Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies?
Our mission is to create economic opportunities through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the growth of businesses that change the lives of people who live in poverty around the world.
When did the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies launch?
SEED was launched in November 2011, with a $150 million gift from Founding Donors Bob (MBA 1960) and Dorothy King.
Why is the Institute called SEED?
The acronym for the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies is SIIDE which is pronounced, and known informally, as SEED.
What will SEED do?
SEED's overall purpose is to catalyze the transformation of people who live in poverty around the world--on a massive scale--through innovation and enterprise.
Does SEED offer research funding?
SEED provides research support to Stanford faculty and PhD students. Research proposals should have a direct link to business entrepreneurship and/or for-profit enterprise growth that benefits the poor in developing economies. For more information on application and submission deadlines, please visit
Please note that SEED does not provide funding to external organizations.
How will research contribute to SEED’s impact?
Research findings are informing and guiding SEED’s strategy. In turn, learnings from our on the ground efforts will inform future research projects.
Is SEED targeting specific geographies?
SEED’s work is global, wherever there is need. However, to leverage our resources, we focus on areas that hold the greatest potential for immediate and massive impact. A region’s economics, political stability, resources, and infrastructure are some of the dimensions we use in assessing where to establish regional centers. Having identified West and East Africa as high priority geographies, SEED is planning on launching a Ghana-based center that will serve the greater West African area in Summer 2013, followed by a similar effort in East Africa.
How can Stanford alumni engage with SEED?
Stanford alumni will play a critical role in expanding the reach of our programs. To find out about current opportunities, please visit http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/seed/programs/business_coaching
How can Stanford students engage with SEED?
The primary vehicle for student participation in SEED is through the very popular EXTREME program. Now in its 10th year, Design for Extreme Affordability is a two-quarter, multidisciplinary, project-based course offered by Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (known as the “d.school”) through the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford School of Engineering.
For more information, please visit http://extreme.stanford.edu/
Additional programs for Stanford students will be announced.