MakerBucks- The "Go and Try" Prototyping Program
Department(s):Innovation & Entrepreneurship
WPI MakerBucks is a new program offered by the Innovation Studio Makerspace that awards teams of students up to $200 in funding to be used to build hardware and software prototypes and connects them with the resources, tools, and experts they need to bring their ideas to life.
Funding Limit: $200
This program is open for current WPI students who are passionate about building new products and have an idea for innovative technology.
- All WPI students (undergrad and graduate) are eligible to apply.
- Teams will be given preference (individual applicants will be considered). At least one student in the team must be a Full User in the Makerspace (for 3D Printing related efforts)
- Multi-departmental collaborations will be given preference
- Funds must only be used for tools and materials to build the prototype (not to pay a 3rd party to do your work)
All students participating in the program have to be in good academic standing.
Submit an online application and provide:
- A short description of your project that can be shared publicly
- A description of any team members and their skills
- A description of achievements to date (if any)
- A tentative budget plan showing how you will use funds
- A deadline by which you expect to complete the project (all eligible expenses should be submitted by this date)
The funding that you are given is distributed through reimbursements.
- A reimbursement typically takes 2-3 weeks to process.
- For 3D Printing related efforts, funds may be released through a 3DPrinterOS account balance.
WPI Makerspace MakerBucks operates on a rolling cohort model. Students can apply during any time of the academic year. Once part of the program, participants will be required to:
- Contribute to an article/ brief interview about their project journey that may be featured on the Makerspace forums and social media.
- Attend a showcase at the end of your academic year (optional)
- Take advantage of as many of the resources that we provide as you can
- Submit all eligible expense reports in receipts by the last date of the project as stated in your application
Resources and Networking
Awarded teams/ individuals have access to:
- Workshops: On-demand workshops focused on best practices in prototyping- Design for FDM, Hardware-Software Interfacing, Mentoring sessions, and more.
- Equipment: Teams will be given access to experts across WPI who can provide access to equipment and tools (additional training may be required)
- Continued Funding: Projects may be eligible for continued funding through different programs at the I&E center.
Guidelines for Use of Funds
To help you prepare a budget for your application, please follow these guidelines for permitted use of funds:
- Allowed Expenses (purchases must have been made after the award notification and before the end of the Cohort):
- Makerspace Services including 3D Printing, Laser Cutting materials, PCB boards, and other supplies
- Hardware parts & materials
- Software licenses (if it can’t be obtained for free)
- Other types of expenses (not on the list below) may be considered
Expenses That Are Not Allowed:
- Gifts, alcohol, and items not directly related to the project
- Team dinners, meals, outings
- Tax, including sales tax and franchise taxes
- Personal computers, tablets or smartphones. We can work with you to provide AWS and Google Cloud credits, and they should be requested when computer resources are needed for product development.
- Education courses outside of WPI
- Legal fees
- Coworking space rental. WPI is full of places to meet and work together.
- Uber, Lyft, or other private means of transportation. Teams should use public transportation in the local area.
- Outside Developers and Contractors
- WPI’s Makerspace does not take equity in student projects and companies
- Students and teams do not give up any rights to intellectual property (IP) through participation in the program
- Funding for WPI Makerspace MakerBucks (and other programs) is possible because of the deep commitment of alumni and friends to WPI’s mission such as the Women’s Impact Network
- If you would like to pay-it-forward, consider joining Gompei’s circle. It’s a pledge to remember WPI in the future and support programs like WPI Makerspace MakerBucks Fund.
For additional information, please contact our Makerspace staff at email@example.com