The Playgrants

The Playgrant program is a newly launched EPFL Tech4Impact grant. It is designed for EPFL researchers’ (potential) entrepreneurial projects, i.e. research projects with an advanced technology but with the need to test and validate the technology in different market and sustainable impact application scenarios. Playgrants are one-year programs aimed at promoting the creation of social enterprises. A Playgrant includes workshops, mentoring, as well as a financial grant of CHF 50,000.

The Playgrant provides support for the following activities:

  • Generate, identify and assess a set of market/ impact opportunities
  • Evaluate different market/ impact applications
  • Conduct market/ impact assessments
  • Create and test prototypes in real market applications

The Playgrant program is open exclusively to EPFL researchers: Professors, Postdocs and PhD students.

To qualify for a grant, the proposed project must:

  • rely on an advanced technology;
  • have the potential to address a pressing social and/ or environmental problem;
  • be at a pre-seed start-up stage (even if the start-up may already be incorporated);
  • be approved by the professor heading the lab.

The funding must be used within the 12-month period of the Playgrant program.

The next program will start October 1st 2019.

On basis of your submitted application, we will decide about an invitation to pitch in front of the Playgrant evaluation committee.

The final decision is taken by a committee of 3-5 expert evaluators. The committee will decide about the awarding of a Playgrant based on the quality of the project, using the following evaluation criteria:

  • Severity of addressed social or environmental problem
  • Relevance of your proposed project for tackling this social or environmental problem
  • Novelty of the project vis-a-vis current state of technology / research
  • Stage of development of proposed technology and start-up (pre-seed!)
  • Potential to transfer scientific evidence into a social enterprise
  • Scalability potential (in terms of markets and impact)
  • Planned next steps and aspired use of funds

If you believe that your project might be eligible for a Playgrant,

please fill out the application form.

and send it back to [email protected]

Please rest assured that we will handle your proposal with the highest confidentiality.

Application deadline is 15th of July 2019


For any question, send us an e-mail at [email protected]