Frequently Asked Questions | Future Founders

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Future Founders depends on the generosity of individuals and institutions to pursue our mission. If you would like to learn more about supporting Future Founders, our students, and founders please contact Scott Issen.

Startup Spring Break

Acceptance to Startup Spring Break requires both an online application and in-person interview. Due to the high volume of interest, our two-step application helps to find the most excited and committed students. The application isn’t based on grades or prior experience in entrepreneurship. We are looking for girls from all backgrounds and experiences.

Startup Spring Break aligns with the Chicago Public School Spring Break. It runs from 9:30am-4:00pm for the entire week of spring break.

The program will be hosted at 1871 . 1871 is the #1 University Affiliated Startup Incubator in the world and it is located on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart. We do require that students are able to make it to and from 1871 on their own or with the support of their parents/carpool.

Nothing! This is a free program for students and their families.

Students will learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship by actually building out a business idea themselves. With the support of our Entrepreneur Instructors, students will work in teams to find a problem they want to solve and then build out an app-based business concept with a working prototype. At the end of the program, there will be a big celebration that includes pitching to business leaders and showcasing to the community and families at Google Chicago.

Be Your Own Boss Internship

Acceptance to the Be Your Own Boss Internship requires both an online application and recorded video. Due to the high volume of interest, our two-step application helps to find the most engaged and committed students. The application isn’t based on grades or prior experience in entrepreneurship. We are looking for students from all backgrounds and experiences who are interested in exploring this industry.

Future Founders runs multiple internship cycles throughout the year. Check the Be Your Own Boss program page to see specific start and end dates.

Participating students have the opportunity to earn up to $300 (summer cohorts) or $250 (school year cohorts) over the course of the program. The stipend is based on attendance and active participation. The stipend schedule will be discussed on the first day of the program.

The Be Your Own Boss Internship is a virtual-first program, with opportunities for special in-person events (depending on local health and safety regulations at the time of the program).

Students will be forming teams and developing viable business ideas that they will ultimately pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Throughout the program, students will also be meeting with mentors in the business and entrepreneurship space.

That’s great. We’ve had many teams and individuals who have continued to build out their ideas after the program. We have a suite of alumni support resources and host office hours for interested students. Students who are really ready to take the next big step can check out our LaunchLab program (if they are still enrolled in high school), or Startup Bootcamp (if they have already graduated).

18 to 30 Year Old Programs

We’ve worked with over 100 companies across the country, representing a variety of industries. Learn a little more about our founder portfolio by checking out “Our Companies” in the About tab above.

Our programming specializes in assisting 18-to-30-year-old founders. We are industry agnostic, focused on age-and-stage appropriate programming, and encourage entrepreneurial success for founders from diverse backgrounds, including minority, women, immigrant, and veteran-owned businesses.

Yes! Our Annual National U.Pitch Competition & Showcase takes place each November, bringing together some of the top collegiate entrepreneurs around the country for a chance to win from a pool of $10,000.

Our 18+ programming is divided by stage: Startup Bootcamp provides idea- and early-stage founders with the fundamentals of building a business, coupled with mentorship and growth coaching. Residents are typically pre-revenue, have an MVP or idea of what it could be, and are looking to find market validation through the program. The Fellowship focuses on growth-stage founders, focusing less on the how-tos of business and more on their development as well-rounded and effective leaders. Fellows are typically revenue-generating and/or handling some level of investment. Many Fellows are working full-time on their businesses or anticipate doing so in the near future. Not sure where you fit it? Fill out our Contact Form with a little more information about yourself and we’ll be in touch!

While Chicago is a wonderful place to start and grow your business, our accelerator programs have virtual options and do not require you to relocate. You must, however, be a current resident of the United States in order to participate in our programming.

Future Founders is able to offer all of our core programming free of charge thanks to the generous support of our sponsoring organizations.

Fill out our Contact Form with some more information about them, their company, and their email.

Yes! U.Pitch is open to all students at both Universities and Community Colleges.

Workshops

We have options for teacher-led and Future Founder-led workshops. You can find the workshop topics and submit an interest form here.

All of our workshops are offered at no cost for Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Charter Schools!

Future Founders works with schools all across the Chicagoland area. Click here to see the full list of schools.

Absolutely! We love partnering to dream up custom innovation experiences! If interested in pursuing this option, please send an email to Jane Castro with the following information: organization description, high-level outline of program goals/needs, and desired timeline. We will follow up to learn more and discuss if it could be a fit!