October 30, 2022

How Innovation DuPage Can Help Suburban Entrepreneurs

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Innovation DuPage is proud to sponsor the Daily Herald Suburban Business’ Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards to celebrate outstanding startups and small businesses in suburban Chicago. The businesses highlighted in this issue contribute to our dynamic and growing economy; one that furthers the Chicago region as the 19th largest economic ecosystem in the world.


Entrepreneurism is important.  Entrepreneurs drive the US economy, and the small businesses they launch create most new job growth.  In addition to small company founders, entrepreneurial thinking is also critical to large corporations and non-profit organizations ,as the rate of change continues to increase.


Let’s face it, though – in today’s economic climate, running your own business isn’t easy, and just getting started is even more challenging.  Being an entrepreneur takes vision, fortitude, tenacity and resources, and the odds are against you.  More than twenty percent of small businesses fail within the first two years; close to fifty percent fail in the first five years, and about two thirds fail within ten years.  That’s a tough journey, especially if you go it alone.  But you don’t have to.  That’s where Innovation DuPage comes in.


Having access to a community of entrepreneurs and supporters like that found at Innovation DuPage lowers the barrier of entry for fledgling businesses, which are critical drivers of regional and national innovation.  As a business incubator, Innovation DuPage is built around the needs of entrepreneurs and startups, so that the knowledge, resources and business relationships that are needed to succeed are readily available.  Our extensive network of partners, mentors, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs are there to provide the support that’s needed to nurture your idea into a success.  The result is more than a co-working space ,but a unique innovative culture of collaboration that is not easily replicated.  


For existing small businesses, our Owner-2-CEO accelerator programs can help identify and address existing pain points, so that businesses can scale and get to the next level.  ID runs three cohorts per year, with one focused specifically on companies in the construction industry - the next of which starts in January 2023.  Over the past year, as a result of intentional outreach efforts, 80% of our accelerator program participants have been women or minority owned businesses.  


Innovation DuPage also offers scholarships for our memberships and programs to lower any economic barriers that might exist for bootstrapping businesses.  In the past three years, we’ve provided more than $500,000 in scholarship support, and are poised to continue to do so.      


All this just illustrates how the mission of Innovation DuPage fosters the regional economic ecosystem, and is so closely aligned with the spirit of these Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards that highlight those successful entrepreneurs throughout the suburbs who should be celebrated for their outstanding achievements.  Seven of our affiliates have received these important accolades over the past three years, and we know there will be more success stories to share in the years to come.  Because when our member companies succeed, Innovation DuPage succeeds. It’s just that simple.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award winners, and thanks for the inspiration you provide to all of those yet to come.  


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