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Ball State students win startup funds

(WISH file photo)

MUNCIE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University has shared the winners of two pre-seed fund grants to support student venture development efforts. Ball State says the semester’s winners are Teah Mirabelli, a junior majoring in Theatre with a minor in Entrepreneurial Management, and Mike Demski, a senior majoring in Entrepreneurial Management with a minor in Economics.

The university says Mirabelli is working on a concept for magnetic nails and plans to use her award to continue developing her prototype. Demski has developed Reflect, an alternative funeral service that takes a loved one’s ashes and makes them a trackable star in the night sky.

“For many students, the financial burden of prototype development, customer validation, and so many other stages of venture development halt their entrepreneurial efforts,” said Krystal Geyer, assistant director of Ball State’s Entrepreneurship Center. “By offering these pre-seed funds, we can alleviate that concern and encourage students to test their ideas while simultaneously pursuing their education. It can be very impactful.”

The university says students can apply for competitive grants up to $2,500 per semester. The grants can be used for purposes designed to advance venture development as well as secure intellectual property, prototype development, product validation or competing in external competitions.