UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Dozens of UI students gunned for a prize to go from startup to success.
They showed off their technological innovations for judges who decided which projects were most worthy of the help needed to get there. Some hope their inventions can change the game.
It was a packed room filled with innovative ideas and animated prototypes. The students hoped each demonstration could get them one step closer to get a business off the ground.
Imagine a robot which could make robust cappuccinos or a machine you could hold with your fingertips which tells you all you need to know about your body mass.
Those were just a couple examples of student startups competing for cash during the Cozad New Venture Challenge Showcase. It’s a tradition 20-years strong.
“It’s all about just supporting the student entrepreneurs and helping them launch. And that’s what it’s all about. We get a lot of support from mentors and people in the community as well as teams that competed in the past. They come back and help support the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
He says the most impressive part of it is the diversity of inventions, impacting people from all different cultures, backgrounds and interests.
The students compete for a variety of different prizes. All are designed to help them take their ideas to the next level.
Since 2000, nearly $2 million has been awarded to participants in the program. The money comes community donations.