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Illinois Wesleyan University's State Farm Hall, shown here at its 2013 ribbon cutting, will be the site of a three-day startup seminar hosted by its Design, Technology and Entrepreneurship Program, Friday through Sunday. 

BLOOMINGTON — A three-day startup program for aspiring entrepreneurs at Illinois Wesleyan University this weekend will provide hands-on experience and connections along with competitions for a $3,000 prize.

The event is open to college and high school students along with community members. There is a $50 registration except for IWU students, who may sign up for free. Lunch, dinner and snacks will be provided.

To register, go to The deadline to register is 10 p.m. Thursday.

The event will be from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Room 102 of State Farm Hall on the IWU campus.

Participants will work together in small groups to develop a small business from the idea stage to prototype to pitch. The group with the most compelling pitch will receive $3,000 to help finance their startup.

Lauren Hicks, the program's coordinator of entrepreneurial activities, said, “As the Design, Technology and Entrepreneurship Program at Illinois Wesleyan continues to grow, we hope to strengthen our roots in the greater Bloomington-Normal startup ecosystem, while also creating more resources and points of connection for our students and community members.”

The seminar is designed to provide hands-on experience in starting a business while connecting participants with local entrepreneurs, experts and potential investors.

“This is a great opportunity for participants to innovate, network and gain business acumen,” said Hicks.

Questions can be directed to Hicks at


Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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