Yes. We have offered Brave Launch since 2016 to central Illinois. To our knowledge, this is the first business accelerator training and mentoring program in this region.
What is the cost and what is included?
The cost is $250 per team, which includes all learning materials, access to the TrustedPeer platform Brave Launch section, and an opportunity to present for up to $5,000 in prizes on demo day. It also includes access to all our mentors and advisers at no cost.
Does Brave Launch take any equity?
No. Brave Launch is strictly a business accelerator and training program supported by Bradley University, sponsors and team registration fees.
Participants & Registration
Who can apply to participate in Brave Launch?
Brave Launch is designed for anyone with an idea that they would like to develop into a business opportunity or existing businesses seeking to internally innovate. The program does not focus on a specific industry, so ideas across all types of businesses are welcome. Applicants must have their business registered in Illinois or be a resident of Illinois. Priority will be given to:
Businesses that demonstrate ability to scale up quickly
Ideas or technology that demonstrates significant growth opportunity
Offers the potential to market to regional, national, or international buyers
Show high level of commitment by team members to be fully active in the program, and reach learning and customer discovery milestones
Teams that want to have fun, learn, and share a passion for innovation and startup!
How many people can be on a team?
Teams will consist of a maximum of 4 members. We recommend that a team have 3 - 4 members, but we will consider teams of only 2 members.
What is the application and due date?
The application is available online and is due COB Monday, September 13, 2021. There is no application fee.
Is there a cost to apply?
There is no cost to apply. However, finalists will be required to go through an interview as part of the selection process for the final eight teams.
Is this only for “Tech” Companies?
No, any company or business idea can be part of Brave Launch. The innovation system that we are teaching will help any type of business to develop an appropriate business model. The teams that are part of this accelerator are looking to develop products or services that want to create scalable and repeatable business models.
How many teams will be accepted for the program?
This year (2021) we will accept up to eight teams. (2-4 members/team)
Why is there an application process and how are teams selected?
We anticipate a strong interest in this program from across Illinois. We require the application process to ensure the teams with the highest level of commitment to participation are part of the program. Selection of the final eight teams will be based on the overall quality of the business model canvas, demonstrated commitment of the team members, and performance at the team interview.
How can I participate if not part of a team?
If you have expertise to offer, we welcome you to contact us about becoming a mentor. The general public will also be invited to attend the demo-day. Regular sessions within Brave Launch are open only to team members and mentors.
May student teams apply?
Students are welcome to apply as long as they can attend all of the Brave Launch sessions.
Do I have to be at every class?
No, but your team will still need to present at every class. Every team member will not need to be present.
Can I apply with more than one idea?
Yes, but each idea requires a separate team application.
What are Office Hours each week?
Teams will benefit through weekly interaction and comments with facilitators. The types of interactions would include issues such as: “Have you considered x?” “Why don't you look at company z and see what their business model is and compare it to yours”, or “Here are some names of domain experts in the field, you should talk to them.”
Who are the mentors and what is their role?
Mentors are a resource to the program and any of its teams for a particular domain of expertise. They are experts in specific areas of business startup and expansion. They will be available through the TrustedPeer online mentoring platform. Advisers may be local experts, or outside of Central Illinois and will include alumni of Bradley University.
Want to be a mentor or adviser?
If you wish to be an adviser, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the options.
If you have further questions, contact us at (309) 677-4321 or email email@example.com.