for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

Avinger Impact Fund

Avinger Impact Fund

Apply to receive funding of up to $10,000 to assist in accelerating your proposed business idea. We are seeking visionary, passionate innovators! Applications open February 12, 2024 and close March 4, 2024! 

Fund Info

Established in honor of Robert L. Avinger, Jr., a member of the Davidson Class of 1960 and professor of Economics from 1967-1980, the Avinger Impact Fund fuels the vision, qualities, and passions of an innovator, giving evidence of creativity, energy, and initiative that will lead to success in future endeavors. (The Avinger Impact Fund was formerly known as the Avinger Scholars Program.)

Through small, project-based grants, the Avinger Impact Fund awards microgrants up to $10,000 to Davidson College Student entrepreneurs looking to validate and advance their idea. We have found that funding, paired with mentorship and guidance, early in a company’s lifecycle, can make a significant impact on future success.

Successful Davidson College applicants should demonstrate a serious commitment to their proposed idea, issue, project, or venture — even if they still have unanswered questions or unvalidated assumptions. That is fully acceptable! However, they must be willing to work hard, think critically, take smart risks, and learn from failure.

Finalists are chosen on the merits of their written application (to be submitted via an online webform). Finalists are notified by March 7, if they are selected for an in-person interview. Interviews will be conducted by members of the Avinger Impact Fund Advisory Team on March 14, in partnership with the Hurt Hub@Davidson faculty and staff.

If you are selected to receive an Avinger Impact Fund microgrant, you will be asked to review your initial budget with a mentor – and submit a final budget before any funds are disbursed. You will also be required to enroll in our mentoring program, which matches you with a local team of experienced mentors who can help you grow and shape your business idea.

Those receiving funding in the Spring competition will be required to attend educational programming and mentorship opportunities throughout the summer in person at the Hurt Hub. While there may be some hybrid opportunities, the majority of the required programming will be in person.

The Avinger Impact Fund microgrants are considered taxable income, not scholarships. Please consult with a tax adviser if you have questions about how this may impact your personal tax situation.

Question: Can students with a F-1 visa receive funds from their own businesses while still enrolled at Davidson?

Answer: No, students with a F-1 visa cannot receive funds from their own businesses while enrolled at Davidson unless they work with International Student Programs to apply to USCIS, and be approved for, pre-completion Optional Practical Training . Receiving pre-completion OPT is discouraged and takes away from the available OPT post-graduation.

Question: Can students with a F-1 visa  receive awards after graduation?

Answer: Yes, students with a F-1 visa can receive awards after graduation, as long as they meet certain conditions, such as having approved post-completion OPT or leaving the U.S.

Question: What is post-completion OPT, and why is it important for receiving awards after graduation?

Answer: Post-completion OPT is a period during which international students with an F-1 visa can work in their field of study in the U.S. It is important because students need this authorization to be eligible to receive payments from their own businesses while they are physically in the U.S.

Question: Can students with a F-1 visa  continue to receive payments from their own businesses after their one year of post-completion OPT?

Answer: Generally, no. During their 12 months of initial OPT F-1 students may be self-employed and manage their own businesses. However, the 24-month STEM extension precludes self-employment and continuance of payments from Davidson College in any form.

Congratulations to our

Fall 2023

Avinger Impact Fund Winner!


Chloe Boissy-Stauffer was announced the winner of the Avinger Impact Fund on November 15, 2023, at the Welcome to the DEN event held at the Hurt Hub. Chloe’s company Pubblicare, which is a self-publishing platform and marketplace, received $10,000 to fund her venture. Congratulations to Chloe!


Nathan Engstrom (’21) and Zane Libke (’21) of SowChange
Play Video

Avinger Winners

Add your name to the list!

Thomas Athey (’24) 
Portfolio Kings

Sandro Chumashvili (’24) 
US – Georgia Wines

Constantine Desjardins (’23) 
Direct Camp

Lily Korir (’23)
KK Dairy Solutions

Heidi Meyer (’23)
Careers Explained

Tasos Pagounas (’23)
Rise Together

Christos Koumpotis Pagounas (’23)
Rise Together

Carson Crochet (’23) 

Sebastian Charmot (’22) + Oğuzhan Çölkesen (’22)

Emre Koc (’20) + Altan Tutar (’20) + Huseyin Altinisik (’21)
Impact Network

Mariem Bchir (’20)
LEAPS Academy

Nathan Engstrom (’21) + Zane Libke (’21)

Kim Bako (’21) + Patrick Sullivan (’21)

Lorena James (’21)

Andrew Wright (’20) + Jackson Miller (’20)

Arianna Montero-Colbert (’19)

Houston Downes (’18)

Charlie Goldberg (’19)
Get it Poppin’ Clothing Line

Peter (Andy) Baay (’17)
Data Engineer at Tresata, Armfield Capital Management, LLC

Violet Degnan (’17)
Topstone Projects

Scott Cunningham (16’)
Digital Storyteller

Tori Mayernick (’14)
Hives for Lives

Jared Blakney (’14)
Generations Tee Shirt Co2

The Hurt Hub logo

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Davidson College


Are you a Prospective Davidson College student or Prospective coworking member?