Application and Eligibility


Startup City Scholars is open to Grainger Engineering undergraduate students of all majors interested in entrepreneurship and at least sophomore, junior or senior credit standing. 

Your team must consist of:

  • One Grainger Engineering undergraduate student
  • One University of Chicago undergraduate student who is taking the class for credit (must be a sophomore, junior or senior)
  • One student who meets the course requirements and is available to take the course for credit while living in or traveling to Chicago each week of the course.


Program Requirements


Location: one day per week in Chicago

Dates: Spring semester only

  • 9 weeks: First week of Jan. - last week of Feb.


  • CNVC Application deadline November 7th
  • Accepted CNVC applicants will be notified by November 20th
  • Individuals looking for teams should identify a team to join by the end of December


TE 441 Engineering City Scholars: New Venture Creation (2 credit hours; optional)

  • Takes place in-person at the University of Chicago 
  • Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m.


  • Form a team and submit an official project proposal or identify and join a team 
  • One team member must commit to enrolling in TE 441


  • Grainger College of Engineering student, sophomore, junior or senior standing
  • One team member is required to take the course for credit while traveling to Chicago each week of the course

CNVC Application Process

Date(s) Event  

Sep. 27, 2023

4:30-5:30pm | Pre-Kickoff Networking hosted by UIUC
5:30-7:00pm | Kickoff & Info Session

Networking, Kickoff, and
Info Session at University of Chicago

 Kickoff RSVP and Bus Form:

IN CHICAGO. Learn about the College New Venture Challenge (CNVC), the UChicago Polsky Center, and the innovation happening on their campus. Additionally, students will be given the opportunity to pitch their ideas and compete for prizes.  Bus will be provided for students coming
from Urbana. Networking event hosted by UIUC. 
Sep. 27, 2023 Application Opens Click here to apply to Startup City Scholars/CNVC Challenge
Sep. 27, 2023 -
Nov. 7, 2023
Attend CNVC events to meet potential teammates and develop project ideas. Students looking to join teams can do filling out the Airtable forms or by attending these events. 
Oct. 10, 2023 from 5:00-7:00 pm

Social Fuse on Zoom


Hosted by UIUCʼs Technology Entrepreneur Center. Pitch your idea and hear pitches from others to find teammates or find a team to join for Startup City Scholars. Both UIUC and UChicago students are invited
to attend. 
Oct. 16, 2023 from 5:00-6:00 pm

Application FAQ and Team
Building Event


IN CHICAGO. Bus will be provided for students coming from Urbana. To
prepare, watch this feasibility study video:
Nov. 7, 2023 Deadline - Submit Your CNVC Application Apply to Startup City Scholars/CNVC Challenge by the deadline.
Nov. 29, 2023 from 5:30-7:00 pm

Team Building and Orientation at University of Chicago

RSVP & Bus Form

IN CHICAGO. Admitted ventures can continue to add team members through the first week of the CNVC course in January. To qualify for the TE441 course, all University of Illinois led teams must have at least one University of Chicago undergraduate student as part of their team. Bus will be provided for students coming from Urbana.
Mar. 1, 2024

CNVC Final Event

For more information and to RSVP

CNVC finalists will present to a panel of judges comprised of investors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts. Prizes – which include at least $150,000 in cash prizes and in-kind services. The CNVC is the undergraduate track of the Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC). The NVC is a top-ranked U.S. accelerator program. All are welcome. RSVP required.

Startup City Scholars Accelerator Contact

John Thode

John Thode
Clinical Professor for Innovation, Leadership & Engineering Entrepreneurship
Technology Entrepreneur Center, Grainger Engineering