Events

The Research Park is not about bricks and mortar. It is the companies and the people who work in them who make this a vibrant, dynamic and ever-evolving community.

Community building events are inherent to the Park’s fabric. Networking opportunities are commonplace; these include happy hours, lunches celebrating holidays of all sorts, bonfires and an annual holiday party. We do educational events, conferences and bring in speakers who have been successful entrepreneurs. The Research Park is a partner with the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation for its TechMix events, a gathering of local technology companies, service organizations, and entrepreneurs. We have periodic non-credit classes on a variety of topics.

The Research Park also facilitates several recurring events targeted at certain groups. Tech CEO Roundtable Dinners provide a small group interaction for CEOs of technology businesses in Champaign-Urbana to address business operations and best practices. A new initiative is an informal lunch forum for women working in the technology sector in Champaign-Urbana, an effort developed since women are still in the minority in these fields. It includes women working in biotech, engineering, IT, or any type of scientific/technology roles within local tech companies.

Event Highlights

The forum gives a chance for entrepreneurs to share their story and provide insights on their success, things they wish they would have known before gettings started, and lessons from their entrepreneurial journey.
Every Thursday, come out to Houlihan's at the iHotel for a special Research Park Happy Hour, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Happy Hour will be held outside on the patio as weather permits.  Houlihan's offers the following appetizers between 4-6PM and 9PM-CLOSE for $3.95:
Outside at Research Park is a partnership between the Research Park, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and Fox/Atkins Development, LLC to present a series of summer concerts in a welcoming, eco-friendly public venue featuring tempting food and beverage options. Outside at the Research Park is held just southwest of State Farm Center on First Street in the Research Park. Parking is available in the lot south of the Caterpillar building at 1901 South First Street.  
Stay up to date on the delicious food trucks making appearances at Research Park! Please note that trucks are not under contract to be in Research Park, and schedule is subject to change without notice.  TUESDAYS (Until further notice) State Farm Parking Lot (Start date TBA) 7:30 am - 10:30 am/sell out (whichever comes first) Pandamonium Doughnuts (@PandaDoughnutCU, Website)
  Save the date! The third annual Big Data Summit will take place on November 11, 2015 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the iHotel in Champaign, IL. Join thought leaders from the University of Illinois Research Park, industry, and academia at the third annual Big Data Summit on November 11, 2015. Attendees will learn and share knowledge about key aspects of big data and its business applications through dynamic panels, inspiring keynote presentations, and networking opportunities.
Earlier this spring, we offered a practical data sciences class to Research Park employees and our corporate partners to help them learn more about analytics and tools that can help them complete projects. The course included using real datasets and tools to have a hands-on experience. It was taught by UIUC Prof. Robert Brunner.