CASE Launch Pad

In addition to Duke resources such as the Duke Startup Challenge, CASE awards the annual CASE Launch Pad prize – $10,000 plus coaching – to help Duke MBA social entrepreneurs vault their ideas forward.

CASE Launch Pad Recipients:

Learn more about our past recipients by clicking on their profiles.

MiLibreta 2020 case launch-padMichelle Egger 2018 case launch-padbalne brazil 2019 case launch-padEric Smith 2018 case launch-padtim scales 2017 case launch-padjoy-anena-odongpiny-2016-case-launch-padanne-steptoe-2015-case-launch-padfrederico-rizzo-2014-case-launch-padrachel-lichte-2013-case-launch-padjack-beuttell-2012-case-launch-pad

The CASE Launch Pad includes a $10,000 grant, plus tailored coaching from CASE staff and our global network of impact enterprise leaders.

The CASE Launch Pad is only available to current Fuqua students (though you may be part of a broader team, see FAQs below).  We encourage applications that represent any of the following social venture stages:

  • Investigation Stage: You do not have an idea for a venture yet, but you have a passion for a certain domain that you want to further explore and believe could evolve into a venture.
  • Idea Stage: You have an idea for a venture that you have not yet begun operating, though you have done initial research, may have developed business plans, etc.
  • Operating Stage: You have a venture now that you are looking to scale.

The Launch Pad is not designed to reward an elaborate PowerPoint presentation or prose; it is intended to fund the smartest plan of learning and action.  The grant can be spent at the student (or team’s) discretion, either for direct expenses to fund your time and/or to fund learning experiences.

2023 Application Process

  • Submit 2-3 page (short but rigorous) application due February 12, 2023 by 11:59pm EST
  • Top applicants participate in an interview on February 15, 2023
  • Winner announced on February 24, 2023
  • Winner gives capstone presentation in March 2023

Winners will be selected based on the thoughtfulness of their proposed plan.  For instance, is it achievable?  Is it measurable?  Would the plan, if executed, yield critical insight towards creating a venture idea or give progress to a budding social venture?  Remember that the stage of your idea is less important than demonstrating a well thought out plan on carrying the idea forward.  CASE encourages applicants to design a plan for using the funds for at least four specific weeks of learning and/or work over the course of one year.

The Fine Print: Applicants to the CASE Launch Pad must be current Duke Fuqua Daytime MBA students.  CASE reserves the right not to award the prize in any year if appropriate candidates are not found.


Q: Who is eligible for the CASE Launch Pad?
A: Any Fuqua Daytime MBA student.  First Years and Second Years are eligible.   If joint degree student, you must be enrolled at Fuqua this year to be eligible (or have completed a year at Fuqua already).

Q: Can I apply with a team?
A: Yes, you can apply for the CASE Launch Pad as an individual or as a team. Your team can include non-Fuqua individuals but the Launch Pad recipient must be a Fuqua student. Our expectation is that the Fuqua student is utilizing and managing the Launch Pad funds and is the recipient of the one-on-one mentoring throughout the Spring/Summer.

Q: Seed funding is great! Are there other places I can compete for funding?
A: There are several other avenues students with social venture ideas can pursue!

In particular you can submit your idea to:

  • If you are a Duke student with a social venture idea, you should consider applying to the Social Ventures track of the Duke Startup Challenge.
  • Echoing Green also has a fellowship program to fund and support early stage social entrepreneurs (deadline usually early Jan).
  • The Hult Prize offers $1 million in funding with call for applications typically beginning in March
  • The Dell Social Innovation Challenge has spun out of the University of Texas at Austin into its own social enterprise, Verb. Check out their website for details on upcoming competitions –
  • Executive summaries for entry in the Global Social Venture Competition are due in January
  • A global competition called the D-Prize funds social venture ideas based on specific distribution challenges.