Student Seed Innovation Grants

Sponsored by Creativity & Innovation at CC, Student Seed Innovation Grants (SSIG) are donor-funded grants of $3,000 - $8,000 designed to empower currently enrolled Colorado College students to investigate questions and solve real-world problems. 

The SSIG program seeks to be an idea accelerator by providing resources for students to:

  • Be creative problem-solvers
  • Embrace ambiguity
  • Iterate a project/idea forward

Additionally, the SSIG program helps fulfill Creativity & Innovation at CC's mission to empower students with the tools and creative confidence to be changemakers. The use of the word changemaker is intentional and different from entrepreneur. Changemaker recognizes that innovation happens not only in the business and tech worlds but culturally, socially, and personally.

When selecting SSIG recipients, the committee will look for projects passionate about exploring a question, seeking a solution, or solving a problem. Students do not need to know precisely how the project will unfold. However, they will need to demonstrate an authentic desire and drive to achieve the project goals and iterate the project through the various stages of development and execution. 

SSIG projects do not need to be business ideas.

Successful SSIG applications demonstrate a professional level of writing, rigor, and thoroughness. Applicants are encouraged to work with a member of the Colorado College Writing Center before submitting their SSIG proposal. After receiving and implementing feedback from the Writing Center, applicants may send a draft of their application to the Creativity & Innovation team for additional review and feedback. If an applicant chooses to take advantage of our team's review process, the application draft must be emailed to as a Word doc at least two weeks before the submission deadline. There is no guarantee that projects submitted for SSIG consideration will be funded.

Who Can Apply for a Student Seed Innovation Grant?

  • Any student currently enrolled and taking classes at Colorado College may apply. 
  • CC alums are not eligible for Student Seed Innovation Grant funding. 
  • Only CC students who are currently enrolled and taking classes at Colorado College may write and submit SSIG applications.
  • Only CC students who are currently enrolled and taking classes at Colorado College may communicate with the Creativity & Innovation team members about SSIG applications. 
  • Individuals or teams may apply. 
    • Fifty percent of any team must be current CC students. 
    • Individuals may apply for grants of up to $6,000.
    • Teams of two or more CC students may apply for grants of up to $8,000.
    • Teams of one CC student and one non-CC individual may apply for grants of up to $6,000. 

Can CC Seniors Apply for SSIG?

CC seniors may apply for an SSIG if:

  • The grant application is submitted before/in the same month as the graduation date.
  • The proposed project will complete within 12 months of the applicant's graduation.

Application Dates and Requirements

Applications are due by midnight on the last Wednesday of blocks 1, 3, 5, or 7. Applications must include the following:

  • Grant application completed on the SUMMIT platform
  • Letters of Recommendation 
    • Mentor LOR (one per project)
    • Faculty LOR (one per project)
    • Mentor and Faculty LORs must be from two different people
  • Estimated project budget 
  • College transcript
    • What the Registrar has on file for you is fine - you do not need to pay for an official transcript.
  • Student account statement
    • This statement ensures the applicant does not have outstanding fines or miscellaneous fees due to the College (e.g., parking tickets, library fines). Tuition, room, and board are not fines or fees. 

SSIG Project Requirements

  • All SSIG projects must have a project mentor. See mentor information below.
  • SSIG grant projects must commence and complete within 12 months of grant award notification.
  • Students may receive one SSIG per academic year with one exception:
    • Recipients may apply for second-round funding for the same project within the same academic year if the project's first phase is complete.
    • Applicants must complete a new application on SUMMIT for second-round funding.

Other requirements depending on project scope:

  • If working with humans, applicants must contact the Institutional Review Board for approval and include the approval document with the application.
  • If working with vertebrate animals, applicants must receive approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for the project and include the approval document with their application.
  • If traveling internationally, students must consult with the Center for Global Education & Field Study and provide documentation of the meeting, including authorization to travel to the specified destination.

SSIG Fund Parameters

SSIG funds cannot:

    • Fund patent applications
    • Rent office space
    • Hire staff
    • Hire outside contractors to complete the project
    • Pay off previous debts related or not related to the project
    • Purchase computers, iOS devices, Android devices, or other personal technology
    • Directly fund, support, or finance non-profits

SSIG funds can:

  • Help subsidize living expenses while working on a project
  • Pay an expert to teach or assist with specialized skills specific to the project; however, hiring contractors to undertake/complete most of the project is prohibited

SSIG Project Mentors and Letters of Recommendation 

All SSIG projects must have one project mentor. The mentor will:

  • Write a letter of recommendation in support of the project. 
  • Help guide the recipient/s through project ideation and implementation. 
  • Provide guidance, support, and feedback throughout the project. 

