Sponsors & Prizes
Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors!
Scroll down to see what prizes are being offered this year.
2021 Cozad New Venture Challenge Prizes
Nearly $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!
TOP PLACEMENT PRIZES
Up to 4 top placement prizes will be awarded, including the Grand Prize!
TEC Exceleration Fund
Up to $43,000 will be awarded from the TEC Exceleration Fund. The TEC Exceleration Fund provides student teams in the Cozad New Venture Challenge with seed funding to launch their new ventures.
Dr. Paul Magelli Innovation Prize | $10,000
IllinoisVENTURES awards the Dr. Paul Magelli Innovation Prize to a Cozad finalist. The $10,000 Magelli Prize will be in the form of a direct or convertible equity investment in a startup team that has demonstrated its potential to grow and create significant value as an entrepreneurial venture.
V. Dale Cozad Best Pitch Award | $5,000
This prize will be awarded by Cozad Asset Management to the team with the best pitch at the Cozad finals event.
Audience Choice Award | $2,500
This prize will be awarded to the team that receives the most audience votes at the Cozad Finals Event.
OrangeQC Best Prototype Award | $2,000
Up to $2,000 total will be awarded by OrangeQC to the team or teams with the best prototype, or to help fund the creation of the best potential prototype at the Cozad Finals Event.
Research Park AWARE (Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs) Award | $1,500
This award helps the winning startup create a prototype and advance their technology.
AARP, The Tech Nest Award | $1,250
AARP, The Tech Nest is offering a prize of $1,250 to a team who is inventing new ways to live and age. They are also offering additional funding towards the grand prize winners. 111 Million Americans are aged 50+ and are generating $7.6 trillion in economic activity. They want to maintain independence and stay active while aging.
Founders Best Newcomer Prize | $500
Founders Illinois Entrepreneurs will provide $500 for the best newcomer prize among the Cozad teams.
In-Kind Service Prizes
EnterpriseWorks Incubation Space Prize
Up to three teams will receive incubation space and resources from EnterpriseWorks for twelve months, which includes student shared office and/or laboratory space and counsel from the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence that meet with student teams regularly. Eligibility for the incubator space requires students to actively work from the space.
Intellectual Property Clinic
The Intellectual Property Clinic (IP Clinic) is a joint effort between TEC and the College of Law with two tracks: the Patent Track and the Trademark Track. Selected participants from the Cozad New Venture Challenge can have a patent application drafted or receive trademark assistance at no cost. The value of this program is worth at least $10,000-$12,000 per patent application, and $2,000-$2,500 for trademark assistance.
iVenture Accelerator Prize
iVenture Accelerator will offer space for eligible teams for its yearlong, educational startup accelerator program. The iVenture Accelerator enables student-led startups to create economic and social value by supporting student entrepreneurs with knowledge, funding, and access to world-class University of Illinois resources and alumni. To be eligible, your team must have student founders during the 2021-22 academic year. A $2,500 stipend per student fellow and up to $10,000 in seed funding per startup team will be offered to selected teams. iVenture Accelerator will start completely remote this summer.
Magelli Office of Experiential Learning at Gies College of Business Award
Up to three teams will receive a semester-long consulting project from the Magelli Office of Experiential Learning at Gies College of Business for their venture. This office provides opportunities for Gies students to gain hands-on experience working on real-world projects for Fortune 100 corporations, mid-sized and startup companies, and nonprofit organizations. A team of student consultants will work with the winning venture to complete an agreed-upon consulting project during the 2021-2022 academic year.
Meyer Capel Prize
Meyer Capel will provide 3 teams with free legal services in the areas of incorporation, bylaws/operating agreement, initial incorporation/organization documents, drafting employment agreements, non-disclosure.
mHUB will offer a three month Co-Working membership at their Chicago location to help a select team grow their business and prototype all in one place. This package includes access to their shop, a hot desk, conference rooms, mentors, classes, and more.
Research Park I-Start Prize
One startup will be awarded acceptance into the I-Start program, which provides 80% funding for the cost of first year legal services, accounting/financial assistance, SBIR application consulting, business plan and market research preparation, basic website development, and logo design.
Research Park COVID-19 Technology Acceleration Award
This prize will be awarded to the team that addresses challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. Examples of technologies responding to COVID-19 include testing, data modeling, analysis, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, therapies, prevention/safety, etc. This awards provides statewide assistance to advance technology and commercialization. These services are worth $5,000. Types of technical assistance and support may include:
• Counseling with technology, engineering, or business consultants
• Assistance with prototype design, engineering, fabrication, or testing
• Resources for small-batch production or micro-manufacturing
• Assistance with developing a commercialization or technology transfer plan
• Assistance with developing a project management plan
• Entrepreneurship coaching or mentoring
• Navigation of FDA approvals such as the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP), Ultra-Rapid Protocol Reviews (24-hour response), and Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs)
• Navigation of federal funding opportunities and proposal development
Serra Ventures Prize
Serra Ventures will provide up to 10 hours in free consulting services for review of initial business model/plan, value proposition, and investor pitch.
Singleton Law Firm Prize
Singleton Law Firm, PC will provide free legal services in the areas of corporate formation, patent, trademark, and licensing.
TechNexus Venture Collaborative will offer up to three teams (with up to five team members on each team) access to space and resources for twelve months in Chicago, which includes work and meeting space, and access to the community of entrepreneurs and mentors growing there.