2024 MEEN+ Conference July 15-17


What is MEEN?

MEEN mission: to support the innovation efforts of midwest technology entrepreneurship institutions through collaboration in educating supporting and connecting innovators to the ecosystem spanning the region

The Midwest Engineering Entrepreneurship Network (MEEN) supports the efforts of Midwest technology entrepreneurship institutions through collaboration in educating, supporting, and connecting innovators to the ecosystem spanning the region. The geographic spread, diverse industrial base, and scale of the network facilitates the sharing of resources, connections and best practices, among the institutions involved. MEEN currently includes more than 30 universities which account for approximately $16B in federal research funding.

MEEN was established in 2011 by the University of Illinois Technology Entrepreneur Center and the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Annual Conference

Annually, MEEN holds a conference aimed at sharing best practices and methods for overcoming challenges unique to Midwest engineering entrepreneurship centers. Each year, a different university hosts the MEEN Conference.

Dates | July 15-17, 2024
Host | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Location | Urbana, Illinois

Registration Deadline: July 1, 2024

MEEN Conference
Monday-Tuesday, July 15-16
Monday: 12:00-5:00pm
Tuesday: 8:30am-12:00pm

Join your Midwest engineering entrepreneurship center peers to share best practices, methods for overcoming challenges, and make connections! The MEEN conference is open to University administration, faculty, and staff working with technology entrepreneurship. Representatives from entrepreneurship centers, technology commercialization offices, and entrepreneurship education are encouraged to attend.

Great Lakes Hub Meeting
Tuesday, July 16

The NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region engages academic scientists and engineers in innovation by providing world class educational programs designed to train researchers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and accelerate the transfer of cutting-edge research into commercial success.

The Great Lakes Hub Meeting is only open to the members of the Great Lakes NSF I-Corps Hub. Learn more about the NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region.

Inclusive Innovators Summit
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The Inclusive Innovators Summit will bring together Midwest graduate students, postdocs, and faculty with academic and entrepreneurial leaders to build insights and solutions for inclusive engagement in research commercialization and science entrepreneurship. All are welcome to attend. Learn More about the Inclusive Innovators Summit.


Suggested Lodging with the MEEN Conference Rate
Marriott Bonvoy Townplace Suites
603 S. Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois

Travel Information

There are daily flights to and from Champaign-Urbana via Willard Airport (CMI) and Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Willard Airport
1 Airport Rd., Savoy, Illinois

Who should attend

This conference is open to University administration, faculty, and staff working with technology entrepreneurship. Among others, representatives from entrepreneurship centers, technology commercialization offices, and entrepreneurship education are encouraged to attend.

There is no fee to attend this event, but participants are responsible for providing their own transportation and accommodations.

Why you should attend

  • Find how other universities are breaking down educational silos
  • Hear best practices in engineering entrepreneurship from other universities
  • Describe a challenge you are having and learn how the MEEN network may help
  • Learn about Midwest opportunities for I-Corps

We look forward to sharing and exploring new ideas and tackling the common problems we all face.

2024 Conference Agenda


Past participants include: Iowa State University, Penn State, Wayne State, Illinois Institute of Technology, Michigan Technological University, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Akron, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Toledo, and others.

Past hosts include: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2022), Iowa State University (2019), University of Nebraska (2018), University of Iowa (2017), University of Minnesota (2016), University of Chicago (2016), Purdue University (2015), Northwestern University (2014), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2013), and University of Michigan (2012).


photo of matthew lynal

“Hosting and attending the MEEN Conference has been an invaluable opportunity to meet with colleagues across the Midwest, exchange best practices, and build collaborative initiatives that leverage our collective resources and expertise. In a relatively low-density entrepreneurial ecosystem, MEEN has provided a platform to enable much greater connectivity across geographically dispersed institutions. Nice people too!”

Matthew Lynall, Professor at Purdue and PI for Purdue I-Corps Site; 2015 MEEN Conference host

Photo of middle aged blond woman in business attire

“Since attending my first MEEN Conference in 2013 at Northwestern University in Chicago, I have found it to be an invaluable experience. Being able to get to know people facing similar challenges at peer institutions and learning from them has been extremely helpful. It’s also been fruitful to connect with other NSF I-Corps grant recipients to stay on top of best practices. In 2017, MEEN was held at the University of Iowa and we really enjoyed hosting our colleagues and showing off our campus and expertise. Every year, it’s good to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.”

Lynn Allendorf, Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center University of Iowa; 2017 MEEN Conference host

Member Network

University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Nebraska-Omaha

Michigan "M" Logo

University of Michigan

University of Illinois

Wichita State University

Wayne State University

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

University of Toledo

University of Notre Dame

University of Northern Iowa

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Missouri

University of Minnesota

University of Iowa

University of Cincinnati

University of Chicago

University of Akron

The Ohio State University

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Saint Louis University

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Purdue University

Penn State University

Northwestern University

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Michigan Technological University

Iowa State University

Grand Valley State University

Cleveland State University

Cleveland Clinic

Case Western Reserve University

Boston Scientific Corporation