AWARE (Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs)

The AWARE (Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs) program is a collaboration among the College of Engineering, the Office of Technology Management, and the EnterpriseWorks incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park, and is being funded by a  $100,000 award from the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurship training, counseling, and networking.

AWARE offers resources and an enhanced infrastructure that make the current entrepreneurial ecosystem more accessible to all. Those resources include:

  • a dedicated entrepreneur-in-residence familiar with the needs of those from underrepresented groups

  • small proof-of-concept grants for teams

  • targeted mentorship, training, and networking opportunities


AWARE is being led by principal investigator Jed Taylor, director of operations at the Technology Entrepreneur Center, and co-PI Laura Weisskopf Bleill, associate director of the University of Illinois Research Park and EnterpriseWorks. 

For more information, please contact Laura Weisskopf Bleill at lwbleill@illinois.edu. To join the AWARE mailing list, click here.