The Startup Accelerator is an IPRO track dedicated to supporting students who are interested in launching a startup. All teams who meet the requirements of the pre-accelerator program (see below) are eligible to enroll in the startup accelerator class, which is offered by the Kaplan Institute in the Spring Semester, in collaboration with the Stuart School of Business.
Launching a business requires collaboration across many disciplines - the Startup Accelerator convenes experts from within and outside Illinois Tech including the Kaplan Institute’s executive director and staff, entrepreneurship professors, industry professionals, and investors, all here to advance student startups.
Students who are accepted in the program will:
- Receive ongoing feedback and advice from a dedicated entrepreneurship coach
- Participate in regular live sessions with faculty and mentors, who have decades of entrepreneurship, investment and venture capital experience
- Have access to the Idea Shop, MHUB and app development experts to prototype and build their products
- Learn how to create financial projections to predict their company’s performance
- Practice and eventually present their completed pitch deck to a panel of judges at PITCH@IllinoisTech and compete for a cash prize
In the classroom, students will share their experiences with other teams and refine their pitch. Outside the classroom, students will work with their industry mentors to advance their businesses and build their product.
Plan to apply? Join the Startup Studio
We will be hosting the Startup Studio in the Fall to coach all interested students to meet the necessary requirements to apply for the Accelerator. Those requirements are as follows:
You must have a team of at least three members
At least one founder must be able to enroll in the Accelerator IPRO course
You need to be able to articulate what problem you’re solving and for whom (who’s your customer).
You must have a prototype (at least a sketch) of your solution that clearly demonstrates how your solution will address your customer’s problem or needs.
Your problem and concept must be validated with 20 customers. At least 10 of them should be available to you in the spring for follow up discussions.
You must complete a first draft of a business feasiblity summary, where you indicate what elements of your plan are least understood or bring about the most risk to the business.
We strongly suggest that all students and teams interested in joining the Accelerator participate in the Startup Studio. Click below to get started!
Join an Existing Startup Team
If you are interested in joining an existing startup team, click below to join our Talent Engine. Your information will be made available to teams looking for new members, and a KI team member will help match you with an appropriate team.