The Garage Programs
The Garage operates programs for students interested in working on their entrepreneurial and passion projects, outside the classroom, alongside like minded students in our 11,000 square foot space. The Garage programs are open to every Northwestern student – undergraduate, graduate, or PhD – and from any school. We welcome a range of projects and ideas from hardware to software, for profit and nonprofit, arts, music, and more.
The Residency Program
For the truly committed entrepreneurs looking to grow their ideas while giving back to The Garage community.
The Garage Residency Program is an opportunity for student teams, both undergraduate and graduate, from across all 12 schools 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 nonprofit, 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 get 24/7 access to The Garage, including The Makerspace, a dedicated desk, and reservable meeting rooms.
Resident teams are assigned a dedicated mentor in their industry, to help them on their entrepreneurial journey.
Residents get an exclusive invite to our weekly Family Dinner, where we hear from a startup superstar and get to know each other.
The Tinker Program
A valuable part of The Garage’s core community, The Tinker Program offers 24/7 access to students working on their innovation projects.
The Tinker Program is for current Northwestern students who are working on an innovation project and require 24/7 access to The Garage. Most tinkerers are in the ideation phase and are working towards Residency. Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Tinkerers 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 or an invitation to Family Dinner (which is for Residents only).
Residency and Tinker applications are currently closed. Please sign up for The Garage newsletter to be notified when applications re-open.
The Wildfire Summer Pre-Accelerator Program
The Garage’s summer pre-accelerator program, Wildfire, aims to develop student founders by introducing new ways of thinking and problem solving.
10 teams. 10 weeks. $10k.
Wildfire 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.
Little Joe Ventures Fellowship
Made possible by a gift from alumnus Tony Owen ’97, ’03 MBA and Monique Owen, the fellowship program is designed to arm students with the skills they need to be successful in their ventures and in life and to provide a support network of like-minded entrepreneurial thinkers.
The Propel Program
Launched in 2018, Propel supports networking, mentorship, and immersive learning experiences that promote diversity and inclusion in the invention-to-innovation-to-entrepreneurship lifecycle. The program is made possible by Steve Elms ’92 MBA and his wife, Katherine Thomas Elms.
Fellowship applications are currently closed. Sign up for The Garage newsletter to be notified when applications open.
Questions about programs at The Garage? Please contact The Garage’s Associate Director, Hayes Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org.