I-Start—a program assisting future entrepreneurs to form start-up companies through EnterpriseWorks at the University of Illinois’ Research Park—has its first client.
EnterpriseWorks created the I-Start program to encourage University of Illinois inventors to pursue start-up formations and to promote their research and technology. Because of the numerous steps and details involved in start-up formations, the program will ease the process by decreasing the workload of the inventor and/or new entrepreneur.
Some first-year services that the I-Start program includes are: business development, business plan writing, legal setup, SBIR application, financial statements, marketing assistance, and human resources/payroll assistance.
Inventors and entrepreneurs interested in the program will
need to apply, and funding will be provided on a competitive basis and awarded
to technology with a high potential for commercial success. Funding provided by
EnterpriseWorks would, overtime, be considered "repaid" through rent,
accounted by crediting half of future rent towards paying off I-Start services that
were provided upfront to the new company (it is understood that most new
companies will not immediately start in the incubator).
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has awarded a grant to EnterpriseWorks at the University of Illinois to provide additional funding to allow the program to support more entrepreneurs from the University of Illinois. With this funding, combined with funding from the Research Park, it is anticipated that 15 new startup firms can participate in the program over an 18-month launch period.
There will be two levels of funding available for I-START
program. The first option is 90% upfront funding by EnterpriseWorks and DCEO
and the remainder of the cost paid by the entrepreneur. This will include a
competitive selection process to qualify for the program with input from the
Office of Technology Management and EIR advisors. The second option is for the
company to fund 50% of the services while EnterpriseWorks and DCEO fund the
other 50%. This will also include an internal application process with input
from the OTM, but will be less limiting. Additionally, a company may elect to
fund 100% of the program upfront, requiring no repayment and qualification
through EnterpriseWorks application.
More information can be found at http://www.researchpark.illinois.edu/resources/entrepreneurs/index.aspx?ID=572.
If you are interested in being considered for the program please contact Laura Frerichs or speak with a Technology Manager at the UI Office of Technology Management.