The Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University has provided four students with pre-seed fund grants to assist in developing and advancing their entrepreneurial ventures. 

This semester’s winners are Hunter Beale, a senior Entrepreneurship and Innovation major; Emali Grose, a senior Entrepreneurship major; Holden Robinson, a junior Entrepreneurship and Innovation major; and Ani’a Walker, a senior Entrepreneurship major. 

Twice a year, all Ball State students are invited to apply for pre-seed grants of up to $2,500 per student, per semester, for venture development. This fund was established to help students take their new business concepts from idea to prototype. Funds have historically been used to conduct market surveys, create digital renderings, earn certifications, and more. 

“We have increasingly seen students’ ideas cease to develop because of a lack of funding. Many ideas are too early for bank loans or angel investors, so the pre-seed fund helps bridge the gap and helps our students take those early steps,” said Krystal Geyer, assistant director of the Entrepreneurship Center.

Among this semester’s winning entrepreneurial ventures:

• Mr. Beale received funding to hire a designer to make 3D renderings for his concept Simpler Living, a Tennessee-based tiny home rental company.

• Ms. Grose received funds to procure 3D renderings for EMG Commercial Development, a property development firm specializing in Midwest town revitalization, beginning with a vacant Marsh building in Warsaw, Ind.

• Mr. Robinson purchased items to build a prototype for Relixir, a subscription service for nutritional supplements.

• Ms. Walker used her grant funds to take her high-end cupcake company, Puff’s Pastries, to the next level.

For Ms. Grose, being able to utilize the pre-seed funding meant she could better explain her ideas to various stakeholders.

“Being awarded pre-seed funding made my dream feel more like a reality,” Ms. Grose said. “It was no longer just an idea—I was able to bring it to fruition through visuals.”

For more information on the pre-seed fund, visit or email To contribute to the pre-seed fund to continue to foster student entrepreneurship, contact Brian Meekin at