Startup City Scholars Application Process

1. Determine you are eligible

Startup City Scholars is open to Grainger College of Engineering undergraduate students of all majors with an interest in entrepreneurship who have at least Junior credit standing.


  • 3.2 GPA
  • Junior or Senior credit standing
  • Required courses:
    • CS students should have completed CS233. Completion of CS241 is highly recommended.
    • ECE students: there are no required courses.
    • Other Engineering majors: you must be able to make a full course schedule using the City Scholars courses and courses offered online. Your participation will require department approval.

2. Submit Interest Form

Interest forms are reviewed on a rolling basis by a faculty committee. Students will be notified if they are eligible to participate and eligible to receive the scholarship by Nov. 9th. Eligibility does not guarantee selection for the program.

3. Participate in CNVC events and activities

Stay engaged with events throughout Fall 2021 to find teams/teammates and fine-tune your CNVC project application.
You can also attend any of the Quick Pitch events listed on the Polsky website.

Date/Time(Central)/LocationEventMore info
Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021
Startup City Scholars Seed PitchesRegister online
Week of Sep. 13Social Fuse
Thursday, Sep. 30, 2021CNVC Kickoff
Tuesday, Oct. 5UChicago Virtual Quick Pitch
Tuesday, Oct. 12Find a Founder event
Thursday, Oct. 21UChicago Virtual Quick Pitch
Week of Oct. 25Social Fuse
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Application deadline

4. How to be selected for the class

Enter my team in CNVC

  • Meet with Prof. John Thode to discuss your project idea and team. Contact him to schedule a meeting:
  • Learn more and submit official proposal for a University of Illinois student-led project on the CNVC website. The application deadline is Nov. 9, 2021.
  • Submitting a project proposal means you intend to join the Startup City Scholars class if accepted.

Find or join a CNVC team

  • Attend all CNVC events hosted throughout Fall 2021.
  • If you join a team prior to November 9th deadline, that team should list you on their application. If that team is chosen, you will be accepted to the City Scholars class.
  • You may also join a team after the November 9th deadline. Attend the CNVC Phase 2 Kickoff (date TBA) to meet teams selected for the program. If an accepted project invites you on to their team you can be admitted into the class and granted a scholarship (as scholarships are still available, first come first served for eligible students and teams).

5. Acceptance into Startup City Scholars Program

TEAM APPLICATIONS will be notified shortly after November 9th if their team has been selected to participate.

INDIVIDUALS LOOKING FOR TEAMS should attempt to identify a team to join by January 6th. An admitted CNVC team should officially request your participation by emailing the UIUC Course Instructor: John Thode at

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