The Landscape of Techpark Innovation


Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST) Presents: The Landscape of Techpark Innovation

CHICAGO, Illinois (August 20, 2013)– The world of innovation and ideas has changed and grown with our modern and complex landscape. The once romantic images of a lone innovator or inventor scribbling furiously in a notebook or casually sketching on a cocktail napkin are a thing of the past.


Today’s new ideas require collaboration fostered in a fertile environment of invention, entrepreneurial drive and access to capital; tomorrow’s products are being discovered in today’s small but powerful incubators. What does an incubator do? How does it work? What does it produce? What are some of the Chicago-area success stories? And what are the differences between university and private incubator models?

Who better to inform you on how these private and university-run idea factories work, and why they are so vital to our modern landscape, than the very people who built these spaces here in Chicago, and run them today?

The Landscape of Techpark Innovation is a program featuring those in the know in entrepreneurial innovation in the Chicagoland area. Speakers include:

Moderator Jim O’ Connor Jr.: Managing Director MVC Capital, and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. O’ Connor, co-founder of the CEC with Kevin Willer, has over a decade of private equity and venture capital experience.

David Baker, Vice President for External Affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology: Baker is the Executive Director of IIT’s University Tech Park, home to life sciences, clean tech and IT startups.

Steve Collens, Senior Vice President at the Pritzker Group: Collens was the “Instigator” of 1871, the 50,000 square-foot co-working space for digital startups run by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. In its first year, the 225 tech startups housed at 1871 created over 800 jobs.

John Flavin, Executive Director at Chicago Innovation Mentors: The center provides mentors for science-based ventures, through the use of mentor teams. To date, CIM has 175 mentors, and has worked with 84 venture teams.

Kapila Viges, Director of EnterpriseWorks Chicago: EnterpriseWorks Chicago, located on the UIC campus in the Illinois Medical District, will work to build on the successes of EnterpriseWorks, the tech incubator on the University of Illinois Urbana campus, which supports startup companies.

Learn how incubators work, and how the process works, from concept to market. Hear what we can expect to see produced in the near future from these spark plugs of America’s economic and research engines.

DETAILS:  September 10, 2013

1871 at 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th floor, Chicago, IL 60654

Registration from 6 pm. Presentation at 6:30 pm.

Fees: Free for C2ST and 1871 members, $20 for non-members, $5 for students

For more information, and to register, visit, or email

PARKING: The app SpotHero, created by a Chicago startup, can aid you in finding the most convenient and affordable parking options near 1871 (or citywide). It is recommended by the staff of 1871 for those not arriving via public transportation.

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