The Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership (AEL) hosted the Illinois Launch Event on June, 22 2011, showcasing a series of new start-ups. Each start-up team pitched their idea to a group of advisers, investors, students, and attendees. Illinois Launch Event also hosted a speed networking event in which the start-up teams got one-on-one mentorship with a variety of advisers.
AEL offers entrepreneurs seed funding, mentoring, networking, incubator space and educational opportunities. John Clarke, the director of the AEL, stated that “helping people take an idea and realize the dream is a great thing to be doing. The whole economy in the US is built on entrepreneurship, and we often forget about that… If we want to have big companies, we can’t just serve the already big ones, we have create the new big companies. Job growth is going to come out of new companies and small business. The U.S. economy is dependent on the creation of new companies.”
Guest speaker Kapil Chaudhary, Managing Partner at I2A Fund, talked about the growing start-up community within Illinois. In particular, he stressed the importance of “having the right people engaged in the business level,” including the team, advisers, partners, and more. He highlighted the success of incubator Excelerate Labs and the companies that have emerged from the program as an example of growing success within Illinois. Chaudhary also offered some great informational resources for the Illinois entrepreneurs.
The following companies pitched at Illinois Launch:
GitBax is a mobile and web-enabled relationship management tool. GitBax allows individuals and small/medium enterprises to search, connect, and interact with contacts easily.
Illini Prosthetics Technologies (IPT)
Illini Prosthetic Technologies (IPT), is a nonprofit organization that provides simple and affordable prosthetic arms to people in developing nations.
PrintEco helps businesses reduce wasteful printing by optimizing print space. PrintEco provides an integrated software that links to browsers and productivity software to help companies save money by reducing inefficient formatting within printjobs.
Serionix offers an improved technology for capable water purification processes. Their filtration process works 50+ times faster than regular water filters and offers an even better micro -pollutant removal.
Tiesta Tea provides high quality custom-blended flavored teas. It offers fun and colorful packaging, in a addition to it’s unique variety of flavors.
UTicketIt is an online event registration and management service for general admission events. It provides a platform to easily manage ticket sales and helps you organize the event.
ZingZag! is a platform that allows marketers to easily create rich social media. Their ‘drag & drop’ and ‘point & click’ simplicity allows individuals post marketing content that can be distributed over 37 different social media channels. ZingZag! automatically adds sharing tools to encourage easy viral republishing and offers analytics to track marketing progress.