The Wildcat Incubator is part of an IWU strategic initiative that seeks to generate innovative ideas focused specifically on bringing Indiana students (K-12) to the Marion campus for academic programs that instill within them a vision for college in their future. Programs may take place any time during the calendar year and can be anywhere from one day to one week in duration.

Funding for the Wildcat Incubator is made possible by the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. Grant awards range from $1,000—$30,000 annually, and funding is available from 2022-2025. The Wildcat Incubator is managed by the Wildcat Innovation Team which is comprised of a group of IWU faculty, staff, and students (recommended by their peers) who serve for an 8-month term (September-April).

Wildcat Incubator ideas may be submitted using the Wildcat Innovation Grant application which is available on the IWU Academic Youth Programs’ webpage. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and grants are awarded in the fall and spring.

Selected applicants will be contacted to interview with the Wildcat Innovation Team, and selected finalists will be invited to submit a full proposal that they present in-person to the Wildcat Innovation Team and the IWU cabinet for final review/approval. Favored proposals will expose youth to academic subjects and/or cultural experiences, foster character and/or leadership development, provide opportunities to explore postsecondary education and/or career options, and include promising strategies to recruit and serve traditionally underserved populations (i.e., students of color, first-generation college students, students from families of limited resources).

For more information about the Wildcat Incubator, contact one of the Wildcat Innovation Team co-chairs:

Wildcat Innovation Team