Illinois courts startups with innovation network

Illinois is working to build up its startup economy with the launch of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). The network is supported by by the Governor’s Illinois Innovation Council, a public-private partnership launched in February to accelerate innovative economic development and job creation efforts in the state’s startup sector. The network will also be connected to the Startup America Partnership through Startup Illinois.

Startup Illinois will let Illinois-based affiliates and entrepreneurs leverage technology, content and tools to access national resources, and celebrate local startup successes on a national stage. The goal of the network will be to support the state’s high-tech entrepreneurial sector through collaboration between companies, educational institutions and community leaders to create jobs.

The network will be managed through the website, which will be expanded over the summer, to serve as a one-stop-shop for connecting entrepreneurs to services.

The Illinois Innovation Council is chaired by Groupon Co-Founder and Chairman Brad Keywell and is made up of local business executives, science, technology and university leaders. The council’s mission is to promote, develop and attract innovation-driven enterprises and individuals to Illinois and to also develop policies to cultivate and retain entrepreneurs, innovative researchers and other enterprises.

“Innovation is the key to being competitive in the global marketplace, which is why we must do everything we can to help our businesses develop new and innovative ideas and technologies,” said Governor Quinn.