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).
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.
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.
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.
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.APPLY NOW