Thursday, August 26, 2010

Entry deadline nears for Innovate Illinois contest

The Saluki Times
August 26, 2010
By Christi Mathis 08/26/2010 09:54:40

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The statewide 2010 Innovate Illinois competition, offering $80,000 in prizes, is open to new and prospective businesses and Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the downstate host for the contest.

This marks the sixth year for the challenge, created to recognize high-growth Illinois businesses offering or planning to offer an innovative service or product. More than 100 businesses compete each year in one of the contest’s two divisions, with a top prize of $30,000 cash for the winners of each division and $10,000 prizes for each runner-up.

The early stage category is for companies with an idea for an innovative product, service or process that could have a lasting economic impact. The late stage category is for new companies that have recently created or implemented an innovative process, service or process that is already showing an economic impact in the state.

“The Innovate Illinois challenge allows our clients and successful Southern Illinois companies to compete head to head with companies from all over the state, demonstrating their intelligence and innovativeness,” said Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade. She noted that in 2008, client Clipius Technologies Inc., a Carbondale company led by former SIUC mechanical engineering professor Ajay Mahajan, brought home the $10,000 state runner-up prize in the early stage business category.

Now is the time to enter for 2010, as the entry deadline is Sept. 10. You can only submit applications for the competition online at

From the total pool of southern region applications submitted, the top eight entrants from each category will get notification on Oct. 1 that they will advance to the Southern Area Competition Oct. 12 in Carbondale. Eight early stage companies will make presentations in the morning and eight late stage companies will make afternoon presentations. Two winners from each semi-final category advance to the state competition.

Central and northern Illinois semi-finals will be Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, respectively. The six early stage and six late stage competition finalists will go to Chicago Dec. 16 where they’ll make seven-minute presentations before a judging panel representing entrepreneurship and investment organizations.

Since the challenge’s inception, 33 statewide winners have claimed $530,000 in cash and prizes while generating more than 500 new jobs, securing $20 million in financing and, in 2008 alone, generated in excess of $50 million in new revenues. The competitions produce winners in more way than one, Russell said. In addition to having the chance of winning cash prizes, the competitors all get to showcase their innovations for potential investors, mentors and customers and this could spark accelerated business growth.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, an affiliate of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, are the joint administrators for the Innovate Illinois Program.

For more information or assistance with the Innovate Illinois online application, contact Russell at 618/453-3805 or visit You can also learn more on the state website at

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Southern Illinois University Carbondale and School of Medicine holding steady on technology transfer activities

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Technology Transfer Program recently announced fiscal year 2010 patent and licensing activity statistics for SIUC and the SIU School of Medicine.

Twenty-nine new inventions were disclosed, six new licenses or options executed, 15 US patent applications filed, and two patents were issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

"Our technology transfer activity is holding up very well in view of the tough economic times. A particularly important indicator of success is that two of our licensees are start up companies based on University research located here in Carbondale," Senior Technology Transfer Specialist Jeff Myers said. "Our licensing activity for inventions from previous years is also showing good results."

SIUC is increasingly active in the field of technology transfer and commercialization. Over the past decade, SIU Carbondale and School of Medicine have disclosed 217 inventions, issued 54 licenses/options, filed 113 patent applications with a resulting 39 issued patents, and received more than $3.8 million in royalties.

The SIU Carbondale Technology Transfer Program helps University inventors with inventions and intellectual property resulting from University research. The program conducts invention assessment, files patent applications, and develops strategies to market and license technologies to existing businesses and start up companies.

For more information, visit, or go directly to the Tech Transfer Stats Page.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SIUC to host ‘Invention to Venture’ workshop

The Saluki Times
July 30, 2010
By Christi Mathis 07/30/2010 14:41:54

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Could your idea for a new product, service or business be a commercial success and if so, how do you make it happen?

That’s what participants can find out at a fall workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. “Welcome to Invention to Venture: Southern Illinois University” is set for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale.

The focus of the workshop is on moving great ideas toward commercialization. While the target audience is university and community college students, anyone with an interest is welcome to attend. Workshop presentations will cover a variety of topics including securing venture capital, marketing, intellectual property, business plans and much more. Experts from throughout the region will provide important information about invention entrepreneurship.

The registration fee includes a participant guide, lunch, a continental breakfast and all workshop presentations. The fee schedule is:

• $5 -- Saluki CEO Corps members.

• $10 -- all other students.

• $15 -- faculty/staff (from any university/college).

• $20 -- all other community members.

The event is a cooperative effort from the SIUC College of Business and its Center for Innovation, Saluki CEO Corps, the Small Business Incubator Program, Southern Illinois Research Park and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). To register, or for more information about the workshop, visit the website at Or, you can learn more by calling the Center for Innovation, at 618/453-7788.