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Starting a company isn't easy. Ready to cut down on the learning curve?

Join us for a series of seminars designed specifically for UIC students, faculty, and staff covering topics every entrepreneur should know and provides insights on how to launch a startup. Sessions are led by industry experts, including startup founders, lawyers, digital marketers, accountants, and more.

What you'll learn

The weekly seminar series explores topics ranging from how to effectively pitch your idea to ideation and customer development.

2022 Fall Semester

WEEK 1Sept 8 Thinking about starting a company? –What you need to know.
Transforming ideas and intellectual property into impactful business ventures is a critical component of UIC’s research efforts. Join us to learn how faculty and staff can manage potential conflicts of interest so that their startup can move forward as smoothly as possible.
Presenters: Jon Gortat and Jacquelyn Jancius
WEEK 2Sept 15Customer Discovery – Who’s buying?
As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to build a product that customers want to buy. Learn how to ask the right questions and have compelling conversations with potential customers to drive product development and validate your hypotheses about profitable market segments.

Presenter: Harlee Sorkin
WEEK 3Sept 22Defining Your Value Proposition – What’s the big deal?
Learn how to define your startup’s value proposition to ensure you can build a compelling and sustainable business. This session will teach you how to identify customer pain points to ensure your product or service is positioned around their values and needs.

Presenter: Harlee Sorkin
WEEK 4Sept 29Product Development Roadmap – How do I get there?
Now that you know what you’re building and for whom, it’s time to define key deliverables and sequential milestone to keep you on track.

Presenter: Harlee Sorkin
WEEK 5Oct 12Financing Your Company – Money, that’s what I want!
Finding sources of funding is one of the most important and difficult tasks a startup undertakes. Take a detailed dive into the financing strategies and types of funding available for entrepreneurs, and gain insight on how to access funding.

Presenter: Daphne Preuss
WEEK 6Oct 14Pitching – You never get a second chance to make first impression.
A pitch is the story of your product which you need to be prepared to deliver at anytime. Discover the points you need to cover in a pitch and how to avoid common mistakes. It is never too early to start sharing your idea to impress and excite people about your technology.

Presenter: Anna Lisa Somera
WEEK 7Oct 20Forming a Company – Do it right the first time.
Ready to launch your new ventures? Join us to learn about the when, what and how of setting up your company and how to prevent expensive mistakes. Understand the pros and cons of an S-Corp, LLC and C-Corp and how investors will view different entity structures.

Presenter: Lema Korshid
WEEK 8Oct 27Growing a Company – It’s all about the team.
There is no such thing as a solo entrepreneur but finding and keeping great talent is a challenge for companies of all sizes. Join us to learn how to build a team that will help drive success for your startup and the best ways to avoid costly mis-hires.

Presenter: Anna Lisa Somera
WEEK 9Nov 3Marketing Your Product – It’s time to get creative.
If people are not aware of your existence, then how will your startup grow? From branding to building a digital presence to getting customers for your business, learn how to leverage different marketing strategies to take your startup to new heights.

Presenter: Natalie Kenny Marquez
WEEK 10Nov 10Strategic Partnerships – Your new BFF.
Strategic partnerships can be great way to get your product to market quickly while generating revenue at the same time. Learn about the benefits of strategic partnerships, how to build them, and how to navigate associated challenges.

Presenter: Chuck Ventura

All seminars will be held virtually from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. Visit our event page for unique registration links.