ISU Student Startups to Compete for $100,000+ in Services from Local Companies

ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY (Normal, Illinois) — The clock has started ticking down the days to ISU’s Startup Showcase competition, sponsored by the George R & Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, which will be hosted at the Bloomington/Normal Marriott in Uptown Normal on November 13, 2015. The annual event expands each year. New this year, competitors will have the space to showcase their startup and attendees will be voting for a People’s Choice Award.

The Startup Showcase, while sponsored by the Means Center, is open to any ISU student no matter what their major. Startup Showcase has seen past winners come from the College of Education, College of Applied Science & Technology, and College of Business students. This year the finalists will be competing for an awards package of $100,000+ of cash & in-kind professional services as well as mentoring to move their companies forward. Emerging Business Services, Mavidea Technology Group, and many other local startup service providers have come together to support ISU students in making their ideas a reality.

The Startup Showcase is an annual student startup competition that rewards ISU students for (1) intentionally
developing a big value idea, (2) testing sales assumptions with customers, and (3) developing and executing a
business plan model. We reward students for action – for being able to gather information and feedback and react to develop an improved sustainable solution.

Notable winners have been John Luke of Interactive Game Education (, Rob Martin of Open Source Classroom (, Brian Souza of Bizz Baits (, Mike Shannon & Kasey Gandham of Packback Books ( as well as internrocket (

Our fireside chat this year will be hosted by past alums and the topic for discussion will be: Entrepreneurship –
Enabling Your Future.

Who will the winner be of the 2015 Startup Showcase? We are accepting student applications now for the competition and welcome anyone who would like to attend this event. Register to attend the Showcase this year to hear and see all the innovative ideas of the competitors and finalists and interact with these young exciting entrepreneurs of the community. Visit for more information and to register.

The George R and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Illinois State University ( is working to empower ISU students to engage in entrepreneurial thinking and action. Through a variety of new programs and partnerships, the Means Center exists to help ISU students connect with the resources necessary to turn their ideas into reality, and eventually to start and grow sustainable businesses.