Director, External Engagement
Phone : (217) 244-7744

Laura Weisskopf Bleill

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. Bleill and the Research Park team work very intentionally to create a vibrant, dynamic community that drives innovation.

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 was 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, She is very active in the Champaign-Urbana community, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Experience Champaign-Urbana and the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois. 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.