Founding a business is hard. But the AWARE:ACCESS program seeks to make it a little easier, especially for women and underrepresented minorities.

AWARE:ACCESS, or Accelerating Women and Underrepresented Entrepreneurs: Accelerate Entrepreneurial Success, is a pilot program that provides funding, networking, training and other support to entrepreneurs.

The program is funded through a National Science Foundation grant, and is a partnership between UofL, Indiana University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Fortune reports that just 2 percent of venture capital went to female startup founders in 2016. According to Bloomberg, a recent study of more than 60,000 startups found just 88 were led by black women — about 4 percent of the 2,200 total women-led tech startups in the U.S.

NSF program director, Dr. Jesus Soriano, said he hopes AWARE:ACCESS “will enable more underserved groups to get entrepreneurship training and achieve their technological and commercial potential, as well as help enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering.”



» review process




    Who you are

    A woman or minority with an entrepreneurial streak and an idea for an innovative new product.


    What you get

    • Up to $XXX in grant funding; 
    • Support in commercialization process;
    • Coaching to write more competitive grant proposals;
    • Help honing your customer relations skills.


    Application deadline

    • Day, Month, Year