SIU's Business Incubator opened as a result of a taskforce planning process in the late 1980s with funds from the state. The incubator was created with the intention of SIU, the largest employer in the area, supporting broader economic development. It is situated in SIU's Economic Development Center, which helps to sustain its services for tenants. The mission of the Small Business Incubator Program is to accelerate the start-up and expansion of small businesses. Through its ties to the university, the incubator is able to connect its tenants with students and additional on-campus resources.
Home to 49 different startup companies, Research Park & EnterpriseWorks has been nationally recognized as one of "10 Startup Incubators You Need to Watch", according to Inc.com. Upon its inception in 2000, EnterpriseWorks has been working with a broad range of startups that have been pursuing development in chemical sciences, biotechnology, sustainability, and material sciences. Programs such as "Entrepreneurs-in-Residence" and "Shared Services" offer valuable resources for companies to establish an identity and transition into a long-term company.
The IIT incubator at the University Technology Park at Illinois Institute of Technology is designed for the dynamic convergence of bioscience, engineering, and high-tech companies. The incubator focuses on developing high-tech startup companies. It is part of a four-building complex that houses a state-of-the-art incubator, a 19-story office tower, and IIT Research Institute, one of the nation's leading contract research organizations. Additional features include back-up generator farms, build-to-suit wet labs, dry labs, and office space, 128,000 rentable square feet of space, and much more!
1871 Chicago boasts some of Chicago's most innovative engineers and entrepreneurs looking to push the boundaries of what is possible. The goal of 1871 is to spur economic development in Chicago and the surrounding area. Located in the Merchandise Mart, it has generated more than 800 jobs and has been recognized by elected officials in its first year. The incubator specializes in digital and web startups, with an emphasis on software and mobile applications. 1871 provides its tenants with a combined coworking space and connects its tenants with its partnering organizations, such as Northwetsern University, the University of Illinois, Illinois Institute of Technology, Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, the Pritzker Group, and Sandbox Industries.
Catapult is run for start-ups by start-ups. Our full potential is reached through the collective participation of some of Chicago's best and brightest entrepreneurs. Catapult Chicago adheres to three core values: passion, peer selection, and market impact. Catapult Chicago is home to 17 of the most exciting, innovative, and disruptive companies in Chicago. Companies include Scholastica, The Black Sheep, Mentormob, SymbiosisHealth, Buzz Digital, Shakestir, and Learnerator. As a not-for-profit, Catapult looks to its sponsors to help support its mission, through financial support, time, and expertise.
Lightbank provides a solid business model, technology that works, top talent, and an experienced and connected partners. Lightbank works with entrepreneurs who value perspective, experience, insight, and resources. Lighthouse has created companies that now have over 10,000 eomployees worldwide, with perhaps the largest technology development footprint in the midwest, specifically. Every resource you need is available. The incubator also helps you become connected with the people you need to help you grow your business: accountants, lawyers, developers, and more.
As a newly established incubator, the Chicago Innovation Exchange will bring together multiple departments, institutions, and labs at the University of Chicago with affiliated partners to help University faculty, students, and area entrepreneurs commercialize technology and businesses. Affiliated partners will include Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Marine Biological Laboratory, who will work with tenants. It will also help to provide Innovation Fund, a $20 million venture philanthropic fund dedicated towards helping tenants accomplish their projects.
A startup for startups, EnterpriseWorks Chicago (EWC) is a university-based operation charged with creating a robust entrepreneurial community to nurture commercialization and accelerate viable high technology startups throughout the Chicagoland community. EnterpriseWorks Chicago operates around fostering five pillars of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. Infrastructure facilitates both the physical connection and virtual communication around which entrepreneurial communities thrive. Based at a university and in the heart of the Illinois Medical District, with proximity to world-renowned industries and research institutions, the source of innovation is abundant. A strong pipeline of both fresh and savvy talent is vital to the success of innovation-based ventures. Access to peer, industry, investment, and community networks allows entrepreneurs to gain valuable feedback and benchmark perspective. And awareness around accessing capital in its various forms, stages and sources enables more effective fundraising efforts.
MATTER opens early 2015 to serve as a key collaborative space in Chicago for biotech, health, and life sciences companies. MATTER addresses the growing technological needs in health care and expands connections between companies, universities, hospitals, and insurers. It has already received funding from the State of Illinois and other large companies. Currently, 12 biomedical companies have agreed to join MATTER and support its work, including AbbVie and Baxter.
