Brave Launch - Business Accelerator at Bradley University


Brave Launch - Business Accelerator


On September 24, 2019
10 teams will start their journey toward. . .

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

Accelerate Your Business 

STAY CONNECTED! Hear from our 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 value to start-up and existing businesses that need to innovate. 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.
  • After the Brave Launch program concludes, teams will have access to the new Brave Launch Extended co-working space at no cost for a limited time.  This co-working space located at the Peoria Next Innovation Center is exclusively for the use of alumni of the Brave Launch accelerator program.  Learn more.
  • See our FAQ page to learn more.


September  5   - 10 teams announced
September 17  - Payment due from each team ($699/team)

September 24  - Kickoff Reception:  5:30pm - 7:00pm
Hayden-Clark Alumni Center, Peplow Pavilion (3rd FL)
816 N Tobias Lane, Peoria IL (Bradley University Campus)

September 25  - Session  1   8:00am - 8:00pm
September 26  - Session  2   8:00am - 8:00pm
September 27  - Session  3   8:00am - 1:00pm
October  1        - Session  4   4:30pm - 9:00pm
October  8        - Session  5   4:30pm - 9:00pm
October 15       - Session  6   4:30pm - 9:00pm
October 22       - Session  7   4:30pm - 9:00pm
October 29       - Session  8   4:30pm - 9:00pm
November 6     - Session  9   8:00am - 8:00pm
November 7       Pitch Day-see below

November 7 - Final Pitch Day 9:00am - 2:00pm
Hayden Clark Alumni Center, Peplow Pavilion (3rd FL)
816 N Tobias Lane, Peoria IL (Bradley University Campus)

register here for final pitch day


Class sessions 1-9 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.

Our Sponsors


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