Supporting and advancing Illinois entrepreneurship,
innovation, and economic development

WHO WE ARE

The Illinois University Incubator Network (IUIN) supports advancement of entrepreneurship through linking university incubators to resource sharing, technical assistance, and the collection of best practices.

WHAT WE DO

The Illinois University Incubator Network (IUIN) provides direct services to entrepreneurs and small businesses such as funding support for innovation research and assistance with graphic design, marketing communication, market surveys, websites, social media, etc. IUIN members cultivate mentorship relationships among university incubators to capture and share depth and breadth of knowledge.

About

Cheri Soliday

Outreach Coordinator, Incubation and Entrepreneurship

Cynthia Faullin

Assistant Director, Incubator Management

Laura Bleill

Associate Director of EnterpriseWorks and UIUC Research Park

Laura Frerichs

Director of EnterpriseWorks and UIUC Research Park

Cheri Soliday

Cheri joined the EnterpriseWorks team as Outreach Coordinator in September 2018. Cheri previously provided program, event, and communication management and leadership for multi-university research consortia focused on cybersecurity of energy delivery systems. Prior to that, she provided outreach and program management for an industry/academic research center focused on multicore and parallel programming. Cheri also had the honor of investing in the development of students via roles at Parkland College and Danville Area Community College. She has a B.S. degree in Advertising and an M.S. degree in Management and Leadership.

Cheri maintains a Get Busy Living list of creative projects and new adventures that she actively pursues. She also enjoys traveling with her husband and family to seek out new sights, sounds, food, culture, and experiences together.    

Responsibilties: Cheri manages outreach activities and projects associated with the EDA-funded Illinois University Incubator Network (IUIN) and the University of Illinois EDA University Center program that helps entrepreneurship centers in downstate Illinois.

Position

Outreach Coordinator, Incubation and Entrepreneurship

Contact Information

csoliday@illinois.edu
(217) 244-6097

Cynthia Faullin

Cynthia Faullin rejoined the University in early 2014 as the Assistant Director for Operations in the Research Park.  She brings with her more than twenty years of public and private sector experience to her role in the Research Park. Before Research Park, Ms. Faullin was the Vice President of Development for One Main Development in Downtown Champaign.  She is credited with being part of the development team for M2 on Neil and for the design and finishes of many of the building’s interior spaces, including the condominiums.  Ms. Faullin was also responsible for the residential sales and commercial leasing in both One Main Plaza and M2 on Neil.

Ms. Faullin is proudly Canadian and graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, but loves the Midwest and feels particularly at home in Champaign-Urbana.  Since she has lived here she has devoted time to numerous Arts-related organizations including 40 North (producing the first ACE Awards), C-U Ballet and Artists Against Aids.    

Responsibilties: Oversees management and leasing of the EnterpriseWorks incubator, program implementation, and metrics.

Position

Assistant Director, Incubator Management of EnterpriseWorks

Contact Information

cfaullin@illinois.edu
(217) 300-3905

Laura Bleill

Laura Weisskopf Bleill is the Associate Director of the University of Illinois Research Park. She has been with Research Park in a variety of capacities since 2010. Bleill is responsible for expanding the Research Park's outreach to students on campus as well as building entrepreneurial resources and collaborating across campus with other entities. She is the co-PI on the AWARE entrepreneurship inclusion effort funded by the National Science Foundation.

An accidental entrepreneur, Bleill is the Mom-in-Chief of chambanamoms.com, an online magazine for Champaign-Urbana families. Laura was part of Central Illinois Business Magazine's Forty Under Forty class of 2014 and received a 2013 Difference Maker Award from the United Way of Champaign County. Bleill is on the board of the Champaign Urbana Jewish Federation and Visit Champaign County and volunteers with many local organizations. She has a master's and bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.  She lives in Champaign with her husband and three daughters.

Responsibilities: Oversees Research Park marketing, communications, events/programming, and EnterpriseWorks intern team. Serves as the evangelist of the Research Park and EnterpriseWorks incubator, meeting routinely with external stakeholders, prospective corporations and new entrepreneurs.

Interested in getting to know Laura Bleill more? Visit this link to hear her talk more about her experience at Research Park and with ChambanaMoms.

Position

Laura Bleill, Associate Director of EnterpriseWorks and UIUC Research Park

Contact Information

lwbleill@illinois.edu
(217) 244-7744

Laura Frerichs

Laura Frerichs is the University of Illinois Research Park Director and Director of Economic Development for the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus. She is responsible for managing startup company services at the EnterpriseWorks technology incubator, marketing the Research Park, and supporting the University’s economic development efforts. Frerichs has developed innovative entrepreneur support programs as well as has attracted many new companies who are interested in engaging with the University of Illinois. Her board positions also include FARM Illinois and the Association of University Research Parks.

Under Frerichs’ leadership, the Research Park was named AURP Outstanding Research Park of the Year in 2011, by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 3 College Town Incubators in 2013, and by Forbes in 2013 as one of 12 Business Incubators Changing the World. In 2015, she was appointed by Governor Rauner to co-chair the new Innovate Illinois Advisory Council. She serves on the boards of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Technology Association and the Illinois Science and Tech Coalition. In 2015, she received the Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award. Laura was named “Woman of the Year” by Central Illinois Business Magazine in 2009; awarded the Entrepreneur Advocacy Award at the Champaign County Innovation Celebration, 2011; and presented the 2013 Athena Young Professional Award. Laura is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Media and served as Student Body President at the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Position

Director of EnterpriseWorks and UIUC Research Park

Contact Information

lfrerich@illinois.edu
(217) 333-8323