The Ignite Startup Incubator is an 11-month collaborative startup accelerator to assist founders and entrepreneurs in launching their new venture. Ignite’s goal is to provide passionate entrepreneurs who have a strong business idea with the tools, resources, and connections to accelerate your venture and raise funds. 

By the completion of the program, participants will have gained clear direction on moving their venture to the next level, and will have the opportunity to pitch to accredited investors.

The program accepts up to 10 teams with 25 total participants each year.

Who Can Apply?

  • UWM Students
  • UWM Faculty and Staff
  • UWM Alumni
  • Community Members

Entrepreneurs accepted to the program are expected to have completed basic customer discovery and to demonstrate that they have a strong business idea.

2022 Finalist
Wisconsin Inno Fire Awards

People Brainstorming
Fall (September – December)
Business Innovation Incubator Workshops (3-credit evening course), includes:

·        Purpose Driven Entrepreneurship – Find your “Why”
·        What Does It Take?
·        Building Successful Teams
·        Storytelling vs. Pitching
·        Business Model Canvas & Customer Discovery
·        Product Management Discipline for Startups
·        Chase Revenue and Not Investors – Sales Management Discipline
·        Intellectual Property Considerations, especially in the age of AI
·        Legal Structures and Finance
·        Pitch Day – Potential Customers & Investors
·        Networking
People Meeting
Spring and Summer (January – August)
Significant time will be spent coaching and mentoring ventures after the entrepreneurs have gained the knowledge and tools from the fall workshops.

The program will guide entrepreneurs on their “next steps,” including networking, scaling the business, pivoting if needed, refining the sales pitch, and finetuning their investor pitch decks.

Ignite entrepreneurs will be exposed to potential customers and investors.

Entrepreneurs in the program will continue to develop a community around venture development.

Resources Available to Incubator Participants

  • Each venture is eligible to receive a $5,000 grant that may be used towards business expenses incurred, including tuition and operating expenses
  • Shared workspace in the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center (LEC), including internet access
  • Meeting/conference rooms with A/V equipment
  • Huddle spaces for private meetings and/or phone calls
  • Support from the LEC innovation team, including the LEC Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Access to LEC programming – including talk series, brown bag lunches, and pop-up classes

About the Program Director

Sanjay Mohan

Sanjay Mohan is an accomplished executive with experience in driving growth and leading successful teams, bringing a unique blend of strategic vision, operational expertise, and relationship-building skills to the table. The first 25 years of his professional life saw him living in four continents across the world growing consulting and technology services portfolios and working with clients in the insurance industry to help them improve the ROI on technology deployments while helping them use technology for business transformation.

While he enjoyed the quasi-nomadic lifestyle of a consultant traveling all over the world, he found it challenging to work with the health conditions and complexities that came with time as his parents aged half-way around the world. Armed with the learning that globally healthcare has become largely sickcare, Sanjay founded a digital health startup that built a mobile-first consumer-centric platform to engage with the average healthcare consumer and acquire longitudinal data to model and predict the onset of chronic issues, as well as to manage progression of such conditions. This platform was eventually sold to a global actuarial consulting firm.

Sanjay received his Masters in Engineering from Indian Institute of Science with an emphasis on using AI for power distribution system restoration. He subsequently received his MBA from Indian Institute of Management.

2023-24 Ventures

2022-23 Ventures

A partnership between:

LEC Logo