Laura Weisskopf Bleill manages the community building portfolio of the Research Park at Illinois. She develops strategy behind the Research Park’s events and programming; communications, branding and marketing efforts; and directs the Research Park’s efforts to grow and retain its workforce. She also works with the entrepreneurial ecosystem across campus and has been part of the National Science Foundation I-Corps at Illinois team. She is the co-PI and co-founder of the AWARE entrepreneurship inclusion effort funded by NSF, which now has been replicated at other universities.
Laura has been on the Research Park team since 2010, having served in a variety of capacities. Formerly a sportswriter, she has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. An entrepreneur herself, Bleill is CEO of a hyperlocal digital magazine in Champaign-Urbana. She and her husband live in Champaign with their three daughters.