What is Genisys?

Our Genisys Venture Immersion program is Illinois Institute of Technology’s first-ever experiential venture capital program that aims to prepare students for a successful career in the venture capital industry. We aim to establish the systems and structure that is needed to set up the next generation of tech leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors for success. Let’s break it down:


Building the next generation of investors and venture capitalists


Innovation supported by the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship and Illinois Tech


Applying a systems thinking mindset to how we operate

Genisys supports Illinois Tech students, staff, alumni, startups, and other stakeholders by complementing existing programs at the Kaplan Institute. By investing in time, money, resources, and networking, our Genisys program aims to build incredible businesses and support its founders. 

To advance equity in venture capital (VC) by supporting Illinois Tech students and startups to advance their careers in VC and to be supported by the VC industry.”

We do this by: 

  • Supporting Illinois Tech and Chicago-based startups by providing consultative services, conducting due diligence, and creating investment memos and deal flow
  • Building networks in venture capital and connecting our students to experiential and career opportunities in the sector
  • Creating the next generation of tech investors and leaders who are more diverse, entrepreneurial, and community-minded

At our core, we believe that experiential learning is the best way to learn. This guiding principle has led us to carefully curate a venture immersion program that trains students with minimal experience in venture capital into industry-ready VC analysts through: 

  1. Education: We provide an immersive, experiential curriculum that allows students to learn the nuts and bolts by working closely with startups and interacting with the Chicago VC leaders.
  2. Startup Support: We partner with pre-seed startups to increase their likelihood of business success and to get them venture-ready.
  3. Capital: We provide grant funding to Illinois Tech startups founded by students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  4. Network: We leverage our networks to support both students and startups. 
  5. Equity: We advance equity in opportunities as our stakeholders navigate the world of investing, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

IPRO Genisys

This is our semester-long course for students with no experience in venture capital. Throughout this Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program course, students work closely with local startups and help prepare them to raise capital. In addition to that, students are introduced to the VC model, the due diligence process, term sheets, and they must also create a personal investor thesis.


The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is the premier undergraduate and graduate venture capital competition. Throughout the fall semester, a select group of students will train by analyzing startups, reaching valuations, preparing term sheets, and eventually pitching their investment proposal to a panel of VC investors. This is a tremendous opportunity to not just represent Illinois Tech but also network with industry practitioners and learn from some of the best minds in VC.

Genisys Analysts

Genisys Analysts are paid venture capital analysts as part of the larger Genisys program at Kaplan Institute. Students from the Genisys IPRO course are eligible to apply for this career opportunity. The select group of analysts will work closely with Kaplan Institute’s Startup Studio and Startup Accelerator programs to support Illinois Tech founders as they prepare for the annual Kaplan Pitch Tank competition. Analysts will conduct consultative office hours, prepare investment memos for the startups, and eventually pitch these memos to a panel of VC investors.

Throughout these three key Genisys experiences, students with little to no experience in venture capital will gain practical experience in the following key activities:

  • VC basics
  • Term sheet evaluation
  • Analyzing startups
  • Investment memo creation 
  • Portfolio support
  • Partner meeting pitches
  • Sourcing startups
  • Negotiating terms
  • Investment thesis creation
  • Industry networking

Get Involved!

If you are an investor, founder, or ecosystem enabler that wants to partner with the Genisys program, please email Niharika Hanglem at nhanglem@kaplan.iit.edu.