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9 March 2017

Illinois universities produce 129 spinouts

A report by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition shows the US state of Illinois’ institutions have generated 129 spinouts between 2012 and 2016.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Universities in the US state of Illinois have generated 804 companies between 2012 and 2016, including 129 spinouts, a report by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) released yesterday shows.

Students established a total of 675 startups.

Out of the 804 total, approximately 80% (624) remain active or have been acquired and out of those 497 are still based in the state. A total of 30% counted a foreign-born founder or co-founder, and 30% had a female founder or co-founder.

Illinois’ institutions are also seeing an increase in the number of spinouts, with 34 established in 2015-16, up from 26 in both 2014-15 and 2013-14. They generated 20 spinouts in 2011-12 and 23 in 2012-13.

The set of companies is diverse, with no single industry accounting for more than 17%. The sectors with the highest number of businesses included biomedical and healthcare, software, apps and IT, financial and business services, and agriculture and food technology.

The startups and spinouts created since 2011-12 raised a combined $628m in private funding, university grants, government grants, competition awards and through crowdfunding. The spinouts accounted for $324m in venture capital and $25m in government research grants.

The increased activity in the state has been attributed by the report to significant efforts to increase and align the resources available to faculty and students, such as courses, competitions, mentoring and seed funding through entrepreneurship centres and technology parks.

Mark Harris, president and chief executive of ISTC, said: “Illinois’ universities provide the training ground for entrepreneurs to explore their ideas and develop new businesses.

“This record growth in entrepreneurial activity speaks to the expanding resources that exist across campuses – including space, capital and innovative programming – which is driving economic growth for the state as well.”

Tim Killeen, president of Illinois University and chairman of ISTC, said: “Our universities are incubators of the breakthrough discovery and entrepreneurial spirit that combine to create the new businesses and jobs of tomorrow.

“I am proud of the ongoing gains reflected in this year’s Innovation Index and the collective commitment our universities share to build on that momentum to move Illinois forward.”

ISTC is a state-created non-profit member-driven organisation that fosters links and advocates policy between universities, industry, government and startups in the state of Illinois.

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