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Blaze Venture Challenge

Blaze Venture Logo

The Blaze Venture Challenge is an annual pitch challenge event highlighting the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of UIC students. This year, the event is generously supported by Comcast.

Individuals and teams composed of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students present unique business ideas to a group of experienced and successful professional judges from the Chicago ecosystem.

Participants have the chance to win  $13,000 in cash prizes, get access to world-class mentors and and gain real-world experience in pitching to investors.

The 2024 Blaze Venture Challenge will be held on April 16, 2024 at 5:30 in SCE 301. Join us to support the finalists!

First place prize, second place prize and third place prize

Participants stand to win $13,000 in cash prizes, access to world-class mentors and real-world experience in pitching their passions to investors.

While the Blaze Venture Challenge has a semi-final round, the event culminates into eight final teams pitching their startup ideas for the chance to win thousands of dollars. In the finals, participants will pitch to an expert panel of judges from across the Chicago innovation ecosystem. The event features pitches, feedback and cash awards! Come support the future of entrepreneurship at UIC!

Register for the Spark Series Workshops Heading link

The Spark Series is workshop-style programming geared towards students interested in exploring entrepreneurship. In the Spring, these workshops also focus on preparing students for the Blaze Venture Challenge.

2024 Blaze Venture Challenge Presented by Comcast Heading link

Thank you to Comcast, our 2024 Corporate Sponsor! Comcast is a global media and technology company. From the connectivity and platforms they provide, to the content and experiences they create, they reach hundreds of millions of customers, viewers, and guests worldwide. Learn more > 

Research Week

Inaugural UIC Research Week, April 15-19th

This year, the Blaze Venture Challenge is proud to be an anchor event for Research Week! Research at UIC has many forms, from the physical sciences to the clinical, translational and biological sciences; from engineering and computing to the social sciences, public policy and community engagement; to the arts and humanities scholarship. All are unified by a mission to change the world for the better and to engage the next generation of scientists and scholars. Externally sponsored research awards topped $500M during our last fiscal year, another benchmark that highlights the accomplishments and excellence of UIC research.