Mentors can be CC faculty or staff members but do not have to be. Mentors with relevant project expertise, local to Colorado or not, are permitted. 

Mentors will not:

  • Set project meetings.
  • Initiate requests for project updates.
  • Complete project tasks/assignments.
  • Be the SSIG applicant or member of an SSIG project.

The SSIG recipient/s will:

  • Discuss the proposed project scope with the project mentor before submitting an SSIG application.
  • Send the Mentor Information Document to the project mentor before submitting an SSIG application.
  • Explain that SSIG applications require a project letter of recommendation from the mentor.
  • Ensure the project mentor is kept up-to-date on the project's progress.
  • Schedule meetings (at least once a month) to update the mentor on the project and request thoughts and feedback. 

Please see the Mentor Information Document (available for download here or available within the SUMMIT application) for more information on the mentor role and project letter of recommendation.

Colorado College Faculty Letter of Recommendation

In addition to the mentor letter of recommendation, each SSIG application must have a CC faculty member write a letter of recommendation. Project mentors who are CC faculty members can not write the project's faculty member letter of recommendation. Each project must have two letters of recommendation: one mentor and one faculty member. These letters must be submitted by two different people.

The CC faculty member's letter of recommendation should highlight the applicant's or project team's ability to undertake the proposed project. The CC faculty member does not need to be involved in the project beyond the application.

SSIG Award Notification

Funded project notifications are emailed on the second Friday of the block following project submission.

There is no guarantee that projects submitted for SSIG consideration will be funded. 

Link to SUMMIT Application

Click this link to be redirected to the SSIG application on SUMMIT.

About the SUMMIT Application Process
  • Mentors and faculty members are not notified to upload letters of recommendation until the SSIG application is complete and the applicant hits 'submit.' 
  • Mentors and faculty members may email letters of recommendation to Kate Carroll ( in addition to uploading the documents to SUMMIT.

Your SSIG Project Has Been Funded, Now What?

SSIG Recipient's Next Steps

Recipients will e-sign documents confirming:

  • They will thank the donor funding the SSIG grants by writing a handwritten thank you note. The thank you note will be delivered by C&I at CC to the donor on behalf of the recipient.
  • Repayment of up to 50% of the total grant amount if the recipient abandons the project before completion (the total amount due will be at the discretion of the SSIG committee).
    • The project scope may change, but the project's abandonment will result in repayment.
  • They agree to the SSIG recipient/s mentor agreement (summarized in the Mentor Information Document). 
  • If tax documentation and direct deposit information are not on file with the College, C&I will send the recipient these forms for completion.

SSIG Distribution of Funds

SSIG funds are subject to tax liability. C&I can not offer tax advice or direction. Please speak to a tax professional about SSIG tax implications. 

SSIG funds are paid in two parts. 

  • Fifty percent of the grant total is paid once the e-documents (outlined above) are filed.
  • The final payment is paid after the project progress report is submitted and approved by the project mentor.
  • The progress report must include:
    • Recap of the project idea/objective.
    • Overview of work completed to fulfill the project idea/objectives.
    • Insights, learning, or headway made to achieve the project objective. If the project objective has changed, a thorough explanation for the change is required.
  • Budget recap of use of grant funds to date. Expenditures of $50+ must have a receipt.

SSIG Final Reporting Requirements

Upon completion of the SSIG project, not more than 12 months following the SSIG award notification, grant recipients will be required to submit the following:

  • A presentation or report highlighting the project journey, what the recipient/s learned, and how the experience impacted them
  • A final budget, including receipts for expenditures over $50, 

About the SSIG Review Committee

Grant submissions are reviewed and awarded by the SSIG Grant Committee. The committee includes:

  • Creativity & Innovation staff members.
  • Creativity & Innovation steering committee members. These are people who are not associated with the College.


Please contact Kate Carroll ( with questions or to schedule a meeting for more information about the SSIG program. 

Report an issue - Last updated: 01/11/2023