On May 20, 2011, entrepreneurs from across Illinois gathered to launch “Startup Illinois,” a branch of the Startup America Partnership.
Startup Illinois enables mentors, funders, major corporations, service providers and state government organizations to collaborate to help entrepreneurs start and scale new companies in the state. Startup Illinois doesn’t fund new businesses; rather it links them to established advisors and organizations. Startup Illinois is focused on helping young companies with high growth potential.
The people behind Startup Illinois believe that our state is poised to take a leadership position in building and launching the new businesses that will drive the economic future of our country.
Kristy Kuzmuk, Ph.D., MBA, Director of Research Operations in the University of Illinois Office of the Vice President for Research, attended the inaugural event, and she believes that everyone who attended thinks that Illinois has what it takes to become the next great startup hub.
“We have so many talented people here in Illinois,” said Dr. Kuzmuk. “And it’s clear that our state is easily capable of being the next Silicon Valley or Boston, in terms of number of successful startups.”
Excitement was in the air, she added. “Entrepreneurs from all over the state were there as well as the Governor and many other influential people.”
Driven by the Illinois Innovation Network, Startup Illinois is leveraging the best practices and national network of the Startup America Partnership, which celebrates and accelerates entrepreneurship across the country, and combining them with our growing state network to give Illinois entrepreneurs access to invaluable resources.