Sandbox Industries creates, invests in and explores new businesses. They search for ideas with the potential to change markets, leveraging expertise, resources, and experience to grow successful comapnies through collaboration and knowledge sharing. Sandbox represents a new model of business development (one that helps rather than harasses entrepreneurs) and is redefining the way great ideas are generated and transformed into companies.
TechNexus is the gateway to collaboration for Chicago's technology leaders. Established in 2006 as the city's first coworking incubator, the ecosystem began with private investment and community support. Using a for-profit model, TechNexus helps its tenants succeed by matching them to corporate partners. A partnership with the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) allows the incubator to serve as a "clubhouse" where ventures grow and a co-working facility to bring technology professionals together, foster relationships, and promote a sense of community in Chicago.
Unlike other colleges, Kaskaskia College has five education centers, which are extensions of its main campus. Currently, it has incubators at three of its campuses: Centralia, Greenville, and Salem. The mission of the education centers is to spur economic growth and development, in addition to adding jobs and business opportunities in the areas surround Kaskaskia College's education centers. Kaskaskia College targets new businesses that need a central office space and looks for tenants with a wide range of interests.
The Rantoul Business Incubator is a new affiliate of EnterpriseWorks, the business incubator located within the Research Park. The Rantoul Business Incubator was established through the East Central Illinois University Center funded by the US Economic Development Administration. The Incubator is located at the former Chanute Air Force Base and provides free space for entrepreneurs. RBI will offer entrepreneurial support services including onsite business consulting from the Small Business Development Center and access to a team of Parkland and University of Illinois students who will provide a variety of business and marketing services.
EIGERlab ties together innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship into a centrally located, state of the art mixed-use incubator, serving the region with leading edge business and engineering support services. The facility and programs assist in the development of a robust and diverse entrepreneurial culture through the collaboration of education, business, and government. Focused on assisting startups, EIGERlab serves as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs and innovators to lease space at reasonable rates, participate in peer groups, access business services, and utilize design engineering and art-to-part rapid prototyping services.
The Northwestern University incubator is run by the Northwestern Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Engineering. Through this affiliation, tenants benefit from Farley Center resources. The Farley Center provides a space for Northwester-affiliated students, faculty, and alumni to capitalize on their engineering innovations. The center also teaches students prototyping and business plan development across multiple disciplines.
The Peoria NEXT Innovation Center is a high-technology incubator that is home to researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs looking to transform technologies and innovations into commercial enterprises. The incubator targets tenants benefit resources available at Bradley University and its stakeholders' expertise in manufacturing, health, food products and energy. Peoria NEXT works with the Central Illinois Angels group, a venture capital group, which provides private funding to tenants and helps to financially sustain the incubator.
Operating in a 67,000 square-feet, five-story building built in 1918, QBTC was started by a group of community leaders hoping to spur business growth. OBTC serves as an effective launching pad for business operations, having the potential for creating wealth and adding to the Quincy Area economic base. QBTC has generated more than 500 jobs in the area and contributes to one in five jobs in the Quincy area. Its tenants come from a variety of specializations, from the medical industry to the manufacturing sector. It supports its operations through anchor tenants, who provide financial assistance to QBTC and assistance to current tenants.
University Park at SIUE is a 330-acre technology park located on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIU-E). SIU-E seeks to mobilize its intellectual and applied research capabilities to support economic development in the region. Home to a variety of tenants, including the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center to the Dental Implant Clinic, SIU-E's University Park is designated as a research and technology park. University Park's vision is to become a recognized leader in economic development comprised of entrepreneurial businesses that conduct cutting edge research and development with a focus on emerging biotechnologies.
The West Frankfort Business Incubator is located in an old boat factory, which was sold to the city for $1 in 2000. The incubator accepts tenants from a variety of sectors, as is demonstrated by their current tenants. Their current tenants specialize in a number of fields, from utilities and bakeries, to manufacturing and machinery. One of primary focuses for the incubator is economic development since it is located in a small rural area within a county with the second highest unemployment in the state. The incubator relies heavily on public funding and federal and state grants, but it also collaborates with local stakeholders to attract tenants and provide resources.