Entrepreneurship & Innovation
The School of Informatics & Computing supports faculty and students in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial and innovative endeavors. Toward that end, the following programs have been developed and new ones will be posted on a continual basis:
The BEST Competition provides up to $250,000 in investment funds annually for qualified students who submit the most viable plans for a student-led Internet, software, or technology business. The prize is the largest in the world offered by a university solely to its students in a business plan competition. The competition is open to current full-time IU Bloomington students who are graduating undergraduate or graduate students. The first place winner will be guaranteed at least $100,000 to invest in their company in exchange for a 20% equity stake, with the remaining investment funds distributed among selected finalists.
To learn more, please visit the BEST Competition website. If you have any questions about the BEST Competition, please email Travis J. Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BEST Aspiring Entrepreneur Program
Gifts from SproutBox, Ice Miller LLP, and David Shane support three teams with a $5,000 stipend, which is divided between the members evenly and disbursed as a scholarship. The three teams are given work space at the School of Informatics and Computing in order to develop their ventures during the summer term. All teams are mentored by Brad Wisler, Co-founder of SproutBox; Dustin DuBois, Partner at Ice Miller; and Travis Brown, SoIC Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship, weekly to develop their business/product and a draft of an executive summary and presentation. The teams are encouraged to apply to the annual BEST Competition with their final drafts.
If you are interested in the BEST Aspiring Entrepreneur Program, please email Travis J. Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship (email@example.com).
Shoemaker Scholars Program
The Shoemaker Scholars are a prestigious group of students selected for their entrepreneurial ambition and drive. As a Shoemaker Scholar, students receive a scholarship of $2500 per academic year, $1250 per semester. Students interested in being seriously considered for this selective scholarship must be an undergraduate in good academic standing (cumulative and current grade point averages of 3.0 or better) at IU Bloomington and must be able to clearly articulate their passion for entrepreneurship, both through their future career aspirations and their current entrepreneurial endeavors, such as entrepreneurship group involvement, certificates and degrees being completed in entrepreneurship, and startup businesses developed or being developed. In addition to financial support, the Shoemaker Scholars will get experiences that enhance their knowledge of and experience with entrepreneurship. This includes an expectation that they contribute to entrepreneurial programs at IU Bloomington.
If you have any questions about the Shoemaker Scholars Program, please email Travis J. Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship.
Cheng Wu Innovation Fund
The Cheng Wu Innovation Fund supports students who are learning to develop technological innovations, which are unconstrained by any immediate consideration of the potential commercial applicability of the innovation. These may be new applications of existing technologies as well as the creation and/or use of new technologies. The Technology Innovation course, open to both undergraduate and graduate students, culminates in an innovation competition, which entails students completing an innovation challenge and presenting their solutions to a panel of judges who evaluate their technologies based on the depth of innovative thinking demonstrated. The Innovation Fund awards two students a $1500 scholarship each in order to support their further development of the technologies that they have proposed and initiated at the conclusion of the course.
If you have any questions about the Cheng Wu Innovation Fund, please email Travis J. Brown at email@example.com, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship.
VisionTech Entrepreneurship Advisory Sessions
This monthly, free service in the School of Informatics & Computing is for the purpose of advising faculty, staff, and students who are working on, or thinking about, starting a company or commercializing an idea. The sessions are provided by a past SoIC advisory council member, Don Scifres. Don has had a very successful career in both large and startup companies, and currently is co-founder and managing partner at Indianapolis-based VisionTech Partners / VisionTech Angels. Don volunteered to provide this service both as a way to stimulate entrepreneurship at IU and potentially to find opportunities that his firm might be interested to invest in. The advice comes with no obligations about working with Don or his firm.
If you are interested in meeting with the VisionTech team, please email Travis J. Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ice Miller Entrepreneurship Advisory Sessions
Beyond general advice regarding their startups, entrepreneurs also tend to lack sufficient legal guidance in the early stages of new venture development. As a part of the School of Informatics & Computing's ongoing effort to increase the resources available for entrepreneurs at Indiana University, the SoIC launched a new partnership with Ice Miller, one of the largest law firms in Indianapolis, to provide free, initial consultation to faculty, staff, and student entrepreneurs in need of that guidance. Services include intellectual property protection strategies, selecting a business structure, and drafting operating and partnership agreements, as well as others. There is no obligation to work with Ice Miller beyond the advisory sessions, and even though the initial consultation will be free of charge, subsequent meetings, filing fees, and other miscellaneous charges will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. The primary purpose of this partnership is to give entrepreneurs the confidence to develop their intellectual property into viable businesses without the fear of losing rights to the IP in the process.
If you are interested in meeting with the Ice Miller team, please email Travis J. Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship (email@example.com).
Cross Campus Certificate in Entrepreneurship
The need for students in other disciplines to understand entrepreneurship is increasing, especially with the dramatic changes taking place in their fields of study. Many students end up in careers where they work for themselves, and thus, basic business and entrepreneurial principles become invaluable for them. The Cross Campus Certificate in Entrepreneurship consists of fifteen credit hours. Only undergraduate students outside of the Kelley School of Business will be admitted into the Certificate in Entrepreneurship program. The program consists of three courses from the Kelley School of Business (W212-Exploring Entrepreneurship, W300-Small Business Management, and Z302-Managing & Behavior in Organizations) and two courses from the School of Informatics & Computing (I400-Design Strategy, and I400-Technology Entrepreneurship or I400-Technology Innovation).
If you have any questions about the certificate requirements, please email Travis J. Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Informatics and Computing Entrepreneurs (ICE)
Are you a student entrepreneur in the School of Informatics and Computing? Would you like to be a member or, better yet, a leader of a student group focused on helping foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within the SoIC? The Informatics and Computing Entrepreneurs (ICE) are a group of student entrepreneurs at the SoIC who have organized to coordinate student entrepreneurship events and support the development of student startup companies. If you are interested in joining ICE, please email Travis J. Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship (email@example.com).
IU Student Entrepreneur List
Given that not all students are interested in receiving information about entrepreneurship-related events, you have the option of being added to a list of student entrepreneurs from across campus who have opted in to receiving emails from Travis J. Brown, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Entrepreneurship, regarding such opportunities. If you would like Mr. Brown to add you to that list, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.