Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Corporate/Start-Up Challenge

Four leading Illinois-based corporations have agreed to team-up with some of the state’s emerging, and most innovative, start-up businesses. It’s an attempt to create jobs and drive the state’s economy forward, says Governor Pat Quinn. Allstate, Molex, Motorola Mobility and Walgreens are all participating in the Illinois Corporate/Start-Up Challenge, a pilot program that will pair major corporations with a select group of Illinois-based start-up companies over a four to six month period.

The corporations will provide the start-ups with mentoring, partnership and business opportunities. The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, with support from the Illinois Innovation Council, will run the program. The Governor says the goal is to encourage all of the state’s companies to support the growth of emerging Illinois businesses.

“Illinois is experiencing an entrepreneurial renaissance with tremendous growth in the start-up community,” says Governor Quinn. “We have one of the largest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies in the nation, and better connecting our corporate leaders to our cutting-edge entrepreneurs will foster even more innovation and drive economic growth.”

Each corporation will have a customized plan based on their needs and innovation priorities, and will report back to the state on the outcomes of their engagements with the young businesses.

“Illinois corporations are now relying more than ever on technology and innovation to stay globally competitive and, as a result, are looking outside their walls for new ideas and disruptive solutions,” said Brad Keywell, Illinois Innovation Council chairman. “This program will better link corporate leaders with entrepreneurs and helps pave a path for these emerging companies to gain feedback and expand their businesses. ❒

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