Startup Challenge


2017 UIC Startup Challenge Winners!

Thank you to all teams who participated in the 2017 UIC Startup Challenge!  The winning teams are listed below:


Fourneau is a bread oven that allows you to make artisan quality bread at home.
Graduate/Faculty, College of Business Administration and College of Architecture, Design, & the Arts 


Tongue Ventures creates medical devices that allow for disabled patients that struggle with limited upper limb mobility to communicate more effectively, using the tongue as a medium.
Graduate/Undergraduate, College of Engineering


Nabz Design: AbstruseOur pursuit of organization is wrong, hence we made Abstruse! At Nabz Design, we believe the messiness of life holds beauty, inspiration, and creativity, so we captured just that.
Undergraduate, College of Architecture, Design, & the Arts and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

FINALISTS ($500 each):

Enzyme by Design designs enzyme drugs toward their desired function.
Staff, College of Medicine

Quint Essential Life Skills provides workshops and courses to social service agencies, organizations, and schools in Chicago to empower parents with skills that foster student academic achievement.
Undergraduate, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

ShoeBoxOne is a storage solution for shoe collectors.
Undergraduate, College of Engineering

Urban Oasis provides streamlined, vendor-inclusive wedding packages for engaged couples looking to plan a cost-effective wedding without sacrificing quality.
Graduate, College of Applied Health Sciences and College of Engineering

TRACK WINNERS ($250 each):

Expresso is a campus coffee delivery service for students, by students.
Undergraduate, College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Fernie’s Toolbox creates educational toys and games for girls K-5 interested in learning STEM concepts.
Graduate, College of Education

PerfAmp uses sports performance analytics to determine a team’s likelihood of winning and future performance based on current performance.
Graduate, College of Business Administration


Fan Favorite: Expresso

Judges’ Pick: Clutch for Life allows current inmates to earn fair wages by producing luxury handbags and other leather goods.
Undergraduate, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

This year, over 100 participants across 42 teams advanced to the UIC Startup Challenge Semifinals!

Participants represented 9 UIC Colleges:

Applied Health Sciences
Architecture, Design, and the Arts
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Urban Planning and Public Administration



The UIC Startup Challenge is a multi-faceted year-long program that invites all members of the UIC community students, faculty, staff and alumni to explore how their own talents, academic training and aspirations may be enriched by an entrepreneurial mindset and skills.

For students of all disciplines, the UIC Startup Challenge is the key entrepreneurial experience that complements their classroom curriculum and challenges students to explore their potential interest in being an entrepreneur. Even for students who don’t pursue a startup, the UIC Startup Challenge is designed to be a significantly enriching experience that brings to life an individual’s own talents, academic background, and aspirations in a valuable way that better prepares them for whatever they may do upon graduation or further down the road in their careers. It is designed to foster interdisciplinary discovery and interactions so that students from differing colleges can find collaborators whose interests and skills supplement their own so that collectively they can envision and accomplish something that neither of them alone could achieve.

The UIC Startup Challenge live pitch competition held in the spring showcases the creativity, initiative, and talent of UIC students, faculty, staff and alumni to the greater Chicago community. Distinguished entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, corporate executives and business leaders are among the judges.