IDEA provides Northeastern entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to compete in the challenging world of start-up companies. Certificate students, undergraduates, master's degree students, and alumni are all eligible to apply. As of May 2017, IDEA has worked with 982 concepts, launched 62 ventures, and helped ventures raise $147+ million in external funding.

If you bring your concept to IDEA, you'll be paired with an alumni mentor with relevant business experience and you will have access to student coaches who can help you think through the most challenging details of developing your business plan.

Once you're ready, you will pitch your idea to an advisory panel of students, faculty, and program donors. If your pitch succeeds, you will be granted started up seed money. Investors don't take any equity, and the money is not a loan—this is funding to get your venture up and running.

IDEA ventures have included caffeinated energy bars, solar-powered cell-phone charging stations for use in the developing world, and an app that lets users play in stock market “fantasy leagues”—What's your big idea?