Disrupt the world with blockchain.

April 13-15, ECEB

Jump Genesis is a 3-day event where students across campus come together to build the next big startup in crypto. You don't have to be an entrepreneur or blockchain expert. Everything you'll need is provided - if you come, we'll make sure you leave with a startup.


Who should apply?

Genesis is open to all majors and ages. We strongly believe that entrepreneurship isn’t tied to a major – anyone with a passion to solve a problem can build a startup.

When will I hear back?

We will be sending out acceptances on a rolling basis until the application deadline, which is Wednesday, April 11th.

Do I have to pitch an idea to participate?

You can still attend Genesis even if you don’t pitch an idea. We highly encourage brainstorming ideas. We want to be inspired by your passion!

What can I do in the meantime?

Think of problems that you personally face every day or see in your community and how you would solve those using blockchain technology! Check out the Founders blog if you're not sure how. Also, tell your friends and check out our Facebook event and social media links to get updates. :)

During the Weekend

Can I pitch an idea for a startup that’s already in progress?

Sorry, but Genesis is about building startups from the ground up. If you've begun build your product, you won't be able to participate. If you're working on a startup, though, Founders would love to get in touch!

Can I pitch more than one idea?

Depending on the number of ideas pitched, you may be able to pitch two ideas.

Can we see past presentation examples?

Absolutely. Just come up to one of the staff members and they can share them with you.


What is Genesis?

Genesis is a blockchain-themed startup competition. Attendees come in on Friday and pitch ideas, form teams, and learn how to turn their ideas into a business with mentors' guidance over the course of the weekend. On Sunday, teams pitch their idea to Jump Capital to compete for prizes!

What's in it for you?

Genesis builds strong friendships and sustainable businesses that last even after the event is over. Startups are powered aircrafts, not projectiles.

Cash Prizes: The top three teams will walk away with some money to help turn their ideas into a reality.
Connections: Jump Capital and Jump Labs will help mentor and potentially fund it down the road.
Founders: Founders will work with your startup to make sure you get the resources you need.

Will there be food?

Absolutely! We will have a constant supply of snacks, caffeine, and food – you take care of your startup, we'll take care of you.

Is it overnight?

This isn't a hackathon, and we believe the best ideas come when you're energized. The event won't be staffed overnight, but you're welcome to work on your idea as much as you'd like.

I have an idea that I want to pitch! What should I do to prepare?

Awesome! Genesis is the perfect place to meet team members that can help bring your idea to life. Practice and do your research; no presentation slides please – you will have 60 seconds to convince attendees to join your team!

I don’t have an idea that I want to pitch :(

Yet! But bring a unique perspective :) Teams will need designers, developers, marketers, and more!

Are we expected to work on our startup after Genesis is over?

We provide cash prizes and a network so you have direction and motivation to continue working on your startup! However, learning how a company is started with your team and mentors is still a great experience and side project, as we understand that not everybody can commit to their own company full-time.

404: Question not found?

Feel free to email us at team@founders.illinois.edu


Can I have a pre-formed team?

Yes, but we highly encourage forming teams at the event. You won't gain as much from the event if you don't branch out!

When does the event start and end?

Check-in starts at 5 PM on Friday, April 13th. The event ends at 6 PM on Sunday, April 15th.

What should I bring?

A laptop, laptop charger, and passion should be enough!

Day 1: Imagine

Pitch Fest
Team Formation

Day 2: Create

Market Research
Business Evaluation

Day 3: Launch


View Full Schedule


Andrew Miller

Andrew is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in Electrical and Computer Engineering and affiliate in Computer Science. He is also an Associate Director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3) and an advises the zcash project. His research interests are broadly in computer security, focused on the design of secure decentralized systems and cryptocurrencies.

Steve Rubinow

Steve is an accomplished technology expert across multiple industries. He currently serves on the advisory board of many ventures, including Canvas Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures, and as the Director of the DePaul University Institute for Professional Development. He was previously the CIO of Thomson Reuters and CIO/CTO of the NYSE Group for over a decade. In all roles, he has ignited innovation and transformed the companies he has worked with.

Rumi Morales

Rumi is an entrepreneur, investor, and visionary across several fields. She has served as the head of CME Ventures and maintains an active role on the advisory board for the Chamber of Digital Commerce, where she advocates for the advancement of digital assets and blockchain technologies.

