The Garage’s Pre-Accelerator program, Wildfire, 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 by giving them additional resources and coaching over a period of 10 weeks. We aim to help them to reach problem solution fit, and prepare them for the next phase of their ventures whether it’s customer acquisition, growth, fundraising, or applying to accelerators. Wildfire culminates with Demo Day, 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 ventures.
Wildfire 2020 Teams
- Cerer: Cerer is an e-commerce platform dedicated to revolutionizing the fashion industry and shifting it towards a more sustainable environmental and economic path.
- Crawl: Crawl is a create your own bar crawl experience that utilizes an extensive filtering system and a centralized database to access events from bars across Chicago in order for the user to map out their night in advance for the best deals and events Chicago nightlife has to offer.
- FILO: An internet-based collective that serves as a creative agency, specialized and catered for various forms of entirely independent artistry.
- FinLit: FinLit is a personal finance education platform that enables organizations to deliver an easily-digestible, video-based curriculum to individuals and effectively measure comprehension.
- Induction Learning: Enabling students the time for the things that truly matter.
- Innovestments: Empowering everyday people to become investors in residential real estate through innovative financing.
- Nooks: The social platform where people share cool places.
- Qade: Qade is a platform that allows gamers to easily keep track of gaming records and their cash winnings.
- Serena: Serena is an everyday fine jewelry line for women who know exactly what they want.
- The Caring Medicine: For wellness enthusiasts who want a natural approach to their health, The Caring Medicine offers wellness products crafted with intention, that easily integrate into daily routines and prolong a healthy life.
Wildfire is comprised of three vital pillars: development of the entrepreneurial toolkit, learning to sell yourself and your idea via pitch practice, and gaining an entrepreneurial mindset. Through thoughtful content workshops, team building activities, and one-on-one guidance, students learn the ABC’s of entrepreneurship, master the art of storytelling, and develop important soft skills like resiliency and the ability to have difficult conversations. Student teams are also offered a stipend to sustain their ventures through the summer.
After Wildfire wraps, student teams pitch their ventures at Demo Day, where a prize pool of $10,000 is up for grabs.
In order to apply, the team must include at least two members. The lead team member must be a full-time student (undergraduate or graduate, at any Northwestern school) during Wildfire. Priority is given to students that will still be enrolled in the following academic year. Teams can include members from other universities as long as all participating team members commit to the 10 weeks of the program.
Wildfire applications are currently closed.