Partners & Programs
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Every innovation follows a unique path to impact, and so the University has cultivated a system of resources to support innovators with different needs and at different stages in the commercialization process. These resources are offered both by the University and in partnership with external programs.
University Mentoring and Funding Programs for Startups
EnterpriseWorks Startup Incubator and The Research Park
The Research Park at the University of Illinois provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment and services. Named in 2013 as one of Inc Magazine's “Top 3 College Town Incubators" and as one of Forbes' "12 Business Incubators Changing the World," EnterpriseWorks is an incubator facility and resource center for science and technology focused entrepreneurs. EnterpriseWorks offers many programs supporting entrepreneurs and startups, including:
- I-Start Professional Service Assistance
- NSF I-Corps at the University of Illinois
- SBIR Technical Assistance Program
View the complete list of resources
The Research Park also hosts numerous events each year for networking, education, and entertainment. Regular events include:
View the Research Park event calendar
Launched by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in 2002, IllinoisVENTURES is a premier seed and early-stage technology investment firm focused on research-derived companies in information technologies, physical sciences, life sciences and clean technology. IllinoisVENTURES professionals provide guidance in market assessment, business strategy, and competitive analysis. The firm also provides funding through all stages of business creaion and development.
- Illinois Proof-of-Concept Program (I-POC): run by the Office of Technology Management
- Faculty Entrepreneurial Fellows Program: run by the College of Engineering, view program details
- Regional Proof-of-Concept Matching Fund Program: a State program managed by IllinoisVENTURES
University Resources for Student Entrepreneurs
Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC)
The TEC is an interdisciplinary center inspires its students to become the next generation of world-changing visionaries, leaders and entrepreneurs. TEC offers courses, venture and product competitions, workshops, and events, including:
- Cozad New Venture Competition
- Illinois Innovation Prize
- Innovation LLC
- Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Workshop
Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership (AEL)
The AEL offers programs which broaden the understanding, appreciation, and inclusion of entrepreneurship in all disciplines across campus. AEL views entrepreneurship through social, artistic, intellectual and scientific lenses, in addition to the traditional business perspective. AEL programs for students include:
Entrepreneurship @ Illinois Summer Fellowship
Launched in Summer 2015, the Entrepreneurship @ Illinois Summer Fellowship is a 9-week paid summer incubator for top student startups, giving teams access to time, space, resources, and mentorship.
Regional Partners & Programs for Entrepreneurs
Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM)
CIM connects technology-based startups with mentorship teams in the Chicago area. CIM teams receive commercialization guidance from mentors with industry experience. The Urbana campus is a member of CIM; teams from campus need to be nominated through the Office of Technology Management. Contact Nicole Nair if you are interested in learning more.
Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO)
iBIO is a life sciences industry association of more than 500 members comprised of life sciences companies, universities, academic institutions, service providers and others dedicated to making Illinois and the surrounding Midwest one of the world’s top life sciences centers.
Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC)
ISTC forges public-private partnerships between industry, research universities, federal labs, and government. We help increase investments in research and technology, develop talent, promote awareness and policies, and drive job growth in Illinois.
Located in downtown Chicago at the Merchandise Mart, MATTER is a community of healthcare entrepreneurs and industry leaders working together in a shared space to individually and collectively fuel the future of healthcare innovation.
Launched out of the University of Illinois, UI Labs is now an independent, Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. Bringing together university, industry, and ogvernment partners, UI Labs is accelerating the deployment of innovative technology.
Quick Links for Researchers
Rules & Policies
- University of Illinois General Rules
- Export Control
- Campus Administrative Manual: Licensing Intellectual Property Developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to Companies Affiliated with University Employees
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR)
Advancing the economic development mission of the University of Illinois by supporting research and innovation activities that elevate ideas into sustainable businesses and global solutions. Reporting units include:
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR)
Providing leadership and oversight for reseach on the Urbana campus. Reporting units include: