The Luminate Program

The Luminate Program creates a space for first-generation and
lower-income students at Northwestern University to
explore entrepreneurship.


Students work hands-on to develop not only their projects, but their positionality in entrepreneurship. Each student has been awarded up to $1,000 to use toward their project,
a personal mentor, weekly workshops, and ongoing office hours.


Thank you to the following generous donors for their commitment to supporting the Luminate program and student entrepreneurs at Northwestern:

  • Mark SoC'88 and Tricia SoC'89 Rothschild

Winter 2024 Cohort

Take a look at the most recent cohort of Luminate program participants.

Adam Valiji
Weinberg '26

Project: A capital-raising platform that takes away the requirement of warm introductions for founders on their fundraising journey.

Kris Yun
SESP '27

Project: Talk2Me: a two-in-one mental health app that uses AI chatbot technology and online therapy.

Nneka Ukpaby
Pritzker '24

Topics: The "yellow brick road" in which Entrepreneurship, Social Media, and Entertainment Law meet.

Saloni Patel
TGS '24

Project: A centralized application that creates a ML and data-driven infrastructure, nurturing a synchronized ecosystem of retailers, empowering each retailer to optimize service for a interconnected customer base.

Seora Kim
Weinberg '25

Project: NU Roomie is a platform to help NU students find compatible roommates based on their living habits and promote productivity, social life, and emotional wellbeing.

Brian Ndeto
McCormick '27

Project: An online platform that enables all organic agricultural products suppliers and buyers to connect with the farmers and get the products they want firsthand, also serving as a marketplace for agricultural products such as herbicides, farming machinery, and transport services of the products.

C. Jewel Garcia
SoC '24

Project: A film production company.

Daphine Mutangabende
Weinberg '27

Project: A cutting edge website that enables hairdressers connect with college student clients in different universities to give personalized services by use of matching algorithms which include mobile options.

The Benefits

People holding hands in a circle to form a star


Students explore entrepreneurship through weekly workshops and office hours.


Up to $1,000 to spend on an entrepreneurial project.

Two overlapping speech bubbles


One-on-one mentorship with accomplished professionals.