Who can apply?
Teams of two or more members can apply. We strongly encourage all participating members for the summer piece to be c-suite or founding team members, capable of sharing team vision and strategy with experts and advisors, and possessing decision-making ability within the startup.
What about my startup’s intellectual property?
In general, intellectual property of startups in the iVenture Accelerator remains in the ownership of the students – this is made possible by the Office of Technology Management’s student ownership policy. IP worked on by students remains with students, with several caveats: 1) there is no University IP being utilized, and 2) faculty are not providing subsantial guidance and in-depth advice based on their research expertise. As a partner of the iVenture Accelerator, The Office of Technology Management is open to meeting with students regarding team-specific IP issues, and provide education and guidance to all of our startups regarding intellectual property considerations.
Is this a year-long program?
Yes, student startup teams in the iVenture Accelerator work full-time during the summer, and are continually supported through events, advising, and funding throughout the academic year.
During the summer, workshops, office hours, and consultations are scheduled for every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – lunch is provided on those days. The rest of the time, startups utilize the co-working space, Research Park resources, and the iVenture committee members to make startup progress. The summer component includes three trips to Chicago to meet advisors, rockstar entrepreneurs, see the Chicago startup ecosystem, and participate in events such as Chicago TechWeek and Chicago Ideas Week. The summer portion concludes with two demo and presentation days with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and community members.
During the academic year, the iVenture class meets every two weeks over lunch to share progress updates and obstacles. Teams work out of a dedicated co-working space, continue to have access to capacity funding, and gain exclusive access to events to demo and present at a variety of on- and off- campus events.
Who runs the iVenture Accelerator?
The iVenture Accelerator is run by a cross-campus team of faculty, administration, and staff passionate about accelerating the growth of our student entrepreneurs. This team is made up of members from The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, IllinoisVENTURES, Office of Technology Management, Research Park, Social Innovation at Illinois, and the Technology Entrepreneur Center.
The program is supported closely by the Colleges of Business, Engineering, Fine+Applied Arts, and School of Social Work. We work alongside University advancement offices to find ways for University of Illinois alumni and resources to engage and add value to our student entrepreneurs.