Exploration Fund

Are you a current Saint Mary’s student or a recent alum who is running a start-up? Are you looking for cash via investment to grow your business? If so, we are proud to offer the Arthur L. Irving Entrepreneurship Centre’s Exploration Fund.

We want to support businesses that have:

  • strong user feedback, or traction via early orders or sales;
  • proof of concept, MVP (Minimum Viable Product), or a product already in market;
  • plans to grow the business;
  • well-defined, short-term strategy; 
  • clear market differentiation.  


Our fund offers up to $25,000 in the form of a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) agreement to businesses who meet the above criteria and successfully pass through the fund’s due diligence process (details below).

*Note: This can take upwards of 6 months or more, and application does not mean that you are guaranteed to receive investment.

How It Works

Due Diligence Process Overview 



Founder Applies

 Your application will start with an introductory meeting where we can learn more about your business. We will request more information as needed through the process. Our first steps will likely be to review your pitch deck and executive summary of your business. 


Investment Memo

The Arthur L. Irving Entrepreneurship Centre works with Saint Mary’s Venture Grade course. Venture Grade will prepare an investment memo on the company based on a pitch and other supporting documentation that they will request from the founder.


Investment Committee

The Arthur L. Irving Entrepreneurship Centre supplies the investment memo to its own Investment Committee formed of experts in the field of start-ups, entrepreneurship, investment or other fields. Each member supplies their own investment advice.


Investment Terms

 Venture Grade works with the founder’s lawyer to negotiate investment terms for the SAFE. The goal of the fund is to supply terms as favorable as possible to the business while still protecting the fund’s future. 


Term Sheet

A negotiated term sheet is provided by the Arthur L. Irving Entrepreneurship Centre to Saint Mary’s financial services department to disperse the investment to the business.  

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