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The Research Park at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is an innovation hub that builds community by cultivating startups and accelerating corporate innovation. Recently, EnterpriseWorks, the technology business incubator at Research Park, was awarded funding for its Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Center for a third consecutive year. A statewide award, the Illinois FAST Center provides Illinois entrepreneurs with free resources, support, and expertise to increase the number of successful applications for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding. SBIR/STTR are highly competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in research and development with the potential for commercialization.

The Illinois FAST Center provides small businesses and startups with specialized trainings and workshops, mentoring, and one-on-one direct technical assistance. The Illinois FAST Center’s team of expert instructors/consultants provide strategic direction to clients, offering valuable feedback and guidance at every stage of the process. 

In 2021-2022, the Illinois FAST Center served 787 clients, with 42 percent of them from underserved populations, a primary focus. In that time period, Illinois FAST Center clients received $15.4 million in funding, a 6,170 percent return on investment.

Learn more about Illinois FAST Center.