Laura Weisskopf Bleill manages the community building portfolio of the Research Park at Illinois. She develops strategy behind the Research Park’s events, programming, communications, branding and marketing efforts; and directs its strategy to attract, grow, retain and train its workforce. She is active with the entrepreneurial ecosystem across campus, as a founding member of the iVenture Accelerator team, a Cozad New Venture Challenge mentor/trainer, and a former instructor with National Science Foundation I-Corps at Illinois team. She is the co-PI and co-founder of the AWARE entrepreneurship inclusion effort (originally funded by NSF,) which now has been replicated at other universities.
An entrepreneur herself, Bleill is CEO and co-founder of a hyperlocal media company, chambanamoms.com. She is past president (and still a member) of the Visit Champaign County Board of Directors, and also a member of the Board of Directors for the Visit Champaign County Foundation. She is also on the board of Leadership Illinois. A native of the Chicago suburbs, she has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.