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Music Faculty Bruce Polay talks with Brian Tanaka at a piano before a performance at the Orpheum Theatre.

StartUp Term


John Spittell

Professor & Chair of Business & Management, Executive-in-Residence

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



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The prairie at Green Oaks Biological Field Station.

If you dream of starting your own company, StartUp Term offers practical experience in every part of the entrepreneurial process, from developing a business plan to pitching your product to potential investors.

For 10 weeks, participants work in teams of four to transform original business concepts into real services and products. While each group must include at least one member who has studied computer science and one who has studied business and management, the program is open to students in every academic discipline. (Past participants have included students from history, studio art, and environmental studies.)

Along the way, you'll tackle a wide range of responsibilities, including building and maintaining a project website, developing your product, evaluating potential markets for your product or service, and connecting with suppliers and customers. You'll also compile financial projections and take care of administrative tasks like ordering business cards and opening bank accounts.

Teams have 24/7 access to a shared off-campus workspace in downtown Galesburg. Most of the time, you can expect to work independently and set your own schedules, but all participants come together each week to demonstrate their progress during milestone presentations.

Throughout the process, you will be mentored by three Knox faculty members: John Spittell from business and management and John Dooley and Jaime Spacco from computer science.

At the end of the 10-week term, you'll make a final pitch to a panel of judges that includes Knox alumni and local entrepreneurs. Some groups even continue to operate their businesses after the program is over.

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Professor Stuart Allison and students scan the burned prairie at Green Oaks.
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Printed on Thursday, April 19, 2018