The Experience

  • This is why I chose to study at the University of Illinois

    Mayank Kale, 2015-2016 Fellow | CEO, Co-founder of Blink

    The iVenture Accelerator provides a unique experiential learning experience that embodies the University's land grant mission – it continues the tradition of University of Illinois students innovatively putting their ideas into the world.

  • The Accelerator brings together teams working on creating social, cultural, and commercial value for the first time at the University of Illinois

    Ryan Singh, Lead Coordinator - Entrepreneurship at Illinois Fellowship

    The iVenture Accelerator represents the joint efforts of a number of on-campus entrepreneurship units – each contributes their own expertise, networks, and capacity to provide the best experience for supporting University student ventures.

  • “The program has been a huge resource for us. It has been great to collaborate with both peers, and professionals to help our venture reach it’s full potential.”

    Uduimoh Omolu, Founder, The Mouve
  • “The iVenture Accelerator helped us focus on what matters to get our venture off the ground”

    Juliana Snarski, Co-Founder, Kofman Technologies

    The iVenture Accelerator has been incredibly valuable to pretty much every aspect of Kofman Technology's success. It has helped us focus on what matters and get KT off the ground. It has allowed us to purchase the materials, electronics, and tools necessary to build our prototypes. iVenture gave myself and the officers a solid business knowledge foundation over the course of one summer.

gained at least one new key advisor
secured 1+ full-time advisors
secured new customers & key partnerships
ventures from past cohorts still active


| Q.

Who can apply?

| A.

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.

| Q.

What about my startup's intellectual property?

| A.

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 substantial 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 the students regarding team-specific IP issues, and provide education and guidance to all of our startups regarding intellectual property considerations.

| Q.

Is this a year-long program?

| A.

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.

| Q.

Who runs the iVenture Accelerator?

| A.

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.