A startup for startups, EnterpriseWorks Chicago (EWC) is a university based operation charged with creating a robust entrepreneurial community to nurture commercialization and accelerate viable high technology startups throughout the Chicagoland community. Our (EWC's) function is to engage the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, leverage University wide assets, and provide entrepreneurs in the community access to resources within and beyond the University to create viable startups that contribute economic benefit to the State of Illinois.
EnterpriseWorks Chicago operates around coordinating or fostering five pillars of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. Infrastructure facilitates both the physical connection and virtual communication around which entrepreneurial communities thrive. Based at a university and in the heart of the Illinois Medical District, with proximity to world renowned industries and research institutions, the source of innovation is abundant. A strong pipeline of both fresh and savvy talent is vital to the success of innovation based ventures. Access to peer, industry, investment, and community networks allows entrepreneurs to gain valuable feedback and benchmark perspective. And awareness around accessing capital in its various forms, stages and sources enables more effective fundraising efforts.
Entrepreneurs and new ventures get stuck in isolation. Interaction with industry, peers, investors, customers and even competitors to gain valuable feedback and benchmark perspective can be the key to success or early failure and provide the opportunity to correct course. EnterpriseWorks Chicago is working with external organizations to help create opportunities for entrepreneurs, students and inventors to formally and informally connect to a broader community through events, exchange engagements and news of entrepreneurial interest at the city, state, national and global level.
From investigation and feasibility, through venture development and market introduction, to growth and maturity, companies need access to various types of capital. EnterpriseWorks Chicago will provide education around funding sources and build relationships within the capital community to improve opportunities and access capital along the commercialization continuum.
A strong pipeline of fresh and savvy talent is vital to the success of innovation-based ventures. EnterpriseWorks Chicago is piloting new approaches to develop high-tech entrepreneurs from educating inventors on business of commercialization to creating entrepreneurial experiences for students to develop broader skills.