MBA Startups At The Kellogg School of Management

MBA Startups

With entrepreneurship on the rise throughout the country and world, business schools are finding new ways to accommodate and educate students looking to flex their entrepreneurial muscles. Both in and outside of the classroom, support for entrepreneurship and MBA startups can take many forms—from networking opportunities to competitions for capital to resume building internships.

At the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, there are a number of ways business students can build their entrepreneurial skills and put them quickly into practice. At the Kellogg Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Levy Entrepreneurial Institute , Kellogg students have the chance to secure funding for their entrepreneurial projects, expand their business network and even set up opportunities that will continue even after graduation.

Below are just a few of the many resources Kellogg provides for innovative students to turn their ideas into reality.


Kellogg events are a great way for students to forge new business connections and explore the many potential MBA startups already in motion at the school. Below are some of the events available to students throughout the year.

Corporate Renewal Conference: Every year, the Kellogg Corporate Renewal Conference gathers together students and industry leaders to explore a particular theme in the current business climate. The inaugural conference, which took place in October 2014, was themed ‘Corporate Renewal through Innovation: Ways to Invigorate Growth and Scaling.”

Kellogg eChats: Kellogg eChats were created by students to give MBAs the chance to meet leading thought leaders in business. Offered monthly, students are given a chance to meet and pose questions of these leaders on the topic of technology and business.

Student Treks: Kellogg Student Treks are trips led by students to cities throughout the United States, with the goal of visiting anywhere from 4-12 companies which represent a wide scope of business environments and industries. The treks can range from one day to multiple days over school breaks, and allow students to connect with industry professionals and Kellogg alumni.


Events like the Kellogg Venture Challenge, VentureCat and the Venture Capital Investment Challenge (VCIC) give students the chance to put their startup ideas to the test and gain valuable feedback from industry leaders. These competitions can offer anywhere from $10,000 in prizes to $100,000 at the VentureCat Competition, distributed to student ventures. Students also have the chance to participate in an international competition, the Venture Capital Investment Challenge, which invites 78 students from around the world to compete at the Kenan-Flagler Business School in North Carolina.

Student Entrepreneurship Opportunities

A number of opportunities exist for students while enrolled at Kellogg that can provide capital for startup ideas and help students create a community of entrepreneurs. Here are just a few: 8D Program: The program provides funding for students with ideas for high-impact ventures. Students are eligible to receive up to $100k in grant money, with the chance to apply for further investment opportunities ranging from $250k to $3 million. Students participating in the program also receive the benefits of having a virtual mentor, one-on-one coaching from industry innovators, and the chance to attend quarterly forums.

Kellogg Entrepreneurs Organization: The KEO is a community of students working to create new ventures, providing support during the process of launching and building a new business. Students have the chance to receive feedback from a network of mentors made up of professors, investors, and top entrepreneurs.

Pritzker Group Venture Fellows: Students with an idea for a business startup can apply to join the Pritzker Group Venture Fellows, a 12-week summer fellowship created to support young entrepreneurs in Chicago. Two teams of fellows will be awarded witha  $20,000 investment, mentorship, and a work space at 1871.

Summer Entrepreneurship Opportunities 

Kellogg Entrepreneurship Internship Program Stipend: Kellogg students have the chance to participate in a summer internship that will allow them to get a first-hand look into working in the entrepreneurship field. Student internships, which can be located anywhere throughout the globe, will give students the chance to gain direct experience in analyzing pricing models, exploring exit strategies, market research and more. Kellogg students accepted to the internship program are eligible to receive a matching stipend up to $5,000.

Startup Stipend: If students are committed to building their own venture over the summer break and have proven a product-market fit for their idea are eligible to obtain a stipend of up to $7,000 to use for their business needs.

Post-Graduate Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Even after graduation, Kellogg offers a number of awards that can provide funding opportunities and promote the MBA startups of Kellogg grads.

Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Award: The Social Entrepreneurship Award is available for graduates with an idea to use their business knowledge for a positive social impact. Those selected for the award will receive assistance from the Entrepreneurship Lab and Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Fellow Award to fund a startup idea that addresses today’s most pressing social challenges.

NewDay Social Entrepreneurship Award: The NewDay Social Entrepreneurship Award is available for graduates with an idea for a new impact venture with a social and/or environmental mission in the Chicagoland area which has demonstrated some market traction. This competition is also open to undergraduate and graduate students throughout Northwestern.


About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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