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Demo Day event caps fall entrepreneurship programming

Spark Series

Twenty five teams and nearly 65 UIC students participated in the first annual Demo Day.

Anyone interested in getting a sense of what UIC's culture of entrepreneurship need look no further than UIC Innovation's first annual Demo Day. For two jam-packed hours Wednesday evening, student entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to attendees seeking both feedback and votes for cash prizes.

Demo Day represents the culmination of a semester's worth of workshops, programming and for some teams, related course work. The majority of the fall programming leading up to the Demo Day was a part of IGNITE: Entrepreneurial Pathways, UIC's investment in students' entrepreneurial journey, geared towards helping student ideate, iterate and innovate. Program partners include the Innovation Center and UIC's chapter of Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO).

The tone for the evening was set early, with opening remarks from Vice Chancellor for Innovation, TJ Augustine and UIC Business Dean Sandy Wayne. The pair spoke to the value of entrepreneurship and noted the growth of the entrepreneurial community on campus.

“We are so proud to see all of you here,” announced Augustine. “We’re going to celebrate some great ideas tonight, and I want each of you to remember that this event represents an investment in your future as entrepreneurs."

Twenty five teams and 64 students made up a diverse class of ventures. Each team had access to workshops, online and in-person resources and coaching. Venture topics ranged from personal finance education, real estate, menstrual tracking and personal in-home cooking ideas.

As voted by attendees, three teams took home top prizes:

First Place | CREDITZ: An app that allows users to store all of their gift cards on their phone. Creates convenience for users, giving them access to their gift cards at all times. Helps track balances, gifts, gift cards, and allows for a more enjoyable shopping experience.

Second Place | CYCLESNACK: A personalized monthly snack subscription service and menstrual tracking app that provides customers with cycle-syncing resources and guidance, such as hormone regulating food, phase specific exercises, and cycle phase reminders with the goal of minimizing negative menstruation symptoms.

Third Place | UniRage: UniRage offers a unique solution to address the pervasive issue of stress and mental health challenges among university students. By providing on-campus pop-up rage rooms, we aim to offer immediate stress relief, enhance well-being, and improve academic performance, making campus life a more balanced and fulfilling experience.