University of Illinois Foundation

What is UIDEA?

UIDEA is an internal accelerator fueling new ideas in advancement that benefit the University of Illinois and have the potential to reshape the industry.

Your idea. Your team. 12 weeks. Coaching. Advising. Funding. Bringing your idea to life.

Shoot your shot. Change our world
Growth Areas
Leadership Opportunities
Changing Societal or Consumer Needs
Industry Assumptions and Norms
New Ways of Doing Business
Fundraising and Engagement



UIDEA Boot Camp will help you build your best product, master the art of storytelling, and perfect your pitch for the toughest executives and the loudest of naysayers


From advancement pros to alumni experts, we match teams with advisors for rapid feedback. And the UIDEA alumni community is there to cheer you on from the very first meeting.


Want to get your advancement idea in front of the right audiences? Or maybe get on the radar of your next potential boss? We’ve got you covered.


UIDEA covers your 12-week idea expenses. And you have a shot at up to a year’s worth of funding if your pitch is successful.

Network Growth

UIDEA has access to the million+ UI alumni, faculty, donors, industry partners, and community members. We help you find your people.

Demo Day

Join us as the Spring 2023 teams pitch their ideas at Demo Day on May 16, 2023

Get Involved

Volunteer to advise a team or learn more.

Be among the first to receive Innovate @ UIF news and invitations.

Dive deeper into the UIDEA program in What's the (big) UIDEA, the Course. Or refine your idea in the Idea Distillery.

Learn more