- The Kauffman Foundation states that its vision is to foster “a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities.”
- FastTrac is a program of the Kauffman Foundation; an award-winning, comprehensive package of entrepreneur-learning programs and materials. It provides existing and aspiring entrepreneurs with key business insights and skills, leadership experiences, and valuable networking and mentoring opportunities they need to start, grow, and lead businesses.
- iBIO is Illinois’ biotechnology industry association.
- iBIO Institute: iBIO’s educational arm. Provides assistance to life sciences start-ups through its PROPEL program.
- Information Technology Association
Business Plan Competitions
- NY Times – Small Business Competition List: A constantly updated list of business-plan and related competitions, this guide tracks their hosts, prizes, deadlines, and themes. You can also follow the winners, companies, inventions and ideas here. If you have competition information they should know about, please contact them.
- iStart.org : is the go-to site for entering business competitions from around the world, browsing pages of startup ideas and networking with hundreds of innovative, energized entrepreneurs.
- Broad Peak: is a finance and accounting professional services firm that specializes in project-based consulting, search and outsourcing services
- Purchase Order Financing: serves as the link between small businesses and the working capital they need to seize an atypically large business opportunity
- New Equity Business: is the small business source for financing, news, and information. They support a thriving community of entrepreneurs, real estate developers, investors, and others interested in small business finance
- Women’s Business Development Center: helps women business owners successfully achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. From workshops and business coaching to financial and procurement assistance, they support your business growth at every stage of business development
Government Resources & Funding
- Grants.gov is your source to FIND and APPLY for federal grants. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proud to be the managing partner for Grants.gov, an initiative that is having an unparalleled impact on the grant community.
- Groupedup.com proprietary Group Introduction and Investment Application connects investors and consolidates their resources so they may create an Investment Group and purchase a business as a corporation. This tool provides investors with access to a new source of capital and Franchise and Opportunity Developers introductions to qualified Investment Groups with cash on hand. Franchisors and businesses may integrate the Application directly into their website enabling their web visitors to seamlessly create and join Investment groups around their opportunity on the spot.
- The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) is a nonprofit affiliate of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. It seeks to make an economic impact by helping entrepreneurs and high-growth businesses enterprises
- City of Chicago assistance for businesses can be found at: http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/home.do
- State of Illinois assistance from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity includes Technical assistance with Federal SBIR/STTR applications, SBIR/STTR matching grants up to $50K, Training Investment Programs (TIP), Renewal energy resources/solar thermal energy grants. This information, along with a list of technology parks in Illinois, can be found at: http://www.iltechparks.com/
- CRAIN’S LIST – Chicago’s Largest SBA Lenders (Ranked by Chicago-area loans as of 9/30/09)
- EPA Region 5 – EPA Region 5 believes innovative technologies offer great promise to improve environmental conditions. Their website provides emerging cleantech needs and connects you with forums and programs that foster technology development.
- ACCION Chicago is a small business lender, dedicated to providing financing and business education to small businesses. They offer loans of up to $15,000 for start-up businesses and $25,000 for established businesses. They also offer Credit Builder loans between $200 and $2,500.
- Office of the City Treasurer, Community Outreach Programs
- Assistance for international firms is provided by World Business Chicago (WBC)
IT Equipment and Service
- Paragon Micro proudly delivers IT procurement and professional services worldwide, ensuring our corporate clients gain new efficiencies and experience reduced costs. Contact Jeff Russo
Human Resource/Recruiting Services
- Signum: positions your company for growth by connecting your workforce strategy to your â€¨business strategy
- Objective Paradigm: a technical recruiting and executive search firm
- Business Leaders for Tomorrow: is an organizational leadership and training development company
- Jenner & Block: The firm has a transactional and corporate practice, which focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities, finance, private equity, real estate, tax, environmental, insurance, commercial law, technology, intellectual property, bankruptcy and reorganization, labor and employment, executive compensation, government contacts, health care and associations
- AzulaySeiden Law Group: The firm is based in Chicago and focuses on immigration law, commercial litigation, criminal law, and family law. The firm has grown into the fourth largest group of immigration attorneys in the United States
- Scherrer Patent & Trademark Law: Scherrer Patent & Trademark Law provides a wide array of intellectual property legal services to its clients. Whether you are a new or established business, or an individual innovator/inventor, Scherrer Patent & Trademark Law can help protect your intellectual property, cost effectively, whether patents, trademarks, copyrights or trade secrets
- IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Entrepreneurial Clinic: The Chicago-based firm provides high-quality, affordable legal services to startups and small businesses.
