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A Year of Progress: Farley Center's 2016-17 Year in Review


Between academic year 2016 and 2017, the Farley Center saw an increase of nearly 25% in the number of students we served. Farley Center now serves nearly 500 undergraduates and graduates per year through 26 courses. In order to support the growing number of entrepreneurial-minded students across all schools on campus, Farley launched nine new/revamped courses, including NUvention: Transportation and NUvention: Therapeutics in 2016-2017. To increase community outreach, the Farley Center hosted over 50 events and collaborated with more than 16 center centers, departments, and student groups, all while in close partnership with contributing industry experts. The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s growing numbers reflect the thriving interest in startup businesses among NU students, as well as Farley's continued efforts in meeting those needs. As these positive growth numbers show, the center’s mission to provide each of its alumni with a toolkit for future success in business ventures remains fully on track.

Several successful Farley Center alumni who hatched their life-changing ideas during their enrollment in Farley Center's NUvention program, reached even greater entrepreneurial benchmarks in 2016-2017. Here are a few of the highlights:

Üllo, a wine-purification startup spawned in NUvention: Advanced Materials in 2014 (based on a Northwestern grad student’s decision to participate in the NUvention team setting), generated more than $11 million in revenue -- after only its first year of operations.

Hazel Technologies
Between 2016-2017, 2015 NUvention: Advanced Materials startup, Hazel Technologies, raised over $800,000 in funding from VentureWell and other investors in its continued quest to reduce food waste using ethylene-inhibitors.

2016 NUvention: Energy startup, Amper, a per-appliance, energy monitoring innovation, participated in world-renowned accelerators such as HAX and Alchemist, and was awarded grants from VentureWell and MIT to continue their mission of providing the consumer with easy access to monitoring their energy usage.

Student entrepreneurship group, EPIC, engaged over 1,000 students and community members in 2016-2017 through events and activities including WildHacks, Launch, Sprout, and Nest, which was reflected in the group's 70% overall growth. In April of 2017, EPIC’s commitment to cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset for the student body earned them the Entrepreneurship Club of the Year award from Future Founders. EPIC hopes to continue its upward trajectory of event attendance and membership. Through advising and supporting groups like EPIC, Farley Center continues to find opportunities to impact and educate students beyond the classroom.

The Farley Center seeks to ensure that those outside of Northwestern who are interesting in learning more about entrepreneurship also benefit from our growth. To further connect with people the community, the Farley Center regularly holds workshops, host and give presentations, and offers curricular support to several high schools.

Area Highschool Initiatives

At area highschools, Glenbrook North and South, St. Patrick, and Ridgewood, students are given a valuable headstart in learning what it means means to be an entrepreneur through curriculum programs facilitated by Farley Center Co-directors, Mike Marasco and Mark Werwath. Evanston Township High School's Shark Tank-inspired Annual Entrepreneurial Showcase gives students the opportunity to engage in real startup operations by allowing them to take on the rigorous challenge of product creation and pitch delivery.

WSGR Entrepreneurs Bootcamp

In another community outreach effort, last April, in collaboration with premier Silicon Valley IP lawfirm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Farley Center held an entrepreneurship law workshop which allowed the members of the community to learn about the unique legal and business issues that today’s entrepreneurs face.


Another public-facing event showcased of student finalists’ products turned heads at VentureCat, Northwestern’s new venture capitalism competition. With public interest in startup businesses growing, the frequent community events supported by the Farley Center are able to impact more and more participants each year.

With the start of a new year, the Farley Center once again aims to equip students for a future of innovative thinking and successful ventures. For a complete list of Farley Center courses offered for the Winter 2017 and Spring 2018 quarters, click here

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