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NSF issues first biennial report on I-Corps


In June 2019, NSF submitted a biennial report on the efficacy of the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program, which provides hands-on entrepreneurship training to academic researchers and other scientists. The report includes metrics on the effectiveness of I-Corps at each federal science agency participating in the I-Corps program.

In short, from its 2011 inception through December 2018, 1,315 I-Corps teams (a total of 3,745 people) have received NSF I-Corps training, which has resulted in the creation of 644 startups and $301 million in follow-on funding across all disciplines of science and engineering.

Read the full report on the NSF I-Corps website.

Open Position at the Center for Technology Commercialization through the University of Wisconsin System


A position is open within the Center for Technology Commercialization where the incumbent will have some physical presence in the Milwaukee area.  One-third of the clients are in this region so it is important to maintain the contacts there.  Primarily, the Center for Technology Commercialization will have a need for someone who has had some business experience in a small technology company. This could be at some higher level, but not necessarily founder, owner, or CEO.  They should be able to council new or less experienced entrepreneurs in business models, business plans or perhaps a bit of fundraising.  Secondarily it is preferable that the person has Lean Startup/I-Corps experience and SBIR writing experience.  These last two features would be nice to have, but the team is primarily focused on finding first-hand business management experience.

The Center for Technology Commercialization is interested in talking to anyone in the MEEN group who might be interested or anyone in their contacts who they think might be a good fit.  The center is flexible on a number of things including full-vs. half-time.  The start date will be around the first of the year. If interested, contact todd.strother@uwex.edu. The center’s website is https://wisconsinsbir.org/.

Why Michigan Could Become A Startup Powerhouse


“Michigan’s unicorns demonstrate a fertile startup ecosystem with unlimited opportunities. A couple weeks ago, StockX became the state’s newest in a quickly-growing cohort of unicorns, which includes two other startups that also earned the elite status this year. In February, OneStream Software announced that it had not only become a unicorn but that it is profitable as well, an achievement that few startups can claim — even by the time they exit. In the same month, electric vehicle startup Rivian also earned a billion-dollar valuation when it received a significant investment from Amazon. The startup secured another large round of funding just two months later from Ford.”

Read the full article here.

College Towns Are The Next Big Thing For Startups


“With nearly 50% of millennials looking to start their own business in the next three years, it is not a surprise that the new generation of entrepreneurs aren’t based – or even particularly interested – in Silicon Valley. With students and recent graduates all over the country experiencing startup fever, college towns may just be the next big thing for entrepreneurship.”

Read the full article here.

Universities find a fertile source of industry partnerships: Their own start-ups


“Start-ups are often thought of by many as seekers of financing; after all, lacking resources is part of the classic picture of companies in their early stages of development. That’s why it may come as a surprise that a number of universities are finding their own start-ups as excellent sources of funds for research — true industry partners, even as they are seeking to solidify their own futures.”

Read the full story here.

5 Reasons Why Chicago Has (Almost) Everything Startup Founders Need


Chicago is known for its harsh winters, but it’s actually a hospitable environment for entrepreneurs–and blows away many of the other metropolitan areas trying to compete. 

“We don’t have it all, but we are pretty close,” says Betsy Ziegler, CEO of the local tech incubator 1871, which is home to nearly 500 early-stage digital startups.

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Chicago Has Seen ‘Meteoric’ Startup Growth in the Last 10 Years, Report Says


The number of startups in Chicago has skyrocketed over the last decade, according to a new report.

Chicago has seen some of the fastest startup growth in the nation in the last 10 years, as the number of upstarts in the Windy City has increased 270 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to The Center for an Urban Future, a New York think tank that analyzed data from Crunchbase. That growth rate is the 7th highest in the nation, behind only San Francisco, Brooklyn, New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

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Chicago Inno’s 25 Under 25


One of the best ways to measure a startup ecosystem and where it is headed is by looking at its youngest entrepreneurs and technologists. From classrooms at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, to the city’s accelerator programs for budding entrepreneurs, there is evidence in all corners of Chicago that show it’s not just tech veterans pushing the city’s innovative spirit forward. To highlight some of Chicago’s young tech leaders, Chicago Inno has compiled a list of 25 promising and notable young entrepreneurs and technologists in the city’s tech and startup scene. 

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Meet 3 energy innovators getting a lift from Argonne National Laboratory


The national laboratory last month announced its second class of participants for a Midwest energy entrepreneurship program.
Erika Boeing is developing a small wind turbine she hopes can someday find a home alongside solar panels on the rooftops of big-box stores, factories and other large commercial and industrial buildings.

A major challenge for her St. Louis-based company: securing funding, which is generally harder to come by for advanced hardware than software startups. And Boeing and her team are at “the limit of our expertise and computing resources for computational fluid dynamics modeling,” as she describes it.

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