The Cozad New Venture Challenge is the Technology Entrepreneur Center’s signature program and encourages students to innovate and create new businesses. To date, more than 3000 students have participated in Cozad, and over $2 million in funding and in-kind prizes have been awarded! The competition provides mentoring to teams through the phases of venture creation; and provides workshops on idea validation, pitching skills, customer development, and more. The annual program culminates each year with a Demo Showcase, Finals Event, and Awards Ceremony.
Illinois Ventures offers the Dr. Paul Magelli Innovation Prize, which is a $10,000 investment in a company launched by participants in the Cozad New Venture Challenge each year.
The Fiddler Innovation Fellowship honors University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign undergraduate students for excellence in addressing cultural, societal, or global challenges with innovative solutions that incorporate the interdisciplinary areas of creativity, art or design, and technology. The innovative solution must have the potential for making a significant impact. The winner will receive an award of $10,000 in the form of direct deposit to the student's University account, and a trophy. The Fiddler Innovation Fellowship is awarded by the Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media (eDream) Institute, which is endowed by Jerry Fiddler and Melissa Alden. eDream is based at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
The Illinois Innovation Award honors University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students for excellence in cutting-edge innovation or translational research that addresses real-world problems and has the potential to make a significant impact. The winner receives a monetary award of $20,000 in the form of direct deposit to the student’s University account, and a trophy. The Illinois Innovation Award is awarded by The Grainger College of Engineering through the Technology Entrepreneur Center.
The Mottier Innovation Challenge is an annual event, housed in the department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (ISE). The challenge runs from September through December and aims to stimulate innovation, engender team spirit and cooperative problem solving, and develop ideas that are financially and socially sustainable.