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Applications for the 2024 Global Impact Award have now closed. 



The Global Impact Award was founded in 2013 to support the vision and passion of Washington University in St. Louis students, postdoctoral researchers, and recent alumni who are creating ventures that are:

  • Scalable
  • Sustainable
  • For-profit
  • Quick-to-market with proof of concept for a broad impact

This award, provided by Washington University alumnus Suren G. Dutia and his wife Jas K. Grewal, recognizes those affiliated with Washington University. The goal of the award is to invest in individuals and high-growth entrepreneurial ventures that have a broad impact and exhibit an interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship.




Finalists will be chosen by a selection committee based on the scoring of deliverables and will be connected to expert mentors in their relevant fields, to improve sustainability of ventures and opportunities for success. Mentorship and training will be offered during the spring semester to help the finalists prepare for their pitch presentation. In April, all finalists will present to an esteemed panel of judges, and the judges will select one or more winners of the $50,000 award.


In order to be eligible to receive the award, the founding team and venture are expected to meet certain criteria.


  • The founding team must include one or more of the following: a current Washington University in St. Louis enrolled undergraduate, graduate or professional student; a postdoctoral researcher; or an alumnus who has graduated within ten years of submitting their application for the award.
  • The Washington University-affiliated team members must have a meaningful role in the venture at the time of its application for the award.


  • The venture must have incurred less than $1 million in total debt, equity, grant or prize funding at the time of application.
  • The venture must have completed a proof of concept.
  • The venture must be a for-profit legal entity, and is expected to have high impact, be sustainable and scalable.
  • The venture may be based on faculty inventions or IP (Intellectual Property) disclosures, provided the venture includes at least one Washington University-affiliated team member who meets the above requirements and holds meaningful equity participation in the venture.

GIA Timeline 2023-2024

Monday, October 23, 2023- Applications open

Monday, November 20, 2023- Application closes at 5:00 P.M. Central

Monday, November 27, 2023- Secondary form and video pitch due by 5:00 P.M. Central

Monday, December 4, 2023- Two-page executive summary due by 5:00 P.M. Central

Monday, January 22nd, 2024- Finalists Announced

Monday, March 25th, 2024- 10-page Opportunity Summary due by 5:00 P.M. Central

Monday, April 15th, 2024- Final pitch presentation deck due by 5:00 P.M. Central

Thursday, April 18th, 2024- GIA Finals and Award Ceremony on WashU campus

Judging Criteria for GIA

Committees will be looking for ventures that are scalable, sustainable, for-profit, and quick-to-market with proof of concept for a broad impact. The specific judging criteria will include: 

  • PROBLEM: Clear, concise description and understanding of the problem.
  • SOLUTION: The solution is feasible and has been prototyped, and implementation is achievable by the team and highlighted collaborators. 
  • IMPACT: The venture that could make an important or far-reaching contribution in the lives of many persons.
  • CHALLENGES: The team understands the technical and operational challenges and has a reasonable plan to address them.
  • MARKET CONTEXT: The team understands the market and cultural challenges to their solution.
  • USE OF AWARD: The budget is appropriate, and a clear plan for additional funding (if needed) is in place. The startup presents a realistic and specific outline for how the GIA will increase the team’s probability of success - including through funding and mentorship.
  • TEAM: The team is interdisciplinary with complementary skill sets, understands their capabilities, and has utilized mentors to support their venture.  
  • SUSTAINABILITY: A sustainable venture would entail a unique application of technology or an innovative process that solves an important problem, perhaps having a barrier to entry (e.g., IP).
  • VIABILITY: This venture has a successful proof of concept, a clear go-to-market strategy, and is scalable (can expand with minimal cost). The venture will succeed.
  • GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD COMMITMENT: Recipients should be strongly encouraged and motivated to give a portion of future earnings to the Global Impact Award so that others may also benefit from similar assistance through future contributions and growth of this fund.