Public Relations Services
- Girl Sherlock is a media relations company
Misc. Business Services
- IIT Stuart Academic Service Learning Program
IIT’s Stuart School of Business partners with businesses and non-profits throughout Chicago through their Academic Service Learning (ASL) program. ASL partnerships are a mutually beneficial opportunity that -
1.prepares students for future internships and professional positions while,
2. simultaneously assisting local organizations by providing bright, motivated students to help with business-related and service projects.
Sales and Marketing Services
- Entrepreneur Sales & Marketing is a Professional Sales & Marketing Agency that offers consulting and professional services to all types and levels of business
- Sonota provides services ranging from IT Consulting, Product Engineering Services, Application Development, Application Management, Managed Testing, Business Intelligence, Infrastructure Management, Packaged Applications to Travel Solutions
Strategy and Management Consulting Services
- Bolder Thinking helps build great businesses through an integrated application of ideation, operational expertise, and technology
- TillCreative – Each of their clients receives a sleek custom â€œbusiness bookâ€ that is all about them, their business and the methods theyâ€™ll use to reach their goals. Clients put their post-it notes and ad hoc to-do lists aside, and use this lime-green workbook as a consolidated home-base for their business
- Opus Global Group provides strategy, IT, and management services and delivers innovative strategic business and technology solutions
- OUM Partners offers companies and organizations, business development and marketing solutions
Venture Capital Funding
- UTP at IIT is the strategic university partner for the i2 Accelerator Fund
- Simple and straightforward cap table from Venturehacks.com Watch a video tutorial on how to use this spreadsheet here
Web-Based Information Services
- BioSpace is a global provider of resources and information to the life science industry
- MidwestBusiness.com is a regional provider of information about business and technology in the Midwest
- Smart Brief
- Entrepreneur.com’s Guide to Social Media
- Idea Flow Chart – Dawn Reiss and Carrie Ferris of Time Out Chicago
- How to communicate traction to investors - Brendan Baker and Hiten Shah
- Small Business Marketing Guide
- Reality Check – Guy Kawasaki
- Business Innovation in the 21st Century – Praveen Gupta
- Innovate Like Edison – Michael J. Gelb, Sarah Miller Caldicott
- The Leadership Integrity Challenge – Edward E Morler
- The Art of Innovation – Tom Kelley, Jonathan Littman, Tom Peters
- The Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki
- I.D.E.A. to Exit – Jeffrey Weber
- You Need To Be a Little Crazy - Barry J. Moltz
- Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process, and Practice – Donald F. Kuratko
- Frontiers of Engineering – National Academy Of Engineering
- Apples Are Square – Susan Kuczmarski, Thomas D. Kuczmarski
- The Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton M. Christensen
- The Innovator’s Sourcebook – Dan Roberts
- Innovation to the Core – Peter Skarzynski, Rowan Gibson
- The Ten Faces of Innovation – Thomas Kelley, Jonathan Littman
- Three Steps to Yes – Gene Bedell
- The Partnership Charter – David Gage
- Change by Design – Tim Brown
- Start-up Nation – Dan Senor, Saul Singer
- How to get a Real Education at College by Scott Adams
- Ten highly successful bootstrapped startups by Saba Younus
- 101 Startup Lessons – An Entrepreneurs Handbook – Red Rocket Blog
- Stanford University Entrepreneurship Class Lectures
- Chasing the Angel Investors
- The Small Joys of Family Business
- Stats show startups spend a chunk of their seed funding on legal fees
- Five Lessons from World Changers
- Running Lean – by Ash Maurya
- The Power to Get In – by Michael A. Boylan
- How to Craft a Winning Startup Pitch
- College Startup Series – by Marco Terry