Starting a Company

A new company is one way to further develop and commercialize discoveries made at the University of Illinois. A start-up can be a preferred route fo commercialization because it can provide the professional guidance and development needed to demonstrate commercial viability, and thus improve the chances that an early-stage technology will get to market.

Numerous resources exist within the University system to support the development of new businesses commercializing
University intellectual property. For example, IllinoisVentures is a premier seed and early stage technology investment firm focused on research-derived companies that was conceived and launched by the University, and has been consistently named by Entrepreneur magazine to its national list of the top 100 venture capital firms.

IllinoisVentures' professionals often collaborate with OTM professionals to assess the viability of a start-up path and are available to consult with faculty and students on topics related to business launch and entrepreneurship. In addition, research park and incubation facilities on both campuses provide physical space and the environment to foster start-ups. 

Many factors are involved in the decision of the OTM to license a technology to an existing company or to a start-up company. Considerations include optimization of stakeholder (University, faculty, etc.), improving the probability that the technology reaches market and how best to accomplish further commercial development outside the research laboratory.


Start-up Company Formation Guide and Checklist

A guide to the process of forming a start-up company to license University technology. Learn more


EnterpriseWorks (EW) is a 43,000 sq. ft. start-up technology business incubator.  Since opening in 2003, EnterpriseWorks has become the launching pad for more than 70 start-up companies.  EW provides an ideal environment for starting a high-growth technology venture, with 24 full wet-chemistry labs, furnished office space, an extensive array of shared equipment, server co-location facilities, and conference rooms with complete presentation facilities and wireless internet access. Learn more.


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. Learn more.