Four University of Illinois Teams Selected For The 11th Annual College New Venture Challenge

12/1/2022 Urvashi Jha

The University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering, in partnership with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago is pleased to announce the 16 teams, including four University of Illinois teams, selected for the 11th annual College New Venture Challenge (CNVC), an undergraduate student startup accelerator.

The CNVC is the undergraduate track of the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge (NVC), a top-ranked U.S. accelerator program. In 2019, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation expanded the CNVC program by partnering with the University of Illinois. Through this partnership, a select group of entrepreneurial students from The Grainger College of Engineering’s Startup City Scholars program collaborate with UChicago students to build transformative businesses and take part in the CNVC competition.  

The collaborative entrepreneurship program is successfully helping students of both institutions bring their innovative ideas to the market. Through the nine-week-long cohort, Startup City Scholars students leverage Chicago’s many resources for entrepreneurs, encouraging them to build businesses in Chicago after graduation.

The following University of Illinois led teams have been selected to take part in the 2023 CNVC.

Top Tier Lessons: Top Tier Lessons is an online platform that connects college student athletes with parents in the community looking for sports lessons for their kids. Parents can book a lesson with local student athletes. The platform arranges the venue for lessons, payment, scheduling, and other logistics.

Demeter: Demeter has a mission to make agricultural financing accessible to more farmers and at more suitable rates with machine learning and data mining. Over 200,000 farmers are rejected for loan and insurance products every year due to a lack of credit history or lack of cultivation history despite having immense potential in delivering value.

Sakura: Sakura is developing a medical device that reduces the invasiveness of common diagnostic health procedures. The startup wants to make gynecology more accessible to patients while reducing the negative feelings often associated with it by giving patients a greater sense of control and decreasing the need for additional invasive examinations by expanding the abilities of the original exam.

ENVIRON: ENVIRON is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety procedure generation and management software. Environ seeks to streamline the creation and management of safety procedures of companies that fall under the jurisdiction of OSHA.

The finals are set for February 28, 2023. Read about other teams that have been selected to take part in the 2023 CNVC.