We are doubling the financial commitment to our COVID-19 support grant program, partnering with UT Dallas and SMU entrepreneurship programs.

We are excited to announce our partnership with UT Dallas and SMU to launch the “SAFE Schools” grant, a higher-ed, industry-targeted grant for suppressing COVID-19 on university and college campuses. The “SAFE Schools” grant will award $5,000 challenge grants to UT Dallas and SMU students that propose solutions for virus suppression on university and college campuses. The objective is to create a low-risk campus environment that could exist after state- and local-executive orders have expired.

Our new grant offering at RevTech is an extension of our existing grant program dedicated for entrepreneurial solutions that address the needs of vulnerable Dallas populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

”The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority in an unprecedented moment like the present,” said Steve Guengerich, who leads the innovation and commercialization programs at UT Dallas. “Yet, in our role as a tier one research university and top-ranked entrepreneurship program, we feel compelled to seek innovative solutions. We are pleased to be part of this RevTech challenge with SMU to inspire and fund ideas for returning to a ‘safe normal’ as soon as possible, so that our students and researchers can enjoy the full value and richness of interaction that a campus environment provides.”

“Partnering with UT Dallas and RevTech Ventures in a contest to imagine new technologies that  improve the safety and security of student interaction with retail services on campus is a terrific opportunity to synergize the talent and creativity of our Dallas community and create solutions that are valuable to all schools and universities in North Texas,” said Jennifer Ebinger, director, Incubator@SMU.

The sudden closure of large sectors of the global economy, especially retail and hospitality, and the need for solutions to permit re-opening, prior to proven vaccines or treatments for COVID-19, is well-documented from research groups like Brookings to socio-political media like The Hill. In China, where COVID-19 was first identified, there has been a return to a new “safe normal” of limited commerce and social interaction among daily society. This video from Nanjing is instructive to new effective means of adjustment.

Submissions will be evaluated based on resourcefulness, creativity, simplicity, speed-to-market, team strength, and the impact on campus environment. Those interested can apply here.

About RevTech Ventures

RevTech Ventures is a retail technology venture capital firm based in Dallas. While constituting only about 5% of North American retail sales market share today, Amazon commands nearly half the sector’s R&D and innovation budget, leaving the other 95% playing catch-up. RevTech Ventures is a seed stage venture capital firm on a mission to help the retail industry adapt in the age of Amazon.

About UT Dallas Office of Research

The University of Texas at Dallas Office of Research fosters the advancement of cutting-edge research discoveries and technology, including big ideas and new ventures through the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Institute’s mission is to educate, equip and empower the next generation’s new ventures. More at innovation.utdallas.edu.

About SMU

SMU’s entrepreneurship ecosystem supports coursework and experiential learning for corporate, tech, social, arts and creative entrepreneurship. Representative sponsors for the REVTECH Safe Schools event include SMU’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship; SMU’s Hart Center for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and the Incubator@SMU powered by the Provost’s Office of Engaged Learning.


Rachel West
Director of Business Development
RevTech Ventures

Sarah Crowe
Marketing Communications
UT Dallas, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Office of Research

Jennifer Ebinger
Director of Engaged Learning, Office of the Provost
Southern Methodist University, Engaged Learning Programs: Undergraduate Research, Engaged Learning Fellowship, Big iDeas, Clinton Global Initiative and SMU Incubator

Catherine Seeds
Ketner Group Communications