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 her 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 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 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.