2022 MEEN Conference
July 28 & 29
Details below.


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 regionThe 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

Big Ten Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois

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.

The 2022 MEEN Conference will be hosted by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and held on Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29 at the Big Ten Conference Center in Rosemont, Illinois. 

Registration is now closed. If you have questions, please contact Kearsa Rawson at klrawson@illinois.edu.

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, 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

  • Learn about Midwest opportunities for I-Corps
  • Find how other universities are breaking down the 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

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

2022 Conference Agenda

2022 Theme: Broadening Participation & Building a Culture of Entrepreneurship

Day 1 | Thursday, July 28

Welcome Lunch | Check-in & Networking

Welcome from Illinois & Michigan | Opening Remarks

Goals for MEEN | Conference Objectives | Agenda Overview
Jed Taylor | Executive Director, Technology Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Group Introductions | 30 second introduction from each person in attendance

I-Corps Update
Jonathan Fay | Hub Director, NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region

Break | Refreshments

Interactive Discussion | Recruitment
Facilitator: Carla Pavone | Associate Director, Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Minnesota -Twin Cities

Please come prepared to discuss the following questions.

  • Initiative Examples: What are some initiatives that you have used to diversify participants in your programs? What metrics do you utilize to track progress and measure success?
  • Maintain Engagement: How do you foster engagement and maintain connections with students you have already recruited to participate in your programs? How does mentorship factor into engagement?
  • Challenges and Solutions: What are your challenges with recruiting undergraduate, graduate students, and/or faculty to your entrepreneurship programs? What are some ways you have tried to solve those challenges?
  • University Recruitment and Entrepreneurship: Does entrepreneurship play a part in your university’s recruitment/orientation efforts? If so, what does that look like? If not, do you have ideas on ways entrepreneurship can be aligned?

Wrap Up | End of Day 1

Optional Networking Dinner | Walking distance | Guests each pay for their own dinner
Park Tavern & Five Roses Pub

Day 2 | Friday, July 29

Welcome | Breakfast

Broadening Participation in Innovation Ecosystems
Jesus Soriano | Program Director, Partnerships for Innovation (PFI), National Science Foundation

Interactive Discussion | Entrepreneurship Culture
Facilitator: Ilya Avdeev | Director of Innovation and Kellner Entrepreneurship Fellow, Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Please come prepared to discuss the following questions.

  • How do you define entrepreneurship culture? What does entrepreneurship culture look like on your campus?
  • How are you creating an entrepreneurship culture on your campus and what issues are you facing?
  • How do you measure success? What is your goal?
  • How do you create a culture that reaches and is recognized outside of your university?

Closing Remarks | Next Steps for MEEN
Jonathan Fay | Hub Director, NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region
Jed Taylor | Executive Director, Technology Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Optional Grab-n-Go Lunch



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: 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