First-Year Innovation Fellowship

Open To:
First-Year Students (first-year transfer students are not eligible)

Application Deadline Has Passed

Time Commitment:
The 2023–24 FYIF cohort program is a one-year commitment from October 2023 to May 2024. See below for a calendar of required events.


About the Program

Are you an incoming first-year student interested in innovation and entrepreneurship? Are you bursting with new ideas that you want to turn into something real or curious to better understand a social problem so that you can make an impact in the world?

Apply to become a First-Year Innovation Fellow by September 20 to join a diverse community of problem solvers and receive seed money, coaching, and resources to transform your ideas into impact.

By joining FYIF, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Build community amongst other first-year students
  • Get started or move further along on an idea
  • Receive a seed grant of up to $500
  • Develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills
  • Explore different ways to make an impact

FYIF is for you if:

    • ✅ You will be starting your first-ever semester of university at BU in the Fall of 2023
    • ✅ You see problems as opportunities for improvement—you aren’t afraid to shake things up
    • ✅ You have identified a problem that you are passionate about solving and/or you already have an idea for a solution or business.
    • ✅ You believe in the importance of practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion in your community

FYIF is NOT for you if:

    • ❌ You can’t commit to the dates below, roughly 5 hours per month
    • ❌ You prefer to work independently rather than in a community setting
    • ❌ The Fall semester of 2023 is not your first semester at a higher education institution
    • ❌ You have not yet identified a problem you are passionate about solving

Application Process and Important Dates

Application Deadline: September 20
This includes a written portion as well as a video upload. You will receive instructions on how to upload the video once your application has been submitted.
Application Notification: Late September
First Cohort Meeting: October 3 at 6:00pm

Monthly Attendance Requirements

Upon acceptance into FYIF, you must commit to the events and dates listed below. From October 3rd to May 2nd, we will meet every other Tuesday from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm with a couple of exceptions. Additionally, you will have a one-on-one coaching session and must attend at least one event at the BUild Lab monthly.

  • Tuesday, October 3, 2023 (Orientation)
  • Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 9:00am (IDEA Con)
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2023
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2023
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2023
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2023
  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2024
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • Thursday, April 25, 2024 (Innovators Night)
  • Thursday, May 2, 2024 (Final Event)

Apply by September 20 at noon



Meet FYIF Fellows

Meet the Fellows

Frequently Asked Questions

Read the FAQs