Brave Launch - Business Accelerator at Bradley University


Brave Launch - Business Accelerator


On September 26, 2017
9 teams started their journey toward. . .

$5,000 prizes
1,500 hours of mentoring
$100,000+ in potential investment

Accelerate Your Business 

STAY CONNECTED! Hear from our 2016 Brave Launch Graduates.

Brave Launch is a business accelerator modeled off of the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps accelerator program and Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad. The foundation of the program is evidence-based entrepreneurship and agile development, which pushes teams out into the real world to gain insight and develop their business model through customer discovery. A seven week intensive program, the accelerator intends to spur economic development and to accelerate the development of innovative companies. The program culminates in a pitch-day, where the participants will have the opportunity to pitch to investors and those interested from the community.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) staff at Bradley University provides the management and instruction for Brave Launch.  The SBDC is part of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business.  Guidance and support is also provided by local entities and individuals involved in the overall Greater Peoria startup community.

Participant Benefits include:

  • Discovering the real business opportunity for your idea.
  • Learning and networking with mentors, advisers, entrepreneurs, and investors.
  • Gaining knowledge of what it takes to launch a business.
  • Development of a Business Model Canvas.
  • Meeting prospective partners that can help you move your idea forward.
  • Saving time and money by accelerating your business launch.
  • See our FAQ page to learn more.


September   1 - 10 teams announced
September 19 - Payment due from each team ($699/team)

September 26 - Kickoff Reception:  5:30pm - 7:00pm

September 27 - Session 1   8am - 7pm
September 28 - Session 2   8am - 7pm
September 29 - Session 3   8am - 1pm
October 3        - Session 4   5pm - 9pm
October 10      - Session 5   5pm - 9pm
October 17      - Session 6   5pm - 9pm
October 24      - Session 7   5pm - 9pm
November 2    - Session 8   5pm - 9pm
November 8    - Session 9   8am - 4pm

November 9    - Final Pitch Day 8:30am - 2:00pm
Location - Hayden Clark Alumni Center,
Peplow Pavilion (3rd floor) Bradley University Campus map

Investors attending Pitch Day Nov 9, 2017


Class sessions will take place at the
Peoria NEXT Innovation Center

801 W. Main Street
Peoria, IL 61606

Brave Launch Highlights:

  • Designed to assist entrepreneurs accelerate the startup and innovation process through innovative curriculum and real-world interaction.
  • This program works for startups, small businesses, and corporate innovation teams and is available to everyone.
  • Emphasizes the search for a successful business model.
  • Taught by entrepreneurs and an instructor who has 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 approach focuses on lean methodologies and customer discovery using the business model canvas as the primary tool for developing a scalable and repeatable 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.
  • See our FAQ page to learn more.

Brave Launch is set to begin September 26, 2017 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

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