School:Illinois Institute of Technology

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When an entrepreneur has an innovative idea in mind and is in search of nearby resources to help them take their entrepreneurial passions to the next level, they need to seek out relative programs, organizations, and sponsors to help them kick start their goals. Illinois Institute of Technology provides many open opportunities for students to collaborate with students of all disciplines and connect ideas related to entrepreneurship and eventually launch them into action. Students can even enroll in foundation courses embracing the aspects of entrepreneurship and potentially pursue it in a graduate program.

The entrepreneurship academy at Illinois Institute of Technology can be considered  the largest resource and center on campus dedicated  to entrepreneurship. Illinois Institute of Technology also partners with many corporate sponsors to help fund events and programs focused on the concepts of both innovation and entrepreneurship.

U.S. Deptartment of Commerce Innovation Ecosystem Categories

Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship

IIT offers many clubs and courses where students can work towards gaining a better understanding of I & E, all the while producing ideas and products to potentially launch. These programs also allow for students to practice skills important to I & E including experimentation, problem solving, and visual analysis: 

  • IPRO
  • Student groups or events (CEO, TedxIIT, Undergraduate Business Council, StartUp IIT, hackathons, and others)
  • Over 75 courses relating to innovation/entrepreneurship
  • Laboratories, Lounges, collaboration, prototyping and making spaces
  • Incubator North and South (Tech park IIT)


Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship

IIT professors are able to apply for individual grants from the NIH to be applied to their respectives labs, in order to fund ongoing research:

  • NIH funded grants (BME dept: Eric Brey (Diabetes REU Grant)
  • NIH funded Business Start-up competition
  • NIH funded Neurostartup Challenge
  • NIH funded AP study                                                     


Actively supporting the university technology transfer function

IIT's office of Technology Commercialization works with other institutions, organizations, visiting fellows, faculty, and government programs like the NIH to share intellectual property and/or commercialize intellectual property. The Office of Technology Commercialization also provides a path of communication stretching into industries and organizations faculty, along with making technological ideas from IIT marketable:


            * Sigenics

            *Sinode Systems            

           *Smart Grid Network


Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

IIT works with Chicago based sponsors such as the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Container Store, as well as international sponsors such as Ford Motor company, General Motors, BP Amoco, Coca-Cola, Segway, and Hewlett-Packard into order to bring collaborative, real-world challenge based learning to IPRO courses. IIT also has numerous research institutions, each partnering on various research projects with outside industry. 

  • IPROs
  • Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering 
  • IIT Research Institute (IITRI)
  • Center for Innovation and Science and Applications (CISA)
  • Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER)
  • Faculty Engineering Labs
  • Wet labs: Incubator North and South


Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts

IIT's Community Affairs office partners with area businesses and regional development councils to improve the surrounding neighborhoods. Initiatives of Community Affairs and the Knapp center provide small or start up businesses with legal assistance, networking expertise, and technology training.

Academic Programs in Entrepreneurship

Armour College of Engineering

  • EMGT 363—Creativity, Inventions, and Entrepreneurship for Engineers and Scientists
  • EMGT 407—Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Management
  • EMGT 470—Project Management
  • ENGR 497: Introduction to Research Methods
  • CHE 506—Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Management
  • ENGR 595: Product Development for Entrepreneurs

Stuart School of Business

  • BUS 341—Business Law for Entrepreneurs in the Modern Global Economy
  • BUS 361—Entrepreneurial Thinking and Practice
  • BUS 467—Managing Entrepreneurial Enterprise and the Global Marketplace
  • BUS 472—New Product Development
  • BUS 468—Creating and Managing the Sustainable Entrepreneurial Enterprise
  • MBA/EMS 529/PA 550—Social Entrepreneurship
  • MBA 575—Creativity and Contemporary Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  • MBA 576—Creating and Financing New Technology Ventures
  • MSF 594—Entrepreneurial Finance

Project Courses Stuart School of Business

  • BUS 102—Computing Tools Bus Analysis
  • BUS 103—Ideation: What Are My Interests?
  • BUS 104—Needs Analysis and Opportunity Analysis Aligned with My Interests
  • BUS 203—Identification and Evaluation of Prospective Consumers
  • BUS 204—Identification and Evaluation of Competitive Advantage
  • BUS 303Financial Analysis: Pro-Forma Financial Statements
  • BUS 403—Developing a Strategically Business Plan
  • BUS 404Selling Your Business Plan

Graduate Programs or Certifications:

  • Master of Business Administration, Concentration in Innovation and Emerging Enterprises
  • Master of Public Administration with Economic Development and Social  Entrepreneurship Specialization
  • Master of Information Technology & Management with IT Management and  Entrepreneurship Specialization
  • Information Technology Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship Certificate  
  • Entrepreneurial Finance Certificate

Campus Entrepreneurial Efforts

The IIT Entrepreneurship Academy:

The IIT Entrepreneurship Academy (EA) is a university-wide, academic-focused organization with an overall goal of fostering a community of entrepreneurship on campus that transcends departments and units. Its purpose is to advance the spirit and understanding of entrepreneurship across the campus through the Entrepreneurship Minor and related co-curricular activities available for all university majors.

