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Partners & Programs

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:

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. 

Proof-of-Concept Programs


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:

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:


Regional Partners & Programs for Entrepreneurs

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.


Quick Links for Researchers

Rules & Policies

The Office of the Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation (OVPEDI)

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 and Innovation (OVCRI)

Providing leadership and oversight for reseach on the Urbana campus.   Reporting units include: