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

Monday, May 17, 2021

UIS, in partnership with SHIELD Illinois, is now offering free COVID-19 saliva testing to the public

The University of Illinois Springfield, in partnership with SHIELD Illinois, is now offering free COVID-19 saliva testing to the public. 

The free tests are being funded through an agreement between the Illinois Department of Public Health and SHIELD Illinois using federal relief money.

Community testing is available between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the Student Union (west entrance). Designated short-term COVID-19 testing parking spots are available in Lot G (west of the Student Union) and Lot J (east of the Student Union).

UIS strongly encourages community members visiting UIS’ testing site to pre-register by visiting the SHIELD testing portal at Click “sign up for an account” and enter agency code df5brbrj.

Here’s a few things to know about SHIELD testing at UIS: 

  • Testing is for non-symptomatic individuals who are not isolating due to COVID-19. 
  • All samples will be sent to a Springfield lab, with results sent to each individual tester or their guardian within 12-18 hours. 
  • There is no age limit to participate in SHIELD testing; however, younger children may require more time to deposit their sample. 
  • All visitors must wear a face covering over their mouth and nose as they enter and leave the testing site.
  • Testers should not to eat, drink, use tobacco, brush their teeth, or use mouthwash 60 minutes prior to submitting a sample.

For more information, visit the UIS COVID-19 testing website at

Sunday, May 16, 2021

UIS holds 50th Commencement in a hybrid format due to COVID-19 pandemic

The University of Illinois Springfield held 50th Commencement activities May 13-15, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduates were given a chance to participate in an optional in-person “stage experience" on the stage of Sangamon Auditorium May 13 & 14. In addition, UIS released a virtual commencement celebration video honoring the Class of 2021 on Saturday, May 15 on the UIS website and Facebook page.

Almost 400 graduates participated in 52 individual “stage experiences,” lasting about 10 minutes each, with eight students in each time slot. Graduates were allowed to have up to six guests present.

Graduates were required to sign up in advance for a time slot to walk across the stage, in order to stay compliant with Restore Illinois Guidelines. As graduates walked across the stage, they were congratulated by UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney and Provost Dennis Papini. 

The online commencement video celebration on Saturday, May 15, featured remarks from University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen, Chancellor Whitney and others and included the conferral of degrees.

Watch the stage experiences:

Commencement photos can be found on University of Illinois Springfield social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter