I understand the basics and am ready to dive deeper. What do you recommend?

These resources and programs are great for those who are ready to dive deeper into entrepreneurship.


For students and faculty

    The IDEA Lab provides space and technology for faculty and/or student collaboration for those working on projects in the area of innovation.
  • ILLINOIS I-CORPS - The University of Illinois is home to an official NSF I-Corps site, which is run by the Technology Entrepreneur Center and EnterpriseWorks (with participation from the Office of Technology Management and IllinoisVENTURES). Faculty and students working on STEM-related technology may apply to participate in I-Corps. Participants receive mentoring from local experts, learn the customer discovery process, and receive up to $2,000 in seed funding. Participants also dramatically improve their chance for equity-free funding with SBIR grants.
  • ILLINOIS VENTURES Illinois Ventures helps to start and build businesses based on innovations from the University of Illinois. They work with companies and technologies at the very earliest stages of their development and offer proof-of-concept grants, seed funding, and venture capital.
  • I-START ACCELERATOR PROGRAMI-Start is a Research Park program for University of Illinois-affiliated entrepreneurs that have a strong potential for technology commercialization. A suite of first-year professional services are included for I-Start awardees.
  • LICENSING AND DISCLOSURE – The Office of Technology Management can help you understand how to protect your innovation through licensing and disclosure.

For students only

  • COZAD NEW VENTURE CHALLENGETechnology Entrepreneur Center’s signature program, the Cozad New Venture Challenge, provides mentoring and workshops for teams on venture creation, idea validation, pitching skills, and customer development. Each year, more than $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes are awarded each year. Teams that are just developing their startup ideas AND existing student startups are welcome to participate.
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP ADVISING - The Technology Entrepreneur Center offers Office Hours with Experts. Meet with an entrepreneurship expert and ask questions!
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CLINIC – The Intellectual Property Clinic is a joint effort between the Technology Entrepreneur Center and the College of Law allows selected participants from the Cozad New Venture Challenge, iVenture Accelerator, and the Illinois Innovation Award to have a patent or trademark application drafted for them at no cost. The value provided by this program to student startups is about $10,000-$12,000 per patent application for each student/team and $2,000-$2,500 per trademark application.
  • IVENTURE ACCELERATOR – Student startup teams may participate in the iVenture Accelerator program by spending the summer on campus with the time and support they need to find product-market fit, build prototypes, pilot programs, build key partnerships, and scale. Startups can include anything from technological innovations and social ventures to cultural campaigns.


For faculty only

  • ILLINOIS PROOF-OF-CONCEPT PROGRAM (IPOC)IPOC, offered through the Office of Technology Management, funds development projects that demonstrate an innovation’s market viability to potential investors and partners.