Tamer Fund for Social Ventures

Term: Spring, Fall

Provides seed grants to nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid early-stage Columbia University affiliated social and environmental ventures

The Tamer Fund for Social Ventures provides seed grants of up to $25,000 to nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid early-stage social and environmental ventures. Social or environmental ventures are defined as those working to solve a social or environmental problem.


  • Ventures must be led by Columbia University students, alumni, faculty or researchers, or be advised and have significant involvement by Columbia University faculty or researchers. The entire team need not be Columbia University affiliated; one founding member or significantly involved faculty or research advisor is sufficient.
  • Ventures must not have closed their seed funding round at the time of application.
  • Current students may not enroll in the Investing in Social Ventures course in the same semester in which they apply to the Fund for their venture.
  • Preference will be given to ventures that have the potential to be financially self-sustaining in the longer term.

Current Columbia students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the courses offered at Columbia before applying (see the Other Resources for Social Venture Teams for more information). You should only apply if your application can clearly address the following questions:

  1. What is the intended social impact of the venture? How socially innovative is it? What is the potential to scale the venture? What metrics will be used to measure its success?
  2. What is the business model and how likely is it to succeed? (e.g.: Business Model Canvas is a potential framework that can be used by applicants); and
  3. Has the venture already attracted needed resources, including a quality management team, advisors, customer/client or stakeholder connections, and other sources of funding?


There are two deadlines for applications for the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures: the fall application deadline is August 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST, and the spring application deadline is February 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Undergraduates
Fellowship Type:
Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Monday, August 15, 2022
Fall application deadline is August 15. Spring application deadline is March 1.