Supporting and advancing Illinois entrepreneurship,
innovation, and economic development
Small Business Assistance
Free creative and marketing services are available for qualified entrepreneurs, businesses, and business start-ups in the state of Illinois. Clients apply through a competitive application process, and a team of student specialists provide free services for projects that are accepted.
Entrepreneur-in-Residence Consulting Program
The EDA University Center Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Program provides free consulting to new startup ventures, prospective technology entrepreneurs, and small businesses that are located south of Interstate 80 in the state of Illinois. EDA University Center EIRs are experienced entrepreneurs, innovators, or consultants that have addressed challenges with business startups, business development, or commercializing research and early stage technology.
Support Applying for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Funding
Federal agencies set aside a portion of their extramural research & development budget to be awarded as grants to small businesses. Thanks to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, innovators and entrepreneurs have opportunities to apply and receive anywhere from $150,000 to $1 million in capital to determine a technology’s feasibility and to develop a prototype. As long as they meet the terms of the funding, award recipients do not have to repay the government and they retain full ownership of their company. Qualified small businesses and entrepreneurs affiliated with IUIN incubators can receive free support, guidance, and training to help them search for federal agency solicitations and to prepare and submit proposals.