Our OTMs in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago champion innovation and enhance research. And through the transfer of intellectual property, they make economic development easier.
The OTMs on our campuses evaluate, protect, market, and license the University of Illinois System’s intellectual property. They play a critical role in helping faculty and students elevate their ideas into tangible products and services. Promoting a team-based approach to innovation and economic development, the OTMs work closely with other units in the VPEDI pipeline and also partner with university departments and units.
While both offices focus on outreach, each OTM manages a distinct technology portfolio and works closely with its respective university to promote innovation and support commercialization efforts.
As public-private partnerships stimulate new investments into the University, the OTMs have enjoyed increased engagement. Noteworthy examples? The $100 million Energy Biosciences Institute and the $50 million Abbott Center for Nutrition Learning Memory in Urbana-Champaign, along with the Chicago-based $320 million Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute. These are just a few engagements that demonstrate the far-reaching impact of VPEDI’s units.
Consistently named a “top 100 venture capital firm” nationally by Entrepreneur magazine, IllinoisVENTURES brings together leading University of Illinois researchers and entrepreneurs to shape concepts, vision, and intellectual property into high-growth, breakthrough companies.
A startup and early-stage tech investment firm, IllinoisVENTURES focuses on research-driven companies. It was created to support the commercialization of the University of Illinois System technologies as well as the System’s economic development mission. The firm has achieved major success, attracting significant outside investments. In fact, each public dollar invested has resulted in approximately 20 dollars of private investment.
A critical component of the VPEDI pipeline, IllinoisVENTURES directly impacts the OTMs, EnterpriseWorks, and the UIUC Research Park. The firm gives advice to the OTMs for bringing technology to market quickly and effectively, while providing mentoring and seed funding to startup companies at EnterpriseWorks and the Research Park. In return, these units substantially improve the likelihood that IllinoisVENTURES-backed companies will succeed.
According to a university innovation awareness firm, “IllinoisVENTURES is the best example of a venture firm that has shown a long-term commitment to university-affiliated proof of concept and pre-seed stage gap funding. Its history of working with the University of Illinois, and regional expansion, demonstrates a deep understanding of the process of identifying, investment, and attracting additional capital and commercial interest to these promising, early-stage opportunities.”
A business incubator for early-stage tech firms, EnterpriseWorks was named one of Forbes’ “12 Business Incubators Changing the World” and is located at the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign.
EnterpriseWorks, which serves students, staff, and faculty-founded companies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the surrounding community, is a vital part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It acts as a living laboratory where transformative ideas generated in classrooms and labs are tested in a real-world environment.
As one of Inc. magazine’s “Top 3 College Town Incubators,” EnterpriseWorks plays a critical role in supporting entrepreneurs on the at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as supporting the University of Illinois’ economic development mission by creating jobs and employment that accelerate growth. Its 43,000-square-foot facility hosts startups seeking to address major challenges in biotechnology, chemical sciences, software development, materials sciences, and more—with powerful results.
EnterpriseWorks also offers programming and support services that help entrepreneurs create and maintain sustainable businesses. For example, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program provides business consulting and guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs, and the I-Start Entrepreneur Assistance Program offers UIUC startups counsel on business development, legal setup, SBIR application assistance, bookkeeping, and marketing assistance. In addition, EnterpriseWorks hosts over 100 free educational, technical, and networking events for the tech and local communities annually.
From tech startups to Fortune 500 players, the Research Park is a technology hub for business incubation and corporate research & development operations.
Located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Research Park has sprouted a vibrant, multidisciplinary community that produces highly influential technological advances, builds a talent pipeline for high-tech corporations, and offers unmatched opportunities for students.
With over 100 high-tech companies—and counting—the Research Park provides an environment where businesses can partner with faculty and students on collaborative research and economic endeavors. It offers experiential learning for students—along with high-wage, part-time employment that aids them with college affordability. The Research Park also serves corporations by providing workforce development needs, including a pipeline of superior tech talent and professional continuing education.
A visible result of incorporating economic development and innovation into its core mission, the Research Park incubates new startups, attracts large corporations, creates jobs, and contributes millions of dollars in tax revenue—all of which significantly impacts the state and local community.