For over a hundred years, Illinois universities have produced talented graduates who have gone on to create businesses and help spur Illinois' economy. Over the past five years, alumni of Illinois universities raised more than $9 billion in funding and started more than 1,100 companies.

Illinois university startups surged to record highs last year. A study by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition found that between 2012 and 2016, Illinois universities produced more than 800 startups. That’s almost 100 percent more than the number created between 2009 and 2013. Of those 800 startups, about 600 are still running or were acquired by another business, and almost 500 remain in Illinois.

Illinois university startups

According to the study, “Illinois universities are producing more startups due in large part to their intentional efforts to increase student, faculty, and staff access to entrepreneurial resources, including curriculum, programming, competitions, and seed funding. Many Illinois universities are delivering these resources through centralized spaces, which serve as hubs to facilitate cross-campus, interdisciplinary activity. These spaces include entrepreneurship centers, incubators, and affiliated technology parks. In addition to providing physical space to house companies, these spaces typically offer mentorship, connections to industry, and links to potential funders—helping entrepreneurs bring their products and services to market.”

Illinois university startup incubators

Illinois university startups by sector

Click here to read the full study.

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