Who can participate?
Teams of two or more members can apply. At least one team member needs to be an active USI student or faculty member. The USI student or faculty member must be capable of sharing the team vision and strategy with experts and advisors and possess decision-making ability within the startup.
When does the program begin?
The EIA program has two phases:
Summer - The 6-week summer program begins in July and runs through August. Teams will work no less than three days per week, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at The Station coworking space at Innovation Pointe, 318 Main Street, Evansville, IN 47725.
Academic Year - Teams will meet every two weeks over lunch to share progress updates and obstacles. Teams continue to have access to EIA resources and have the opportunity to demo and present at a variety of events.
How will the program help me with my business or invention idea?
A successful venture begins and ends with your customers! Participants will design their business and/or evolve their invention based on an understanding of added value for customers. Think your idea is already "spot-on?" Perhaps, but be prepared to iterate, throw away ideas and iterate again!
Participants will work from Evansville’s Innovation Pointe coworking space in downtown Evansville. Teams are expected to set their own milestones. Accelerator leadership will provide teams with resources, mentors and knowledge to help them achieve and even exceed their milestones. The fabrication equipment at USI’s Applied Engineering Center will be available for hardware and prototype development. The summer program also includes a visit to another innovation hub in the region.
How will the program assist with expenses?
$2,000 stipends will be awarded to active USI student participants and $4,000 to USI faculty.
Each startup receives access to up to $10,000 in early-stage seed funding for prototyping materials, supplies, travel, research and other necessary costs. The most promising ventures can apply for up to $50,000 in additional seed funding. All additional funding requests will be assessed on merit by a panel of stakeholders/investors.