Helium Grant

Helium Grants are a $5,000 grant for people with good ideas. They're given out with no strings attached.

About the grant

2017 Grant Recipients

In 2017, three $5,000 grants were awarded to the following recipients:

  • Anton Sekatski, to finish his bachelor's degree in Prague and immigrate to Canada
  • Taylor Vinson, to take a summer internship in Washington, DC
  • Brandon Martinez, to more accurately predict the immigration visa process using real data

Read about 2017 grants

Apply for a grant

Applications are currently closed. If you'd like a reminder when they open next year, sign up below.

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What types of projects do you fund?

Whatever you can’t stop thinking about. For example, you might propose:

  • A passion project you'd like to focus on for awhile
  • Funding for project materials or other expenses
  • A class, workshop, or training that would change your trajectory
  • An internship that you otherwise couldn't afford to do

I’ll prioritize projects where:

  • Funding isn’t readily available for this kind of project
  • You've taken action, or can otherwise demonstrate your commitment
  • You have a unusual insight into the project, or your backstory is interesting
  • Impact extends beyond the duration of the project
  • Timeline is shorter (ex. 3 months) vs. longer (ex. five years)

When you say “no strings attached”, what does that mean?

I’ll give you 50% up front. I’ll check in with you before sending the second half. Then I’ll do a followup phone call and/or email at the end to hear how it went. That’s it!

Can anybody apply?

Yes: any age, country (see caveats below), industry, job title, philosophy, or stage of life.

How will you send the money?

I can send money via PayPal (you need a PayPal/bank account), TransferWise, Venmo, or mail a check.

I’m outside of the U.S., can I apply?

Yes, as long as you use PayPal or TransferWise. I’ll also ask that you cover the international fees, which seem to range between 0.5–2%.

I’m not an expert on international payments, so there may be other issues I’m unaware of. If I follow up on your application, I’ll do extra research to make sure we’re all on the same page about fees and legal rigmarole.

How do I apply?

Applications are currently closed. You can sign up for a reminder when they open again next year (roughly April 2018).

Can I sponsor a grant, too?

Yes! In 2017, two extra people received a $5K grant thanks to a few generous donors.

If you'd like to sponsor a grant next year, add your email here and I'll remind you closer to the date, when applications open up again (roughly April 2018).

Can I start my own version of this?

Of course! Feel free to adapt these grant terms to your own needs. If you start your own version, I'd love to hear about it.

Do you know of any other grant opportunities?

Yes, I've started a list. If you're aware of other microgrant programs, I encourage you to add them to that list.