Who can apply for a NextStep Fellowship?

Any student(s) from any POE can apply for a NextStep Fellowhip. The goal of the Fellowship is to help students solve problems through the entrepreneurial process. Whether you think you have the next "great idea" or you recognize a problem that needs solving but aren't quite sure how to do it - you can apply for the NextStep Fellowship!

What is included in the Next Step Fellowship?

The NextStep Fellowship provides students with research capital, education, mentoring, and space to research a problem, generate ideas, and test pilot solutions. Through our 8-week program, students will learn to identify a problem, validate or invalidate it through customer interviews, generate ideas to solve proven problems, and create a business model to launch their solution.  Along the way, they will be supported with a stipend, matched with an exerienced entrepreneurial mentor, provided space in our Richard Ott Innovation Zone, and be given access to our Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (TM) to guide them through the process.

Student Stipend

  • Receive up to a $500 stipend to assist you with research, test piloting, prototyping, or other pre-venture feasibility requests.


  • Online curriculum along with weekly instruction on the startup process.
  • Individually matched with an experienced Mentor (Usually a Juniata College Alumnus/ae or a local business professional
  • Connection with professional service providers in accounting, law, banking and insurance


  • 24/7 access to the Richard Ott Innovation Zone located in the Sill Business Incubator including access to a workspace, presentation technology, file/document storage, and phone where students can develop their business model and generate ideas.

What is the NextStep Fellowship Process?

1. Students complete the NextStep application and submit electronically to the JCEL Director.

           - Next Step Fellowship Application    

2. JCEL Seed Capital Committee will review the proposal and provide comments with recommended action to student(s)

3. Upon accepting, students will go through an onboarding process to provide them access to the curriculum, training on Juniata StartupTree (our Mentor Platform), matched with a mentor, and given access to the Sill Incubator.

4. Once the student, JCEL Director, and Mentor have reviewed the student's idea and developed the action plan, funds can be disbursed based on timing budgetary needs.