Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program

The goal of the Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program (NDEP) is to increase business leadership opportunities for people with developmental and/or cognitive differences such as autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD and other related diagnoses.

Apply BY, DecemBer 31st

Collaborating Partners

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Program Description


The goal of the Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program (NDEP) is to increase business leadership opportunities for people with developmental and/or cognitive differences such as autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD and other related diagnoses. Companies with neurodiverse leaders serve as role models for future entrepreneurs while illustrating that neurodiversity can be a strength and an asset for other firms.

We firmly believe that brain differences drive innovation and company success, and we want to encourage inclusive leadership teams across all business sectors. The Neurodiverse Entrepreneurship Program celebrates and invests in the success of startups and small companies that have neurodiverse leaders in their C-Suite (e.g., CEO, COO, CIO, CFO, Directors, founders, or cofounders).

What is Neurodiversity?

The term neurodiversity encompasses the idea that neurological differences, such as those seen in people with autism, ADHD, or dyslexia, for example, reflect normal variations in brain development. Iconic founders like Richard Branson(Virgin Airlines), Charles Schwab (Charles Schwab Corporation) and Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA) credit their success to their neurodiversity.

Selected NDEP Companies will receive over $19,000 in Grants and Services:
Autism Angels Group, Organization for Autism Research, Autism Community Ventures Microgrants and Mentoring

Being an entrepreneur or startup leader is challenging. Don’t go it alone!

Innovation DuPage is partnering with Autism Angels Group (AAG), the Organization for Autism Research and the Autism Community Ventures to embrace the power of neurodiversity! These partners bring to the table crucial funding for the Neurodiverse Entrepreneurship Program microgrants, as well as mentoring opportunities for participating companies. 

Autism Angels Group (a nonprofit under fiscal sponsorship of the Organization for Autism Research) brings together capital and talent to aggressively drive economic opportunities and technology-driven solutions that create a positive social impact for the autism community.

Innovation DuPage Scale Membership

In addition to a $4,000 microgrant, selected companies will receive one year of Innovation DuPage Scale membership, as well as access to ID partner organizations, experts, and mentors.

Eligible Companies

The Neurodiverse Entrepreneurship Program is open to both new and current Innovation DuPage member companies from across the region. Priority will be given to companies formed, those or planning to establish operations within greater DuPage County.

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