Brave Launch is Taking Off at Bradley

By Chad Stamper, Director of Technology Commercialization
Illinois Small Business Development Center

The Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University is pleased to announce its inaugural business accelerator program, Brave Launch. Brave Launch is designed to assist entrepreneurs accelerate the startup process through innovative curriculum and real-world interaction. This program works for startups, small businesses, and corporate innovation teams and is available to the community, students, and faculty.

Brave Launch is a program that emphasizes the search for a successful business model and will be taught by entrepreneurs and instructors that have attended the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Lean LaunchPad training.  The curriculum is based off of the NSF’s I-Corps program and Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad Stanford University class, which has been successfully rolled out at several research and higher education institutions across the country.

The Lean LaunchPad approach focuses on lean methodologies and customer discovery using the business model canvas as the primary tool for advancing a business model. Teams will accelerate their startup process by testing business hypotheses on the very first day. They will get out of the building to talk to customers, partners, and competitors, rather than relying on secondary market research and creating the standard business plan.

The program entails seven weeks of class and business model development. The first week is an intensive three days of classroom and out of the classroom activity. It is followed up with a weekly evening class that culminates in an awards and investor pitch day. We are happy to share that Attollo, a Central Illinois investor group, has partnered with the Turner Center to actively seek a $50,000 investment in a company that graduates from Brave Launch.

Participant Benefits include:

  • Discovering the real business opportunity of your idea.
  • Learning and networking with mentors, entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Gaining the knowledge of what it takes to launch a business.
  • Meeting prospective partners that can help you move your idea forward.
  • Saving time and money through accelerating your business launch.

Brave Launch is set to begin September 28, 2016 and will require an application for acceptance into the program. To learn more or to be notified when applications are available, please contact the Turner Center at