Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM)
CIM accelerates the development of science-based ventures.
See monthly meeting schedule.
CIM is a 6-month, team-based mentoring and scholarship program focused on science-based ventures. CIM has helped more than 220 early stage, science-based ventures, which cumulatively have raised $200M. CIM was founded by a consortium of Chicago-area universities and industry partners in November 2010 and was acquired by MATTER in January 2016.
Through a rigorous evaluation process, CIM accepts science-based ventures ranging in maturity from idea stage through early customer acquisition and financing.
Mentors have deep technical expertise and demonstrated business acumen. 86% hold advanced degrees, and most have executive-level experience.
Each month, MATTER gathers CIM mentors to hear ventures pitch their ideas to the mentors, who choose teams they want to coach.
The day after the monthly meeting, mentors are matched with the venture teams they'll be advising for the next 6 months.
Ventures meet with their mentor teams for 90 minutes each month to help them meet milestones. MATTER staff help ventures navigate the educational and business development resources MATTER provides.
After 6 months, ventures graduate from CIM. While many launch their CIM ventures as businesses, CIM teaches some that their businesses aren't viable. This process supports a tenet of the program: fail fast so you move on to your next venture.
Endotronix set out to create wireless health monitoring devices to improve and streamline care for patients with advanced heart failure. They enrolled in CIM in April 2012 and worked with mentors Israel Raz and Jim Kelly. The program accelerated their development and growth. Since graduating CIM, Endotronix has raised multiple rounds of funding, culminating in a $32M Series C round in July 2016.
Steven Gould, MDChair, CIM Advisory Board
Jeff ConeyDirector of Economic Development, Northwestern University
Steven C. Kuemmerle, Ph.D.Director, Technology Commercialization and Licensing, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Chicago
Gregory MorinDirector of Strategy and Innovation, Argonne National Laboratory
Suseelan PookoteAssistant Director of Business Development at the Office of Technology Management, University of Illinois
Warren RibleyPresident and CEO, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO) & the iBIO Institute
Universities, health systems, or healthcare companies can sponsor their innovators to spend 6 months as CIM ventures.Learn more and become a sponsor