Uri Klarman

Uri is a researcher at the Northwestern University Networks Group, where his work focuses on blockchain and cryptocurrency networks. His cutting-edge research is now in use at his company, bloXroute Labs, which solves the scalability bottleneck and allows blockchains to process thousands of transactions per second.

Saurabh Sharma

Saurabh is currently a partner at Jump Capital, where he invests in the next wave of blockchain infrastructure and applications. In the past, he was the Head of Personalization and Head of Global Marketing & Special operations at Ideel, a Groupon company. He also served as Vice President at Lightbank, where he advised entrepreneurs to build disruptive companies.


Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is a Vice President at Jump Capital, a Chicago-based venture capital firm specializing in Series A, B, and Growth Capital investments, where he leads their investments in the fintech and digital asset sectors. Peter joined Jump Capital in 2013 as their first employee, and over the last 5 years has invested in over 40 companies. Prior to joining Jump, Peter was an investment banker with Morgan Stanley specializing in M&A and corporate finance in the financial technology sector, and spent four years with Deloitte Consulting where he developed commercialization strategies for leading financial institutions. He is a Kauffman Fellow, CFA Charterholder, and Chicago Booth MBA.

Tod Courtney

Tod is Director of Jump Labs, Jump Trading’s office in the Univ. of Illinois Research Park, where he manages research projects and internship programs. He is also a founding member of Jump’s crypto trading effort. He has broad experience as a software engineer, focusing on parallelization, simulation and visualization. Prior to Jump, he was a partner at Delcross Technologies, a Champaign-based startup company, now part of ANSYS.

Eric Mills

Eric Mills graduated from UIUC in 2014 with a BS in Computer Science. Eric has been actively involved with entrepreneurship on campus since 2010. He founded the student organization Founders in 2013, worked at TEC for 3 years, and became a student fellow for Chicago Ventures. He worked at multiple high profile startups like Civis Analytics and Rithmio as a software engineer, specializing in infrastructure for data science. In 2017, he was accepted into the YCombinator (W17) startup accelerator for his hardware company LitHit, which built reactive smart targets for shooting ranges. Eric is currently in Chicago consulting for data science and software engineering.

Adam Tilton

Adam studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois for his BS, MS, and PhD. In 2013, Tilton was awarded the National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps award to pursue opportunities to commercialize a new methodology for learning and classifying patterns in time-series data. In 2014, Tilton was a finalist for the UofI's Illinois Innovation Prize and won the 2014 COZAD New Venture Competition. Tilton left his PhD in 2014 to pursue his startup Rithmio, a software company for wearable motion sensing devices. Rithmio was acquired by Bosch in 2017, and Tilton is now a machine learning and data science consultant in Chicago.

Jim Medek

Jim is an attorney focused on IP and technology law, with a particular emphasis on computer and networking technologies. At Jump, Jim advises on IP strategy, valuation, and negotiations, as well as corporate investments and M&A.

Dan Reicher

Dan is a regulatory attorney within Jump who advises on compliance related issues pertaining to trading, investment, and general interaction with digital assets. Dan has held a variety of roles in the trading industry, having previously been in compliance positions at DRW Trading Group and CME Group.

Isaac DiIanni

Isaac is a Lecturer at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in Economics. His research interests include public economics and economic history.

Surya Bakshi

Surya Bakshi graduated from UIUC in 2016 with a BS in Computer Engineering. He is currently a graduate student researching cryptocurrencies and decentralized systems. He works with Professor Andrew Miller in the Decentralized Systems Lab exploring approaches to network privacy, decentralized security, payment channels and smart contract security, among other topics. He has deep knowledge of blockchain design and extensive experience with smart contract programming.

Andrew Mass

Andrew is a software engineer at Jump Labs in Champaign. He began his career at Jump as an intern for six months, and has been full-time ever since. He has been focused on crypto trading projects at Jump since joining the company. Andrew graduated from UIUC with a BS in Computer Engineering.

The best startups will get prizes from Founders and Jump:
- Founders microgrants from $100-$500
- Jump-sponsored microgrants from $500-$1,000
- Pitch session with Jump Capital
- Connections and continued support from Founders