Chicago Innovation Blog

Illinois Tech launches Innovation MBA in partnership with the Chicago Innovation Awards

by | May 4, 2016

Illinois Tech and Chicago Innovation Awards Announce Joint Venture Featuring an Innovation-Focused Accelerated M.B.A. Program
The partnership provides a $10,000 scholarship and links students to Chicago’s innovation community

Chicago – May 4, 2016 – Stuart School of Business at Illinois Institute of Technology has announced a joint venture with Chicago Innovation Awards featuring a new Accelerated M.B.A. program that offers a rigorous innovation-focused academic curriculum coupled with real-world practical experiences, plus a $10,000 scholarship for each M.B.A. student who demonstrates a continuing commitment to innovation in the Chicago region.

As the program’s experiential partner, the Chicago Innovation Awards will provide students with a direct connection to Chicago’s innovation community through a set of activities and projects carried out over the course of the two-year, part-time M.B.A. program. In addition to the scholarship, each student will be a Member of the Chicago Innovation Awards and will receive free admission to each of its events.

“We are delighted to offer this remarkable opportunity to our students,” said Krishna Erramilli, associate dean and program director of the new Accelerated M.B.A. Program at Illinois Tech. “It ensures that some of the Chicago region’s brightest students will be directly and deeply engaged in Chicago’s vibrant innovation community, and it will sharply reduce the cost of the degree for each student who participates. It is a solid step forward for the region and for its next generation of business leaders.”

“We are proud to be selected as the Chicago organization chosen to work with Illinois Tech to develop and carry out this unique M.B.A. program,” said Luke Tanen, executive director of the Chicago Innovation Awards. “Our mission is to celebrate, educate, and connect all aspects of the innovation community in the Chicago region. This scholarship program helps strengthen the region’s innovation ecosystem.”

The Accelerated M.B.A. program is aimed at boosting the innovation-capacity of busy mid-career professionals moving into leadership roles. It is taking direct aim at one of the most frequently cited issues that impacts the city’s booming tech-minded community – difficulty finding top talent to drive local firms forward.

“Rather than trying to import talent from the coasts, let’s do more to invest in young professionals locally who have a strong desire to work here and see Chicago rise as a top innovation hub,” said Tom Kuczmarski, one of the co-founders of the Chicago Innovation Awards. Now it its 15th year, the Chicago Innovation Awards features a year-round series of innovation-focused events and programs, including its annual recognition of the most innovative new products and services brought to market each year in the Chicago region. Over 5,000 people attended Chicago Innovation Awards 2015 events.

About the Accelerated M.B.A. Partnership with Chicago Innovation Awards

Illinois Tech’s new Accelerated M.B.A. Program teaches innovative business models, thinking and management practices that help solve the complex business challenges facing today’s companies. The Chicago Innovation Awards was selected as the experiential partner for the scholarship program because of its focus on innovation in organizations of all types and all sizes in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

“Many of our students will have an interest in the large and rapidly growing high tech startup community in the region so this program will be closely connected to that,” said Erramilli. “We also recognize that the spirit of innovation exists in major corporations as well as in the non-profit and government sectors, so students with that interest will be welcome as well.”

• Each student will complete a capstone project done in collaboration with a Chicago Innovation Award winning organization.
• Students will be expected to attend at least five of the educational events organized each year by the Chicago Innovation Awards.
Prospective students can apply for a $10,000 scholarship through the Chicago Innovation Awards.
• As part of the application process, each prospective student will be asked to submit a 400 word statement describing their particular interest in engaging with the Chicago region’s innovation community.
• Scholarship recipients will be recognized on stage at the annual Chicago Innovation Awards ceremony at the Harris Theater on October 25, 2016.

Information is available on the Illinois Tech website and the Chicago Innovation Awards website.

ABOUT ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused, research university, located in Chicago, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. One of 21 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities (AITU), Illinois Tech offers exceptional preparation for professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Visit

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