I'm ready for expert help to take my startup to the next level.

Illinois has just what you need to take your startup to the next level.

For students and faculty

ACCELERATING WOMEN AND UNDERREPRESENTED ENTREPRENEURS (AWARE)AWARE offers mentoring from a dedicated entrepreneur-in-residence familiar with the needs of those from underrepresented groups, small proof-of-concept grants, and targeting training and networking opportunities.

CEO ROUNDTABLE– The CEO Roundtable is hosted by the Research Park and provides a small group interaction for CEOs of technology businesses in Champaign-Urbana to address business operations and best practices.

ENTREPRENEUR-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM (EIR) – The Research Park EIR program provides free consulting to new or prospective technology entrepreneurs.

ENTERPRISEWORKS EnterpriseWorks is a startup incubator at the Research Park that offers office space, facilities, assistance programs, and events to help grow your startup.

ILLINOIS I-CORPS - The University of Illinois is home to an official NSF I-Corps site, which is run by the Technology Entrepreneur Center and EnterpriseWorks (with participation from the Office of Technology Management and Illinois Ventures). Faculty and students working on STEM-related technology may apply to participate in I-Corps. Participants receive mentoring from local experts, learn the customer discovery process, and receive up to $2,000 in seed funding. Participants also dramatically improve their chance for equity-free funding with SBIR grants.

ILLINOIS INNOVATION AWARD (IIA) – The $20,000 Illinois Innovation Award is awarded annually to a student on campus—someone who is a creative and passionate innovator, working with world changing technology, entrepreneurially minded, and a role model for others. IIP is awarded by the Technology Entrepreneur Center and The Grainger College of Engineering.

ILLINOIS VENTURES Illinois Ventures helps to start and build businesses based on innovations from the University of Illinois. They work with companies and technologies at the very earliest stages of their development and offer proof of concept grants, seed funding, and venture capital.

I-START ACCELERATOR PROGRAM I-Start is a Research Park program for University of Illinois-affiliated entrepreneurs that have a strong potential for technology commercialization. A suite of first-year professional services are included for I-Start awardees.

LICENSING AND DISCLOSURE – The Office of Technology Management can help you understand how to protect your innovation through licensing and disclosure.

RESEARCH PARK CORPORATE-STARTUP INTROS - Strong and promising startups can be introduced to Research Park corporate tenants and make important connections.

SBIR and STTR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM –This EnterpriseWorks program offers technical assistance and counseling for those applying for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants from the federal government. Entrepreneurs can get anywhere from $150,000 to $1 million in capital to determine a technology’s feasibility and to develop a prototype.

URBANA-CHAMPAIGN ANGEL NETWORK (UCAN)UCAN, a program of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, matches capital providers with top startups.


For students only

COZAD NEW VENTURE CHALLENGETechnology Entrepreneur Center’s signature program, the Cozad New Venture Challenge, provides mentoring and workshops for teams on venture creation, idea validation, pitching skills, and customer development. Each year, more than $200,000 in cash and in-kind prizes are awarded each year. Teams that are just developing their startup ideas AND existing student startups are welcome to participate.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP ADVISING - The Technology Entrepreneur Center offers Office Hours with Experts. Meet with an entrepreneurship expert and ask questions!

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CLINIC – The Intellectual Property Clinic is a joint effort between the Technology Entrepreneur Center and the College of Law allows selected participants from the Cozad New Venture Challenge, iVenture Accelerator, and the Illinois Innovation Award to have a patent or trademark application drafted for them at no cost. The value provided by this program to student startups is about $10,000-$12,000 per patent application for each student/team and $2,000-$2,500 per trademark application.