Check out the growth that we've experienced alongside the starters that we serve at Innovate Springfield - UIS.
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iSPI Economic Impact Data
2017 >> 2020.

Community Members, Supporters, and Friends,

It is with great excitement that we share our most recent economic impact data representing the growth that the founders that we serve at Innovate Springfield have experienced. In the midst of all of the challenges, our community members are charting their own paths in entrepreneurship, exploring new market opportunities, taking risks, and betting the deck. It's already paying dividends, and we're just getting started.

This update is a snapshot of how far we've come since we opened our doors in 2016 and really got going in 2017. As you scroll, you'll see a public service organization committed to collaboration and partnership, and one that has experienced incredible growth. Our programming has expanded, our network is larger, and our impact in Springfield and the broader Central Illinois Region has increased.

We are university-led [and proud] through the
University of Illinois Springfield.
This is the BIG picture.

The starters that we serve are creating. They're creating solutions to problems. They're creating opportunities. They're creating jobs. They're creating a community that we're proud to live, work, and play in. What's more, is their commitment to giving back and to reinvesting in our community. 

In 2020 alone, the starters that we serve have ...
  • created 171 full-time and 191 part-time jobs;
  • employed 186 women, 168 people of color, and 117 low-income residents;
  • paid over $11M in payroll;
  • generated more than $15.7M in gross revenues; and
  • acquired 3 patents.
Between 2017 and 2020, the starters that we serve have ...
  • created 322 full-time jobs and 242 part-time jobs;
  • employed 273 women, 224 people of color, and 176 low-income residents;
  • paid over $17.8M in payroll;
  • raised over $6.8M in investment; and
  • acquired 13 patents.
Our investment in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem is paying off right before our eyes with the members we serve experiencing a 772% increase in gross revenues between 2017-2020.

Business Incubation at Innovate Springfield.

The business incubation program at Innovate Springfield has served 205 starters since its inception, and currently serves 102 members spanning industries, stages of business, and demographic backgrounds. 

Of those small business starters that we serve ...

  • 53% are women (where 40% of all small businesses in the US are women-owned);
  • 35% are people of color (where the national average in business incubation demonstrates 23% of membership represented by minority-owned firms);
  • 21% are women of color;
  • 30% are students, either between the ages of 18-23 or currently enrolled in a higher education program, and
  • 7% are veterans (where 5.9% of all small businesses in the US are veteran-owned).
We're especially proud of the diversity represented in our community. Supporting diverse entrepreneurs is not a check-box for Innovate Springfield, it is a core value. We're committed to reducing and eliminating barriers so that everyone can participate in the local culture of innovation and achieve their vision of success. 

As a community-based incubator, the industries represented among those that we serve are also diverse. Check this out ...
  • 26% professional service-based business;
  • 23.33% information technology-based business;
  • 7% education technology-based business;
  • 3% medical technology-based business;
  • 16.7% product-based business;
  • 6.7% marketing-based business;
  • 6.67% entrepreneurial support;
  • 3.3% E-commerce; and
  • 7.3% other.
Innovate Springfield has experienced a 164% increase in membership and maintained a cumulative retention rate of 131% between 2017 and 2020.
iSPI's Commitment to Collaboration.

At Innovate Springfield we're committed to building a stronger, more inclusive innovation ecosystem for our region. We know we can't do it alone, so we're constantly growing our network connections in support of the starters we serve. We've recruited more than 30 community experts and partner organizations to serve as advisors to iSPI community members.

Between 2017 and 2020, we've ...
  • hosted more than 2,000 hours of programming to more than 600 community members;
  • graduated 27 CO.STARTERS, 16 Midwest i-CORPS participants, and 12 Three-Day-Startup participants; and
  • made more than 130 network introductions on behalf of the starters we serve.
Oh, and our virtual programming has expanded iSPI's footprint, creating a global impact.
We've recruited program participants from...
  • Illinois
  • Texas
  • Canada
  • Peru
  • India
  • France
Our website and newsletters attract readership from...
  • China
  • Nigeria
  • Indonesia
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • Germany
Somebody grab us some shades because the future is bright.

We Are Growing Alongside The Members
That We Serve.

We are passionate about supporting each and every one of the starters in our community, and anyone new who comes through our door, but we couldn't possibly tell you about all of them here. In fact, some of the starters that we serve have just begun their entrepreneurial journies and are working right this very minute to get their ideas out of their heads and into the world.

While we do have your attention, we wanted to highlight a few of the individual starters we have served and the growth that they have experienced since having engaged with Innovate Springfield.

Our community of movers, shakers, and innovative rule breakers have seen incredible successes these past few years, and they're being recognized for their work all over the place. They are scaling their successes and selling their products and services from sea to shining sea (we're talking thousands of wholesalers, everybody). 

Just look at this virtual trophy case ...
  • SmashToast: Startup Connection St. Louis Anders CPA + Advisors’ prize.
2018 2019
2019 continued ... 2020
To the members that we serve, we feel truly fortunate to serve you and to support your entrepreneurial journies.

We Owe All That We Have Achieved to Our Community of Supporters

Special thanks to our funders, founders, former board and committee members, and community supporters for the contribution of your time, expertise, and financial support in the name of Innovate Springfield.

We simply would not be where we are today had it not been for you. Thank you!

Love What We Do?

You can learn more about our work and the members that we serve by visiting our website. If you've got an idea for a small business or a solution to a problem and you're interested in pursuing membership with Innovate Springfield, you can complete our online application here. We'd love to connect with you!

As a nonprofit public service organization, we rely on state and federal funds, grant opportunities, and our community of supporters to continue to advance our mission and serve our community. If you are able, you can contribute directly to our work by clicking here and searching for Innovate Springfield.
You can also represent Innovate Springfield everywhere you go with a custom printed T-Shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie thanks to iSPI member Reverie Apparel. A percentage of each sale gets kicked back to us, making this the most feel-good purchase on the prairie.

Get your iSPI swag here!
That's a wrap for our Economic Impact Update, but you can always keep up with us on Facebook and Instagram in between our regular newsletters.

Can't get enough of iSPI?! Check out our 2019 impact report and all of our previous newsletters and blog posts.

Thanks for being here with us!
Copyright © 2021 Innovate Springfield, All rights reserved.

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