Tech Transfer Central

Creating and Supporting Student Innovation Centers: Case Study of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign’s iVenture Accelerator

Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: April 26, 2016

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Price: $197
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wordcloud-innovation-headEncourage student innovation while stimulating industry engagement and economic development

Universities around the world are introducing the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to their student bodies by providing a focal point for research, education, outreach, mentorship, legal support, access to funding, and project-based learning. These student innovation centers, as they are commonly known, can help universities recruit fresh talent and establish new research partnerships that promote an ecosystem where emerging leaders can explore complex business challenges while fully leveraging available grants and funding for research.

One stand-out example is the iVenture Accelerator at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. The iVenture Accelerator is a year-long program that represents the joint efforts of a number of on-campus entrepreneurship units – each contributing their own expertise, networks, and capacity to provide the best experience for budding student innovators and support for promising student ventures. The iVenture Accelerator brings together teams from seven colleges to work on creating social, cultural, and commercial value for students and for the UIUC. Along with those critical benefits, the program’s unique experiential learning has spawned more than a dozen successful start-ups.

That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has partnered with iVenture Accelerator’s lead coordinator Ryan Singh to present this case-study style webinar:

Creating and Supporting Student Innovation Centers: Case Study of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign’s iVenture Accelerator

During this program Ryan will discuss:

The inner workings of the iVenture Accelerator:

  • History of the program
  • What support the accelerator provides for early-stage startups
  • Goals regarding student education and venture acceleration

How iVenture Accelerator manages:

  • Recruiting/sourcing
  • Funding
  • Co-working space
  • Student entrepreneurs

How they seek out mentors:

  • Types of alums they target
  • Working closely with advancement offices

Lessons Learned and success stories in relation to:

  • Diversity
  • Venture acceleration
  • Educational outcomes
  • Alumni engagement
  • Campuswide entrepreneurship ecosystem

Your Program Leader:

Ryan SinghRyan Singh
Lead Coordinator, iVenture Accelerator
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Ryan Singh manages the Social Innovation at Illinois initiative and the iVenture Accelerator at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In these roles, he’s working to create a campus-wide ecosystem that gives more ways for students and faculty at the University of Illinois to create ventures, nonprofits, and campaigns that address the world’s most pressing social issues. To this end, he oversees a three-course social entrepreneurship program, the yearlong iVenture Accelerator program, a changemaker lecture series, and other programs. He supports a variety of social startups working on diverse issues in healthcare, technology, medicine, education, and social services – and recently supported the Subsistence Marketplace Initiative student teams in conducting rural product development in India. He is most interested in how ecosystems can support the scaling of social-purpose ventures, and the role higher education plays in preparing and motivating students to address the world’s biggest challenges. 

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