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A guide to developing the entrepreneurial mindset


Learn skills from some of the most successful entrepreneurs


Form bonds with entrepreneurial students with diverse backgrounds and skills


Get mentorship from entrepreneurial students, faculty, and industry veterans


Startup Bootcamp is an 3-week workshop series designed to introduce students to the entrepreneurial mindset. Students will develop a variety of skills through interactive workshops, mentors, and other experiences that will streamline success in their startup, career, and beyond.

Startup Bootcamp will be held in-person for the Fall 2022 semester. 

No startup, idea, or experience required!


FALL 2022
Application deadline
Introduction to Entrepreneurship

Startup Bootcamp Orientation & Overview of Entrepreneurship at Illinois


We all have a problem that we face in our everyday lives, right? Let's dive deeper into exploring some of them.

Design Thinking

Ever wonder how Apple became a 2 trillion-dollar company? Learn more about the design thinking process.


Seeing a version of the world that doesn't exist yet and painting a picture of it. Get a chance to paint your vision at 54!

Capstone Project 1

54 is a startup weekend where ideas are turned into a reality. Turn your ideas into a real business with specialized guidance over the course of the weekend.


Customer is king! Work to identify market share and strategies for selling to customers with unique marketing.

MVP / Lean Startup

A minimum viable product can showcase your strengths to the world while proving that your idea has merit.

Team & Culture

You can't have a successful startup without first ensuring your team is productive!

Life of an Entrepreneur

A panel and networking event. Meet some serial entrepreneurs and discover what it means to venture full-time.

Capstone Project 2 + Finale


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Design for America at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and student organization. We focus on learning the human-centered design process to create solutions for social challenges in our local communities. Our studio is part of a larger award-winning national network of passionate creators & innovators revolutionizing the way university students engage with & improve the world around us.


Manu Edakara is the Director of the award-winning iVenture Accelerator, the educational program for top student startups at the University of Illinois. iVenture entrepreneurs have raised over $40M, been featured on Amazon Prime documentaries, and even introduced the President. He is a former Chicagoland software entrepreneur and has been named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list.


Sam Walder (ECE @ UIUC '17) is the CEO and co-founder of Trala. Trala's mission is to make world-class music education accessible to every single person on Earth. Trala's first product, Trala: Learn Violin currently has students in 193 countries, more than 400,000 downloads, and support from some of the most famous violinists on Earth. Sam lives in Chicago and likes it when you believe in yourself.


Elizabeth Luckman is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Business Administration at the Gies College of Business. She seeks to help people navigate the challenging human dimensions of organizations through her work as an educator, researcher, and coach. She works with individuals and teams to cultivate a mindset of purpose and problem-solving, focused on continuous learning, toward the pursuit of innovative and ethical business practices. She holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Washington University in St Louis, an MBA from The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, and a BA from Wellesley College.


Harlee Sorkin is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Technology Entrepreneur Center at the University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering. He is also co-founder and Managing Director of Common Place Holdings, LLC, a health tech venture studio that provides management & seed funding for companies that it helps to form. This builds upon a 15-year consulting practice with an emphasis on business formation, capitalization, product and customer development. Prior to that, Harlee helped to lead Traco Labs, Inc., a manufacturer of health & nutrition ingredients, to a successful exit to Degussa, AG. Harlee is an NSF I-Corps instructor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at EnterpriseWorks in the Research Park. He holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Illinois.


Chris Myers held the position of Vice President, Advanced Technology and Engineering at John Deere from 2018 to 2020. Myers was responsible for corporate support of our product engineering and manufacturing operations. These include Product Technology and Innovation, Global Engineering Services (Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Software Engineering), Enterprise Electric Drives, Advanced Marketing, Enterprise Strategic Manufacturing, Enterprise Strategic Quality, and Environment, Health and Safety. He also led the company's global engineering centers in India, Mexico, Germany, and the United States, and had responsibility for the global product development process.


Aditya Perswal
Bootcamp and Launchpad Director
Questions? Comments? Concerns?

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