Future Founders Recognizes Winners of Inaugural EntrepreneurshipU Awards

Future Founders recognized Chicagoland colleges and universities for their contributions to the entrepreneurial community at the inaugural EntrepreneurshipU Awards event on April 18 in Chicago.

The EntrepreneurshipU Awards, an initiative of the Future Founders Startup program, is designed to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation at Chicagoland universities. The event recognized institutions from across Illinois that have demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial accomplishments, awarding representatives from 11 different colleges and universities.

“The idea for a cross-school collaboration like this arose from the success of a networking event that Future Founders and local institutions co-hosted at Roosevelt University last fall,” said Katie Sowa, Senior Director, Startups at Future Founders. “When over 100 students and faculty attended that event, we knew that we had uncovered a desire for more connection between the entrepreneurial work happening at local institutions.”

The April 18 awards ceremony saw over 100 students and faculty in attendance. The event was hosted at Herman Hall on campus at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and Amanda Signorelli, CEO of Techweek, served as a keynote speaker.

Congratulations to the 2017 EntrepreneurshipU Award winners:

Entrepreneurship Professor of the Year – Patrick Murphy, DePaul University

  • Honorable Mention: Nik Rokop, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Honorable Mention: Omar Sweiss, Trinity Christian College

Outstanding Student Startups of the Year

  • Deliveree, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • EatPakd, Northwestern University
  • Kalí Zöe Designs, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Small Pets & Company, College of DuPage
  • Zcruit, Northwestern University

Entrepreneurial Student Leader of the Year – Alex Sofranas, DePaul University
Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Course of the Year – Omar Sweiss, Trinity Christian College (for his Lean Startup course)
Graduate Entrepreneurship Course of the Year – Brian O’Connor and Mark Agnew, University of Chicago (for their Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition course)
Entrepreneurship Club of the Year – EPIC, Northwestern University
Campus Entrepreneurial Event of the Year – Cozad New Venture Competition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Social Entrepreneurship Initiative of the Year Led By a University – Social Innovation Challenge, North Central College
Social Entrepreneurship Initiative of the Year Led By a Student – Tyler Bradley, Columbia College Chicago (HUMANITY)
Future Founders Entrepreneurial Champion Award – Illinois Institute of Technology


EntrepreneurshipU is a collaborative effort among Future Founders and founding school partners: Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Roosevelt University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Future Founders Startup is generously supported by Capital One, The Coleman Foundation, The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, Keywell Foundation, and Motorola Solutions Foundation.