Brave Launch Stimulates Innovation

July 28, 2017

Peoria’s innovation ecosystem is built through programs like Brave Launch. In 2016, the business accelerator Brave Launch took ten teams comprised of startup owners and entrepreneurs through a 7-week business “bootcamp” to grow their companies.

“To me Brave Launch was just invaluable. It is just something that you have to do to understand your business and make it go forward,” said 2016 participant David Hedrick whose company is Golf Score Changer.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University is ready for the next round of participants in the Brave Launch business accelerator with its kicks off set for September 26. The program will assist entrepreneurs accelerate the startup process through innovative curriculum and real-world interaction.

“Brave Launch is just one of the many building blocks in developing innovation and entrepreneurship in the greater Peoria community,” said instructor Ross Miller. "The program is intensive, but immensely valuable for its participants taking them through “out of the building” customer discovery and business model development." Miller has completed the Lean LaunchPad Educators Program, has mentored a team in the National I-Corps Program, and is a Certified Small Business Development Adviser.

The program is designed to assist startups, small businesses, and corporate innovation teams to carry out an innovative idea. The 2016 program had pizza shops, software development firms, and medical technology innovators as participants.

Brave Launch is a prime example of Greater Peoria investing in the innovation ecosystem that will ultimately lead to thriving companies and more jobs. According to the Small Business Administration, economic development lies in the hands of entrepreneurs and small businesses employing 2.4 million people in the State of Illinois. These entrepreneurs are only able to thrive with the support of what the National Science Foundation has coined as the “innovation ecosystem” - a network of collaboration between industry and academia to bring innovative ideas to the marketplace.

To  learn more or to participate go to or call 309-677-2992.

About the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship

The Turner Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 2001 by a gift from Robert Turner ‘77 MBA ‘78 and his wife, Carolyn. The Center brings together entrepreneurial education, research, and related programs to provide business and technical assistance to individuals in starting their own business and to existing businesses who want to expand or take advantage of new business opportunities.