Vanderbilt’s Wond’ry receives grant to bolster entrepreneur education program

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Vanderbilt’s innovation center, the Wond’ry (Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt University’s innovation center, the Wond’ry, has received a $30,000 grant from VentureWell for one of its flagship entrepreneur education programs.

The grant will help support the center’s PostFlight program, which is a semester-long course designed to help teams that have completed a successful customer discovery effort, but require additional mentorship and modest funding to take their venture concept to the next stage.

PostFlight is an extension of the PreFlight program, which was launched in the fall of 2016 and developed in partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Where PreFlight helps aspiring entrepreneurs work through their initial concept and validation efforts, PostFlight provides training in how to get an idea successfully launched. Most notably, the Wond’ry will be partnering with its mentor network of industry experts and entrepreneurs to help teach best practices to PostFlight participants.

“The success of the PreFlight, and now the PostFlight, programs at the Wond’ry have demonstrated that there’s a real appetite on campus—and in the community—to learn the fundamentals of converting an idea into a viable for-profit or social venture,” said Robert Grajewski, Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry. “[lquote]We are pleased that VentureWell has recognized and helped validate our mission of developing a robust culture of innovation at Vanderbilt.”[/lquote]

As one of the pre-eminent supporters of university innovation efforts, the non-profit organization VentureWell each year provides grants to aid university efforts around innovation and entrepreneurship, funding or training as many as 4,500 innovators and entrepreneurs since its founding. The Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are among VentureWell’s backers.

To learn more about the Wond’ry, visit