The EA organizes a full array of complementary activities that provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to have a real-world experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. At the EA, students can apply business fundamentals and innovative and entrepreneurial thinking to a variety of situations—in entrepreneurial endeavors, research, and business and social organizations.

Links to Additional Resources:

The Interprofessional Projects Program

Developed at IIT in 1995, the IPRO Program consists of student teams from the junior through graduate levels, representing the breadth of the university’s disciplines and professional programs. The multidisciplinary IPRO team project course experience is offered via three platforms that provide students a variety of choices that tap their passion and disciplinary knowledge. IPRO projects also offer sponsors, community partners and other collaborators customized approaches to accommodate their interests. All three IPRO platforms are designed to achieve the same learning objectives and serve our undergraduate students in fulfilling their two-IPRO six-credit-hour general education requirement. At the traditional end of semester IPRO Day event, IPRO teams from all platforms exhibit their work for the semester, with variations in how teams from different platforms are evaluated.

The interprofessional projects program at IIT gives students of all disciplines the opportunity to apply innovative skills to team based project experience. Students also get the chance to display their projects to the public at the IPRO fair during IPRO day each semester. Even students from other universities can join in on IPRO day and showcase their projects for potential cash or recognition from a presentation. In terms of entrepreneurship, there's even an option for entrepreneurial IPRO projects. This program strongly encourages entrepreneurship as it encourages students to set their ideas out into the real world while developing a model for their project.

Links to Additional Resources:

The Idea Shop

The Idea Shop is an exciting new facility developed in 2010 by IIT. Located in University Technology Park, this beautiful 13,000 square foot environment is a showcase, workplace and learning space that inspires interaction across professional programs and elevates the entire educational experience.

The idea shop is a great resource and workplace for all types of students and encourages interaction between students of various disciplines while also providing and ideal learning environment. The idea shop provides numerous tools for innovative projects including 3D printers, cutters, labs, and team-specific areas. It gives students tools to test entrepreneurial ideas and gain educational experiences while doing so.

Links to Additional Resources:

Student Entrepreneurship Initiatives

The CEO Student Organization

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization whose main goal is to foster and support entrepreneurial efforts at Illinois Institute of Technology. This organization provides students of all majors with the necessary support and networks to become an effective entrepreneurial leader.          In collaboration with Illinois Institute of Technologies’ Undergraduate Business council, The Startup IIT weekend programs are hosted with the aims of providing mentorship and allows students the valuable experience of presenting in front of real-world entrepreneurs and investors.

Links to Additional Resources:

Entrepreneurial Partners

Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center

Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center offers a wide variety of supportive services for start-up and existing small businesses located in and around Illinois Institute of Technology. The Center is committed to helping neighborhood businesses grow and thrive, as well as helping the IIT students, alumni, faculty, and staff bring new ideas and services to life.

Innovation drives today’s business. But innovation is only the beginning.  The road to commercializing a product idea or revolutionary new service is difficult and filled with obstacles. The Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center is available to help find resources to overcome these obstacles, and get you on the path to success.

For nearly 125 years, IIT has been teaching, developing, and coaching the best engineering, legal, architectural science, and business minds to improve the world we live in. The Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center is yet another very important resource that demonstrates IIT’s commitment to improving life for all humankind. Whether you need help developing realistic cash flow projections, finding your break-even point, accessing capital or helping you hire your first employee, Knapp Center can provide all the neccessary resources.

Knapp Center Resources



Themed Co-Working Spaces





Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship

Coalition: Energy





Impact Engine

Tech Stars Chicago

Chicago Innovation Exchange

Support Orgs

Energy Foundry



Chicago Innovation Mentors



3d Printer Experience

Links to Additional Resources:

Future Founders Foundation — College Founders

For many college-age entrepreneurs, the transition from school into the real world can be challenging. After graduation, the continual guidance from professors, classroom structure and school resources diminish, leaving many students unaware of how to navigate the community. College Founders bridges this gap by engaging students in community activities while they are in school.

At IIT,  College Founders promotes cross-collaboration and increases the capacity of university programs by broadening their reach into the community. College Founders also helps students cross the bridge into the real-world by preparing them to adapt to a loss of constant aid. College Founders sponsors many important resources for future entrepreneurs including the E-pass, giving students open access to the entrepreneurial world. The Fellowship, which kick starts the minds of eager entrepreneurs. And the U-Pitch competition, encouraging students to showcase their business ideas.

Landscape Canvas


Illinois Institute of Technology has many entrepreneurial resources both at the university as well as with partners all across the Chicago area. These resources are utilized by students, faculty, and other affiliates to the university. For more information, please visit the university's website or links provided previously. Illinois Institute of Technology can be considered an ideal university as a starting point for someone with an interest in pursuing entrepreneurship in the future.

Link to University

Related Links

Illinois Tech Student Priorities 

Illinois Tech Innovation Fellows

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