Ever wanted to start a company?

          Have you had an idea, but didn't know how to get startup capital?

                    Are you frustrated by rejection after rejection from accelerators and incubators?

Maybe the Startup Incinerator can help.


This October 12th-14th, Northwestern University ran a pitch competition at the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center and Kellogg Donald P. Jacobs Center, that trained our competitors with all the skills they needed to be successful when looking for angels, sponsors, or other partnerships. NUvention: Web also used the Incinerator as a first look at students who wished to take the class. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our section for Competitors, or watch some footage elaborating on the concept below.

If you are an industry professional who would like to coach these young entrepreneurs or if you are an interested investor, please visit our respective pages for Mentors, Sponsors, and Angels.

Not interested in competing, but still want to learn? Why not sign up to be a volunteer admin? Please email the event coordinator, Colton Dillion, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions and interest.

Friday Night

5:30-6pm (Coon Forum) – Doors Open. Arrive, Register, Networking, etc.
6:00 pm (Coon Forum) – Kick-off. The organizers and facilitator will introduce themselves, talk a little bit about Incinerator Weekend in general and introduce sponsors/first round judges. Mention team dynamics and what participants should watch for in pitches. Participants will be put into two brackets, one for NUvention Web and another for the various other teams.
6:30 pm (Coon and Ford) - Teams will pitch against each other and judges will render initial decisions. Half the ideas will be eliminated.
8:00 pm (Coon and Ford) – After pitches, the groups naturally organize. If you lost, you should seek out a winner's idea which you liked; if you want to continue with your idea, notify the organizers and they will set up a second bracket for those who want to pivot. If you won, try to mobilize a team; maybe you saw a loser whose spunk you liked. The final number of team members per team is up to the group, though it’s important to try to cover a variety of roles: business development, designers, UI, developers, etc.
8:30 pm (Coon Forum) - Organizers introduce lean canvas/business model canvas.
9:00 pm (Anywhere) - Refine concept and decide how you’ll attack things. Then, it’s go go go, until you decide to call it quits or, all night. Maybe hit the A&O Blowout!


9:00 am (Coon and Ford) - Business Model Pitches. What are you selling to whom? How are you making money? Who is going to help you launch your product? Judges will eliminate another half of the ideas and groups will reorganize.
11:30 am (Coon Forum) - Organizers introduce the Build Measure Learn cycle – Teams will begin to build and test prototypes with users in the field. Mentors will be present to assist in finding the right questions and metrics.
12 pm – Lunch!
5:00 pm (Coon and Ford) - Team Check-in - Teams will send a representative to the organizers to discuss progress and needs. Mentors will be present to help.
6:00 pm – Dinner!
Rest of the night (Anywhere) – Keep working, grab a drink, or both!


9:00 AM (Coon and Ford) - Third round judging on product validation and next steps; one eighth of the ideas remain and teams reorganize one last time.
11:30 AM (Coon Forum)  - Pitching Lecture from SquarePlanet. What information do venture capitalists and angels look for in a pitch? How can you sell your idea and, more importantly, how can you sell your team?
12 pm - Lunch provided by Cheesie's!
3 pm (Anywhere) - Nearly sink-or-swim time for those looking for a weekend launch.
6 pm (Coon Forum) – Presentations by each team. This should be polished. What’s your idea? What worked? What didn’t? What could be better? How are you going to get there? More Importantly… ARE YOU LAUNCHING? Angels, mentors, and sponsors will be present to consider your idea. Maybe you will get funded!
8 pm (Coon Forum) – Close; Judges give feedback and evaluation. Teams are ranked and recognized for achievement, and may receive awards depending on sponsorship.
8pm-10pm (Tommy Nevin's Pub) - Reception and meet and greet.
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