Wednesday, May 26, 2021

UIS’ Innovate Springfield and College of Business and Management launching a pilot startup fellowship

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Innovate Springfield and College of Business and Management is launching a pilot startup fellowship program, with support from the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. They have also partnered with iVenturED and the Sangamon CEO program. 

The fellowship is open to Sangamon CEO alums, UIS entrepreneurship students and local aspiring entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs looking to launch new products and businesses. An intrepreneur is an entrepreneur working in an existing company that is their own, but who acts entrepreneurially within an existing organization. The fellowship is seeking student applicants, individuals from the community with good business ideas and local businesses looking to launch new products in the market or existing products in new markets.  

Working with the entrepreneur/intrepreneur, the fellow will conduct research and analyze opportunities to develop and launch a new product or a new company. Innovate Springfield and the College of Business and Management will lead concentrated entrepreneurial education programing that includes: ideation, product development, prototyping, customer validation and business modeling. Each team will receive membership to Innovate Springfield and will be matched with mentors and professionals to help develop their business plan and effectively launch of their business. 

At the end of the fellowship, the teams will have the opportunity present to a group of investors.

Sangamon CEO alums or UIS entrepreneurship students who are either entering their junior or senior year of college, or who graduated this past year are encouraged to apply for the fellowship. The fellows will be match with entrepreneurs/intrepreneurs with the intention to produce the most effective outcome for both parties.  

The program will run from June 14 to August 13. The application process is competitive and limited by funding. Fellows will receive a $2,500 stipend and will be required to work 20 hours per week. Selected entrepreneurs will pay $300, which includes membership to Innovate Springfield for June – August, all education programing, mentorship and access to investors, must be available roughly three hours per week to work with fellows and participate in educational program. Participating companies will pay a $1,000 corporate sponsorship and will also need to be available to work with a fellow at least three hours per week. The programing will be both in-person and online. 

Potential fellows interested in learning more and applying to the program can visit Entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs interested in participating can visit

For more information, contact Bruce Sommer, UIS director of economic development and innovation, at 217-899-3186 or

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