I-Start Accelerator Program

The I-Start Accelerator Program targets University of Illinois-affiliated enterpreneurs that have a strong potential for technology commercialization through new company formation. The funding and resources last for one year. 

I-Start awardees have access to a suite of first-year professional services including business development, legal setup, SBIR application, bookkeeping assistance, and marketing assistance. EnterpriseWorks has referrals to providers that can offer the scope of services at rates that match the funding level. We competitively award companies 80% of the cost of the services (no equity is taken). A dedicated EIR helps monitor each awardee's progress. 

Eligible applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

- Technology is licensed, or in the process of being licensed, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

- Team is Cozad New Venture Competition winner

- Team is an iVenture Accelerator graduate

In addition, 

- Team must complete the NSF Illinois I-Corps site program or equivalent. 

Exceptions may be made for companies that have early commitments for STTR/SBIR funding and/or venture capital investment.

To apply for the I-Start Program, visit: uiucresearchpark.force.com/requests/istart_application

I-Start Entrepreneur Service Package for New UI Startups

Service Types

Legal Services

Business Planning

SBIR Assistance

Financial and Payroll Services

Student Shared Services Center

Scope of Services

•Initial Company Formation, bylaws, application for FEIN (filing fees paid by entrepreneur)

•Stockholder agreements and certificates

•Stock option plan

•Employment Agreement and student immigration assistance (match up to $5,000)

•Non disclosure agreements

•Write Business Plan with inventor input

•Market Research

•Financial Projections

•Recommendation on sources of capital

•Assistance with hiring and incorporation decisions

•Finding solicitation and agency fit

•SBIR process guidance

•Draft budget

•Writing assistance

•Help with letters of support

•Project Management

•Registrations and Submission

•Payroll admin

•Quarterly Financial Statements

•Assistance with Quickbooks setup for the business

•Market research

•Presentation assistance

•Initial template website

•Logo assistance

•Social media, adwords

•IT/Computer system setup

(up to 100 hours of student work)

Entrepreneurs may select their professional service providers to contract the scope of services appoved in the I-Start program. The selection of those providers is subject to review during the application process. Services are expected to be completed within the budget allocations for each category. EnterpriseWorks maintains a list of providers offering the scope of services for the program and pricing for I-Start clients that is available to applicants. Professional firms may submit to EnterpriseWorks a one-page scope of services for one of the above package of services. This should be provided on company letterhead, include a fixed price for the services covered, and contact information for the firm. The scope letters can be submitted to research-park@illinois.edu.