Incubator

Incubator 4 Incubator

EnterpriseWorks is a technology business incubator that supports University of Illinois and community entrepreneurs in all stages of their startup journey.

Its clients build and create disruptive technologies across a wide range of areas, reflecting the depth and breadth of the university expertise in agtech, biotechnology, chemical sciences, software development, materials sciences and more.

EnterpriseWorks startups are working to address challenges with results that are transformative. More often than not, they are bringing leading University of Illinois research to the marketplace.

EnterpriseWorks remains the heart of the Research Park’s community building efforts, and ensures the intersection of the Research Park’s startup and corporate innovation community with faculty, students, and staff at the University. Its atrium is a hub of activity, housing meetups and workshops.

Join Us

As we say at EnterpriseWorks: we don’t check your LinkedIn at the door.

You don’t have to have a formed a company or even have an idea for a startup to participate.

All are welcome to attend events and request resources such as meetings with our Entrepreneurs in Residence, Designer-in-Residence, SBIR Technical Assistance, and more. 

Some programs may have minimum requirements to gain access, but don’t worry, we’ll let you know when that’s the case.

What EnterpriseWorks Offers: Labs, Offices, and Much More

There are 23 wet labs at EnterpriseWorks, each with different configurations that are designed to suit a variety of sectors and use cases. Offices at EnterpriseWorks range in size, accommodating anywhere from one to eight people. It has a shared equipment lab, a maker lab, coworking space, kitchen and conference rooms. (Download an overview here.)

But EnterpriseWorks is much more than a building. Benefits include access to:

    • University of Illinois lab equipment and facilities
    • Lab supplies at reduced educational rates
    • Our shared services team, who do projects on behalf of our entrepreneurs including visual branding and website development.
    • A community of entrepreneurs who are sharing the same experiences – a peer network beyond compare.

Becoming a Tenant at EnterpriseWorks: How to Apply

To become a tenant or affiliate at EnterpriseWorks, a company must apply.  Applications are reviewed internally and clients are notified of their status within two weeks. Links to the applications are available below.

All leases in EnterpriseWorks last one year; renewal is based on company progress and the continued need of incubation services. The typical incubation period is three to five years.

EnterpriseWorks: Leasing Labs and Offices

Tenants at EnterpriseWorks have full access to its suite of services for entrepreneurs and benefit from the peer community that envelops it.

Acceptance as a tenant is contingent upon meeting the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be an incorporated, for-profit company with a valid tax ID.
  • The applicant must be an early-stage, technology-based company with significant market potential.
  • The applicant must have (or wish to have) an active relationship, in some form, with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • The principals involved should be well-qualified in their field of technology and have (or plan to have) experienced management as part of the team.
  • The company must be financially solvent with a plan to raise sufficient capital to achieve its business plan.
EnterpriseWorks Tenant Application

Have questions? Contact Laura Frerichs, Director of the Research Park, at lfrerich@illinois.edu.

EnterpriseWorks Affiliate Program

The EnterpriseWorks Affiliate Program is a pre-incubation program for early-stage startup companies. This program is designed to help inventors and entrepreneurs to access EnterpriseWorks' services and become tenants of the Research Park through an affordable program.

To be considered for the affiliate program, the applicant:

  • Must be a for-profit business
  • Must have a real need for the services offered through EnterpriseWorks
  • Must be a technology-based business with commercial potential
  • Must have well-qualified principals involved with the business
Affiliate Application
EnterpriseWorks Individual Membership

The EnterpriseWorks Individual Membership is designed to provide access to EnterpriseWorks' services to solo entrepreneurs, contract workers, or professionals who are working remotely.

To be considered for individual membership, the applicant:

  • Must be a well-qualified individual
  • Must be working for or starting a for-profit business
  • Must have a real need for the services offered through EnterpriseWorks
  • Must be working on a research or technology related professional opportunity
Individual Membership Application
Student Startup Initiative

Students may submit proposals to be considered for access to the co-working space and shared lab facilities in EnterpriseWorks, the startup incubator at the Research Park. Proposals are accepted on a competitive basis. Occasionally, shared space that is dedicated to student startups may be available, but it is not guaranteed.

To be considered for student startup membership, the applicant:

    • Must have a founder/executive that is currently enrolled at the University of Illinois
    • Must be starting a for profit business
    • Must have a real need for the services offered through EnterpriseWorks
    • Must be a technology-based business

*Most of the available student startup space is dedicated to Cozad New Venture Competition and Lemelson-Illinois Prize winners.

Student Startup Initiative Application

EnterpriseWorks Tenant Services and Resources

Prospective companies and incubator tenants can find a wealth of information about building amenities and resources by viewing the EnterrpiseWorks Tenant Services and Resources center.

Click here to view the EnterpriseWorks Tenant Services and Resources center.

Have more questions? Contact interim incubator manager Rebecca Motley at motley1@illinois.edu.

History

EnterpriseWorks was built in 2003 to help successfully launch early-stage technology companies. The incubator is owned and operated by the University of Illinois. Since opening, EnterpriseWorks has launched more than 250 startup companies and many more aspiring entrepreneurs.

Named as one of Inc Magazine’s “Top 3 College Town Incubators” and as one of Forbes‘ “10 Technology Incubators Changing the World,” EnterpriseWorks is an incubator facility and resource center for science and technology focused entrepreneurs.

EnterpriseWorks Expansion

The vision for the EnterpriseWorks Expansion and Research Park Commons plan is to provide adequate lab facilities for growth-stage startup companies and to add community spaces creating an environment for creative collisions. Learn more about the plan here.