seed money for promising business plans
  • Provide students with Ray Zinn’s leadership, management and entrepreneurship knowledge

Ray Zinn’s book Tough Things First is his leadership, management and business ethics manifesto. It is required reading for the ZinnStarter program. This program is exclusively for current UVU students from any discipline.


This event will take place on November 29 from 4-7 PM and will take place in the Keller Building on the fourth floor in KB 401, 403, and 405. The audience will include the general public, students, and invited community members, mentors, and investors. One participant will be awarded a $1000 peoples' choice award that will be determined by the audience. Audience members will also have the chance to fill out feedback forms to offer constructive criticism or praise for their pitches and business concepts, so invite everyone you know.

Have any questions? Email us:


  1. Pitch: 5-minute pitch outlining your business concept, business model, and your funding request (up to $2,500), followed by 3 minutes of Q&A by our student judging panel at the ZinnStarter event (held in the Fall and Spring semesters).
  2. An accompanying Pitch Deck..

Up to $2,500 per business. Awardees will be required to submit a Use of Funds report for any funding they receive from the Entrepreneurship Institute.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Demonstrated understanding of the problem to be solved
  2. Clear presentation of a solution (concept-stage is okay)
  3. Deep understanding of the market
  4. Reasonable revenue model and pathway to profitability
  5. Well-outlined competitive advantage and value proposition


  1. At least one primary member of the team must be a current student (enrolled in a course of 6 months or longer in pursuit of an endorsement, diploma, associates, bachelors, or graduate degree at Utah Valley University). 
  2. The team must read Ray Zinn's book, Tough Things First (by the time they receive funding for ZinnStarter).
  3. The team, with help from the Entrepreneurship Institute, must find a mentor. ​
  4. The team must submit a monthly report on their progress to student consultants at the Entrepreneurship Institute.
  5. The team must submit  a final Use of Funds report.                                          


One-on-one coaching 

Use of Funds report form

UVU Entrepreneurship Institute’s Discord space

Tough Things First (we also have copies in our office you may borrow)

How to Build a Pitch Deck 


  • Up to $2500 seed funding

Sponsored by The ZinnStarter Program.

Girl with hair in a ponytail painting letters on a wall.Student Services Fund

Need some cash to hire someone to help you with things like:

  • Photography of your products for your e-commerce site
  • Wireframing or developing your app
  • Designing a logo
  • Getting your social media pages off the ground
  • Creating your prototype
  • Doing a voiceover for a crowdfunding campaign or explainer video
  • Conducting market research
  • Something else?

The Utah Valley University Entrepreneurship Institute is proud to present the Student Services Fund, designed to help UVU students with business needs hire other UVU students to perform those services.


Are you a student who would like to hire another student? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify a student using our Student Business Directory who can perform a service for your business
  2. Receive a quote for the services you need
  3. Fill out this brief application to apply for funds
  4. Submit a Use of Funds report within 90 days of receiving funding


Are you a student who would like to be hired by another student? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Create a directory listing for your business on our Student Business Directory
  2. The student applicant will request an itemized quote. Once approved by the Entrepreneurship Institute, funding will be awarded to the student applicant to hire you for your services.

Apply today—funding is limited and will be awarded based on need, merit, and availability.

Applications are closed

Funds for the above programs are made available through:

ZinnStarter Logo


ZinnStarter exists to ignite the next generation of entrepreneurs. This includes giving them encouragement and mentoring as well as cash.

ZinnStarter’s mission is to:

  • Inculcate the next generation of entrepreneurs to create enduring businesses
  • Provide seed money for promising business plans
  • Provide students with Ray Zinn’s leadership, management and entrepreneurship knowledge

Funding amounts: $250-$1000

ZinnStarter is one arm of Ray Zinn’s goal of exporting the positive aspects of Silicon Valley culture to the rest of America. By reaching students in university entrepreneurship programs, Zinn intends to impart his experience, encouragement, mentoring and perspective, as well as putting seed money into the pockets of the next Google, Apple, Ford, Walmart or AT&T.

The Ross Seed Fund Logo


The Ross Fund

The Ross Fund was established by Brett and Robert Ross and additional funding was provided by Charlie and Lindsey Estes.

Seed-stage financing is available to UVU students starting a business who need funds for early development of a new product or service.

Funding amounts: $500-$1500


Student Services Fund Mark

Student Services Fund

The Student Services Fund was generously started by Central Bank of Utah, with the goal of providing more opportunities to under-privileged students. The purpose of the Student Services Fund is two-fold by encouraging student entrepreneurs to seek and provide job opportunities other students to help them with essential business development steps.

Central Bank Logo


Thank you to our generous donors!

Interested in supporting a student funding opportunity? Please contact Breanna Hale.