For Students

Get Involved

It’s the perfect time to be a part of innovation at Northwestern.

Over 1,000 students, faculty and staff visit The Garage each month for classes, office hours, events and workshops. Whether you want to brainstorm a new idea with a friend at The Cafe or attend one of our Virtual/Augmented Reality Nights to try out the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Microsoft HoloLens, we would love to see you around.

Sign up for Office Hours with our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to discuss your idea and get help from experts.

Sign Up for Office Hours

Join a club dedicated to entrepreneurship. Northwestern has many innovation-focused clubs and student organizations, many of which meet at The Garage.

Learn More About Entrepreneurship at Northwestern

Attend an entrepreneurial event. Visit our NU Entrepreneurial Calendar to see what events are coming up on campus and beyond.

Check Upcoming Events

The Tinker Program

The Tinker Program is for current NU students who are working on an innovation project and require 24/7 access to The Garage, but are not part of our Residency Program. Most teams are in the ideation phase and are working towards full Residency. Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Interested students should schedule Office Hours with Melissa Kaufman or Billy Banks.

Tinker participants get 24/7 access to The Garage and are encouraged to work from The Cafe (which is open to all students) or an empty classroom. Tinker participants do not get a dedicated desk nor an invitation to Family Dinner which are for Residents only.

The Garage Residency Program

For the truly committed entrepreneurs looking to grow their ideas while giving back to the community

The Garage Residency Program is an opportunity for student teams, both undergraduate and graduate, from across all 12 colleges of the University to be a core member of The Garage’s entrepreneurial community. Resident teams use The Garage as their office and receive special privileges like 24/7 access, a weekly Family Dinner and priority for office hours with mentors. Ideas can be for-profit or not-for-profit, hardware or software, commercial products or artistic endeavors—anything that requires bringing a new idea to fruition. Resident teams are selected on a quarterly basis.

Residents are expected to:

  • Spend a minimum of 10 hours a week at The Garage
  • Attend our weekly Family Dinners
  • Be stewards of The Garage's entrepreneurial community

Family Dinner

Get to know your fellow entrepreneurs during our weekly dinners and network with accomplished pioneers in the startup world.

Family Dinner is a weekly dinner and event for students in our Residency Program to discuss their successes and failures and get to know one another outside of their startup ventures. Each week, we are joined by an accomplished founder, technologist or investor who shares his/her founder story and startup wisdom.

Click on the featured past speakers to learn more:

Residency Application

Residency Applications for Fall 2017 will open on September 1, 2017.

Sign up for our Newsletter to be notified when applications open:

All applications are vetted by faculty, staff and advisors. We seek teams that are passionate about their idea and have adequate time to dedicate to working on their company.

Our last Residency featured 60 teams representing 250 students with projects ranging from warehouse drones to e-commerce to film production.

Meet Some Of Our Resident Teams

Wildfire Pre-Accelerator Program

The Wildfire program aims to develop students as both leaders and founders by introducing new ways of thinking and problem-solving.

The Wildfire Pre-Accelerator Program at The Garage seeks to accelerate student teams between two milestones by giving them additional resources and coaching. Wildfire culminates at the end of the quarter with a Demo Day/Shark Tank experience where students will present their proposal and gain feedback from established judges. This is a program designed to help early stage ventures learn, grow and overcome obstacles preventing the launch of their venture.

Applications are currently closed. If you have any questions, please email Billy Banks, Associate Director of The Garage, at billy.banks@u.northwestern.edu.