Startup Stand-up - Hackathon Meets Improv

Startup Stand-up is a one-of-a-kind event that blends the worlds of improvisation, storytelling, pitching, product development and comedy to create a unique and engaging experience for participants. The event highlight is the participants' showcase, where the spirit of a hackathon meets the excitement of improv comedy. In this competition-like scenario, participating teams are given random innovation elements to create a fictional product and then pitch it in a fun and entertaining way. 

Register by signing up on the event page. 

Event approved for passport credits.

Event Schedule:  

9:30 to 10 a.m.: Registration and Coffee. Welcome, participants! Get ready for a day of fun and networking with other creative minds.  

10 to 10:15 a.m.: Opening Remarks. A casual introduction to the event, its goals and a quick overview of the planned exciting activities.  

10:15 a.m. to noon: Improv for Entrepreneurs Workshop.

By Paul Kassel, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and a full professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at Northern Illinois University

Dive into some improv exercises designed to help you think on your feet, boost your creativity and enhance your communication skills in a fun and interactive environment.  

12:15 to 1:30 p.m.: Introduction to the Stand-up Cup and Networking Lunch.

By Anna Klis, associate professor, Department of Economics, Northern Illinois University.

An overview of the Stand-up Cup, its rules, guidelines and format. Form teams and receive a set of random innovation elements (e.g., technology, target market or problem to solve). Enjoy a casual lunch with fellow participants, network, make new friends and, most of all, discuss your ideas.  

1:30 to 2:15 p.m.: Pitch a Product with a Story Workshop.

By Becca Husar, associate director of Innovation and Partnership Development, College of Business, Northern Illinois University; and Federico Bassetti, assistant director for Northern Illinois University Office of Innovation.

Learn the essentials of crafting and delivering killer pitches for your ideas, products or services. This hands-on workshop provides tips and techniques for engaging audiences and persuading them to invest in your concepts. 

2:15 to 2:30 p.m.: Coffee Break. Grab a coffee and a snack to recharge for the prep session.  

2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Stand-up Cup Brainstorming and Preparation. Get ready for some intense brainstorming. You will have one hour to brainstorm and create a fictional product or service and prepare your pitch.  

3:30 to 5:15 p.m.: Stand-up Cup 

by MC Russ Devereaux, associate director, Department of Operation Management and Information Systems, Northern Illinois University.

Experience the thrill of a live performance presenting your pitches to a panel of judges and the audience. Each pitch is limited to a set time (e.g., 5 minutes) followed by a brief Q&A session with the judges. The judges will determine the overall Standup Cup champion.  

5:15 to 6 p.m.: Closing Remarks, Stand-up Cup Awards and Networking Time to wrap up. We will announce the winners of the Stand-up Cup and present awards. Stick around for a final opportunity to network and discuss potential collaborations. 

Registation is required for participation and passport credits.

Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM

71 North Partnership Studio, https://innovation.niu.edu/71 NIU Founders Library

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