Blake Wood
Publish Date

Innovate Springfield (iSPI), the University of Illinois Springfield’s business incubator located in downtown Springfield, will host a new business startup educational series for inspiring entrepreneurs titled “iSPI startup map.”

The course will be led by angel investor, entrepreneur and lecturer Bruce Sommer from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays beginning Oct. 5 and concluding on Nov. 16. The course is open to the public. The cost is $250 with financial assistance and scholarships available.

During this workshop participants will learn how to develop business startup ideas, grow their ideas into companies, raise capital and take advantage of resources available to them.

Sommer has spent a lifetime working with inventors, entrepreneurs, faculty and institutional leaders from around the world assisting in idea generation, design and execution of a variety of applied innovations. He is a founding council member of the Illinois Innovation Network, a founding member of the Angel Capital Association and a member of the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers. He is a startup entrepreneur and seed investor who founded three companies and led investments in over 40 early-stage companies. He is the managing partner of NextGen Ventures, a closely held private equity and venture capital fund focused on nascent technologies across a variety of industries.

The workshop is the beginning of a new educational programming series at Innovate Springfield focused on educating entrepreneurs, founders and anyone curious about what it takes to launch a business.

Register for the course online

About Innovate Springfield

Innovate Springfield, located at 15 S. Old State Capitol Plaza, will become part of the new UIS Innovation Center, located at 401 E. Washington St., when it opens in 2025. The business incubator aims to accelerate the growth of startups and established businesses, provide a collaborative workspace, and foster a vibrant entrepreneurial community. Innovate Springfield currently supports 80 member companies that have added more than 280 jobs to the local economy.