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Startup Programs & Opportunities

Startup accelerators and incubators often approach INVO to share upcoming programs.  With many virtual opportunities or those with limited travel, Northwestern startups may benefit in participating in the expanded network beyond the Chicagoland area.  On this page, we will aim to list possible programs for our startups to peruse.

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IndieBio, the world’s leading biotech accelerator devoted to funding and building seed-stage life sciences companies supports newly established life sciences companies that are looking for funding.  IndieBio's mission is to transform scientists into entrepreneurs by providing them the resources to commercialize a patent, scientific breakthrough, or licensed technology with applications in the life sciences. Twice a year, IndieBio selects 10 to 15 early-stage companies to partake in an intensive 4-month program in New York City. Companies are provided with $525K in funding, rent-free lab and co-working space, dedicated educational programming and mentorship, and access to IndieBio’s huge network of alumni, investors, entrepreneurs, press, and corporate partners. The program culminates in a Demo Day, during which graduating founders will have the opportunity to present their progress to 500+ investors and corporate partners to secure follow-on funding. 

CONTACT:  Lindsay Atkeson


Chain Reaction Innovations

APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 30, 2023, 5pm CST

Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) is a two-year program for innovators focusing on energy and science technologies. Each year, four to six teams are selected to join CRI. Program participants will receive the financial and technical support needed to perform early-stage research and development (R&D) that may launch energy or manufacturing businesses in the future.  The 2-year program teaches entrepreneurship skills needed to develop transformative cleantech and innovations in advanced manufacturing.

CRI will give teams of innovators a two-year runway to develop and scale their technologies while being supported through fellowship funding that covers salary, benefits, and use of laboratory equipment and office space. Through a partnership with mentor organizations, CRI participants will get assistance developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and potential commercial partners. If you’d like to apply to the program, please read the CRI FAQs for applicants.  Program details can be found here.

If you’d like to pre-apply, click here.


Midwest I-Corps Node Programs


The Midwest I-Corps Node (MWIN) offers access to various local I-CORPS programs that help participating teams test the value proposition of their innovative ideas.  For the current schedule of events, visit here.