Check out what's happening this week @InnovateSPI
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We're rockin' and rollin' into our 2021 program schedule at iSPI. Last week we hosted The Art and Psychology of Design in Marketing with iSPI member Rusty Jones from hellowater.

One participant said the most valuable aspect of the event was "Hearing two experts share ideas and experiences to help establish a brand and then to promote that brand. Good information."

Don't stress if you couldn't make it, because we recorded the session and you can catch it on our YouTube Channel.
Because building a strong brand presence is both art and science.
  • There is nothing on the calendar today. Stay warm, make plans, and get stuff done!


If being devoted to learning makes us "nerdy" then somebody needs to make us jackets, because Innovate Springfield is a true learning organization. We are in constant pursuit of creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying our behavior to reflect our new knowledge and insights. Join us!

How to Finance a Business // In this workshop, participants will learn about the pros and cons of a variety of both traditional and non-traditional business financing options including some examples of how communities can get involved. 

Pam Schallhorn, University of Illinois Extension

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM- 3:00 PM


New Year, New Website! // It's 2021 and everything is online or bust [thanks covid], so it's time to evaluate what you do and how you deliver what you do online. Your website is the virtual “front door” to your business. It can be an effective first impression tool and can set the stage for new business and new opportunities. In this presentation, we'll discuss some ideas around how you can improve your website, creating a better experience for your current and prospective customers. Presented by Casey Reid, founder of Clearfire.

Innovate Springfield in collaboration with Systemax + Clearfire

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM-6:30 PM


CO.STARTERS @iSPI // CO.STARTERS is a ten-week cohort-based program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action.

You can learn more about what participants get from the CO.STARTERS program, what makes an ideal participant and meet all the graduates of the CO.STARTERS program at iSPI on our website

Date: Wednesday, March 24- Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Time: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM


University of Illinois Springfield Master Online Facilitator  //  Sign up now for the FREE PILOT program and learn how to successfully direct virtual trainings, online meetings, and remote presentations!

Date: Four-week pilot program begins March 22, 2021



At Innovate Springfield community is what it’s all about! It’s the most collaborative, supportive, and authentic environment we’ve ever worked in. The real magic is in the people who call iSPI their work-home and the passion and value that they bring to our community.

We're leaning into our [virtual] "iSPI SEO Mob" to help promote the great work of the starters we are so fortunate to serve. Maybe you're new to this SEO thing. That's okay because we're here to make it SUPER easy!

S-E-O stands for Search Engine Optimization which is a fancy phrase for increasing unpaid traffic to a website because search engines give ranking preference to websites with higher traffic.

When the iSPI community [that's you!] comes together to increase website traffic, share member content, and write 5-STAR reviews, the collective impact returns dividends for the starters we serve. It's easy. It's fast. It's free. 
Just CLICK the links below, VISIT the websites, FOLLOW the social channels, and TELL your friends!
You can catch the weekly iSPI SEO Mob features here in our weekly email, and by following Innovate Springfield on Facebook and Instagram

Sangamon Tree Service is a local family-owned business serving Springfield, Illinois, and neighboring towns found in Sangamon County and Menard County.  When you choose Sangamon Tree Service for your home or business you can count on quality workmanship, great customer service, fair pricing, and professionalism!

Whimsy Tea Company was founded in order to provide the highest quality of teas, herbal infusions, and tea-infused products to everyone with the utmost of convenience. They give their customers access to high quality, fair-trade teas and an entire range of health and beauty products featuring the absolute best the botanical world has to offer.    At Whimsy Tea Company we believe that tea is not just a beverage, it’s a lifestyle. 

OMEE Business Community Database Form // The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment is developing an internal database to support businesses and stakeholders more effectively. As a first step, they are gathering critical information through an online form to ensure that they have the most up to date profile of your business. The information collected in this form will help shape outreach strategies. Please click here to share your information by Friday, February 12, 2021.
Resources for Federal Funding and Other Funding Opportunities // As part of the latest federal stimulus bill, the Small Business Administration is currently offering several different relief options to help businesses recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Click here for more information. The State of Illinois DCEO OMEE has developed an online resource hub to assist with the process. For more information about OMEE-led webinars on PPP, EIDL, and other federal funding, see the list of upcoming webinars here.
Links to other funding opportunities:
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